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Simon Grayson: “We Apologise To The Fans”

17 September 2016

Manager Simon Grayson apologised to the supporters after the Lilywhites’ defeat at Brentford.

The gaffer spoke passionately after the game and described the closing 16 minutes and a ‘crazy spell’ and said that there could be no repeat.

“This is hasn’t to happen again; it was hugely disappointing in the manner we have lost the game,” he said. “Brentford haven’t had to work for any of their goals – they were given them. We have had discussions in the dressing room, as you could imagine. We have a game on Tuesday and we were going to make changes anyway and now players will come into the team who have got an opportunity to stay in it for the Wigan game.

“We apologise to the fans.

“Nobody wanted to see that 15 minutes – up until that point we were very good and looked like it would be a good away performance, but because that crazy spell it has been an absolutely shocking day – which bizarrely if you see the bigger picture it wasn’t as well.

“People have spent a lot of money coming down here and we have gone from being very good the other night to the other end of the spectrum today.”

The yellows started the game brightly and had had the better of the opening 30 minutes and the opener game against the run of play.

“In the first half we started the half as the better team, plenty of shots and plenty of chances and controlled the game for large parts and then we conceded a goal against the run of play and we came in 1-0 down,” continued the PNE boss. “At half-time we told them to keep doing the right things, because they would get opportunities, which we did, but then it was a lack of responsibility from the 74th minute when they got a corner, someone was designated to mark him; he had a free header and from there to the end of the game it was absolutely suicide football from all the players out there.

“You can talk about systems and everything else, but it is about playing with your head and taking responsibility and players haven’t done that today.

“We went 2-0 down and had a great chance for Simon [Makienok] to get back in it at 2-1 where you thought we could still get something from the game, because we’d been well and truly in the game, had some good opportunities and then we had a 15 minute period where it was absolutely scandalous from all the players.

“Even at 3-0 with ten men, you have to accept that you are not going to win the game and get two banks of four and be hard to break down; but we were still playing with our hearts instead of our heads.

“Sometimes you have to box clever, take responsibility, but we didn’t, we played kamikaze football and lost 5-0 and it looks a horrendous scoreline – which it is – but it didn’t look anything like that for the first 74 minutes.”

The second half started in the same way, with Eoin Doyle forcing a superb save from Daniel Bentley in the Bees goal, which could have changed the course of the game.
“We were positive; we got into good areas and we were well and truly in the game. There are lots of players in that dressing room who have played a lot of games and they should be grabbing each other and saying ‘let’s stay in, keep it tight and not go bombing on’ and it is the responsibility of the players to do that. You have to grab your team-mates by the scruff of the throat if that’s what it takes, so this is a really disappointing day for everybody and that is an understatement.

“We started the second half like we started the first. It was a great strike from [Eoin] Doyle and a good save from Bentley at the near post and it was probably in both boxes that has cost us today - we didn’t take the chances that came along and as a team we gifted them their goals and that is not good enough,” he added.

You can watch the full interview with the manager and with skipper Tom Clarke by logging onto PNE PlayerHD – click here to watch the interviews now.

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