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First Team News

Manager Frustrated With Reaction

1 December 2018

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

Manager Alex Neil was disappointed with his side’s reaction to going a goal down this afternoon, but also stressed the importance of not dwelling on today’s result.

Alex felt his side didn’t react well enough to the first goal early in the second half, and was disappointed in the manner of the goals conceded this afternoon.

Post-match, the manager said: “The difficulty I’ve had this afternoon is every game since I’ve been here, even if we’ve been beat, we always look tall and try to fight and had potential that we were going to score, but I don’t think we had that today and that was my biggest frustration.

“We’ve got to look at it and think it’s the first time we’ve lost in ten games and given the circumstances where we had a lot of players missing, it’s not something we need to dwell on, we need to focus quickly on the next game.

“For the first goal the ball comes out, Kieftenbeld plays it in behind, I turn around and then all of a sudden I here fans celebrating. 

“I’ve seen it since and Declan’s mis-read it and it ends up in the net. When you come to Birmingham, you know the first goal is really important and to gift them the first goal was disappointing but at the end of the day it’s a mistake. 

“We’ve then got to recover and regroup but the goal really affected us as a team. We had a lot of lads coming into the game who hadn’t really played, and getting that setback was really damaging for us. 

“I took Brandon off who hadn’t done anything wrong, but we needed to get on the ball more and keep the ball at the top end of the pitch so we played two strikers up there and we looked quite threatening, but the disappointing thing is that we spoke about counter attacks before the game. 

“I think 40 percent of their goals this season have been counter attacks, and you can argue the second one is a counter attack, and from then on we found it tough and we didn’t recover well enough for the third goal and it was a really difficult afternoon.”  

The injury list the manager alluded to became even longer when Josh Earl came off with an issue at half-time, and coupled with the missing Ben Pearson and Tom Clarke before today’s game, Alex admitted to iFollowPNE that it was always going to be a tough game at St. Andrew’s this afternoon.

“It was never going to be a great game,” continued the manager. “They’ve not lost at home all season and teams have come here and found it really difficult. 

“I’ve seen Swansea and West Brom play here where both should have lost and not played well and found it difficult to break Birmingham down and we had the same issues. 

“The first 20 minutes we didn’t play as well as we could have. The balance wasn’t right, Ben Davies wasn’t right which is why I didn’t play him and the balance of centre backs wasn’t quite right because we didn’t have a left footer. 

“We’ve lost Ben Pearson and Tom Clarke before the game so it was always going to be difficult but I thought first half we competed fine. I thought it was a poor game, very scrappy, but you need to do the basics of the game then really well. Win your tackles, put balls into good areas and crosses into the box. 

“I do believe however that the guys on the pitch today have performed well enough this season who are capable of getting a result. 

“Today is one of those games where we just need to draw a line under it and move on.”

 For more reaction from today's game from the manager, head to iFollowPNE now.

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