Town Head Coach Luke Williams was unable to hide his frustration after seeing his side lose 2-1 to local rivals Oxford United at The County Ground earlier today.
Fankaty Dabo’s fine strike had given the Reds a deserved lead at half-time, but quick-fire efforts from Liam Sercombe and Rob Hall after the break were enough to inflict a Derby Day defeat on the hosts.
And, speaking to the local media in the wake of the game, Williams admitted that his team’s second-half display wasn’t good enough.
“We looked like we struggled with the reality of being in-front and we allowed the opposition to impose themselves on us and we stopped doing the things that made us successful in the first-half,” he said.
“We tried to find the space on the pitch that we thought Oxford’s set-up would give us, and I thought we found the space in the right areas and we made the right passes.
“We went in-front of the goalkeeper early, we scored, we went in-front of the goalkeeper again just before half-time and Luke Norris’ chance is more difficult, there is a defender for him to try and beat as well.
“We had good chances to put the game out of sight and then in the second-half we stopped.
“I don’t think the players were able to continue to do what we did well in the first-half and Chris Maguire leaving more space at the back should be an opportunity for us to expose that space, but we didn’t.
“Mentally again, once the pressure starts to rise, too many people are unable to keep their concentration and be disciplined and they play too much in themselves.
“It looks to me like the mental side of the game is our biggest problem. We know that physically we’re often going to be outmuscled but we’ve got ways of dealing with that, providing the players stick to the game plan.”
Deadline Day signing Rohan Ince wasn’t involved today and Williams went on to explain that decision.
“With the amount of loans that we’ve got, it means leaving a different loan player out of the squad and I didn’t think any of the loanees deserved to come out of the squad,” he added.
“I also thought that it would unbalance the team if we took those players out because they are crucial to what we are trying to do.
“I just don’t think we matched Oxford in the middle of the pitch, particularly in the second-half.”
Finally, Williams had his say on the incident towards the end of the game, which saw Lawrence Vigouroux shown a straight red card following a foul on Kane Hemmings.
“I need to watch it back but it is very hard to see why it is a straight red. It looks like there is plenty of bodies there, it looks like Lloyd Jones is covering behind and I don’t think it is as obvious as a straight red,” he concluded.