Manager's thoughts on last night's defeat
Having seen his side go down 4-0 at Vale Park last night, manager Mark McGhee was a disappointed man when he faced the press.
“I think the first thing I look at is the shape we started with and see if that had any bearing on the fact that we went 3-0 down, and my feeling is that it didn’t.
“We discussed that with the players in the dressing room and the view among the more senior players is that it didn’t but, ultimately we played with too few players who were really flat out.
“I think that Jim Paterson, Danny Woodards and Tom Parkes were fine, Matt Lund was fantastic and I thought Matt Gill went on and did quite well and young Alefe Santos did really, really, well given the circumstances when he went on.
“I don’t think anyone else did that well and that was hugely disappointing and that, more than anything, contributed to us going 3-0 down.”
He was referring to the all round performance of his side.
“The goals were only the manifestation of the rest of the performance. We didn’t keep the ball up front, the two boys up front didn’t work as hard as we wanted them to do and needed them to, both in terms of attacking and defending, and that caused problems for the three boys in midfield.
“We didn’t defend well enough for the first goal and their lad got in between Seanan Clucas and Michael Smith too easily and it was disappointing the way we allowed them to get behind us so comfortably and so easily, and most of the performances weren’t good enough.
“I still feel the players that started could have done better. We probably had six clear cut goalscoring chances and we didn’t produce a goal, which is another disappointment.
“We have some good finishers in the side and we see it every day in training but when it comes to a game like this they can’t convert those chances and that’s a worry.”
In his post match interview the manager expressed the fear that Tom Parkes had suffered a fractured ankle. He, along with the rest of the team travelled to hospital after the match to collect physio Phil Kite, who had accompanied the defender to hospital, for the return journey home. However an x ray revealed a very badly sprained ankle and Parkes was able to travel back to Bristol on the team coach.
The manager also confirmed that Neil Etheridge will be missing for the next two games as he flies out today to join up with the Philipinne national squad.
"Initially we didn't think he was not going to play in this tournament, but I think he has had so much pressure to go from his national team and influence, sensible influence, from people around him and to be honest I think he's entitled to go. As a player I would want to go and we have wished him well and hope that he does well for his country."