Simon Grayson believes his side lost too many individual battles as they fell to a 2-4 to Leeds in the first West Yorkshire derby of the season.
“I am very disappointed, we didn’t play well today,” said Simon. “In a derby you want to play well and impose yourself on the game and for 20 minutes we did that and got our goal.
“After we opened the scoring we seemed to sit back and stop doing the same things that had given us such a bright opening. Once they had equalised we stopped doing everything, we lost individual battles all over the pitch and as the game went on we didn’t have a spark up front.”
At 2-2 James Vaughan entered the fray to a fantastic reception and Simon is delighted that the on loan Norwich man is back in the match day squad.
“We knew that Alan (Lee) would only be able to give us about an hour because of the way that he plays and we knew that James Vaughan had about 30 minutes in him. He got a fantastic reception when he came on and he tried to give us a lift, but in the second-half we just didn’t play well enough. We lost too many individual battles and that has cost us, like it did on Tuesday night.”
Another player making a return to the Town First Team was midfielder Chris Atkinson who opened the scoring with a well taken goal.
“I put Chris in because I believed that he could affect the game and I like him as a player. His goal was one of our best passing moves of the game and a period of the game when we were passing and moving the ball well. He showed a lot of maturity in front of goal, but from then on we didn’t give him another chance to get forward because we didn’t keep possession. Leeds kept it better than us, which allowed them to break forward and attack.
“On today’s performance Leeds are a better team than us. We have got players who can be match winners and it is a long season. I have got a good group, but they have let themselves down over the last couple of games and that is disappointing. We need to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.”
Former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford wasn’t deemed fit for duty today and had to watch the game from the stands.
“Jermaine is making progress with his hamstring injury. James Vaughan has been out for a long time, but he is ready to be back in the match day squad as you saw today. He will be a little bit rusty, but it is nice to have him around and he will now get a full week’s training under his belt ready for Bolton.”
Also missing was Paul Dixon, but Simon explained that his decision to leave him out of the 18 was tactical: “He was unfortunate not to be in the team, but when we decided to play Joel Lynch at left-back it made more sense to pick Calum Woods on the bench because he can play on either side.”