Southern dismayed at ‘schoolboy’ set-pieces
Experienced midfielder Keith Southern told htafc.com that Town could have taken a point from today’s poor performance against Birmingham was it not for ‘schoolboy’ defending at set-pieces.
The Terriers were far from their best against the Blues, but were level at 1-1 before centre back Kyle Bartley netted two second-half headers from set-piece situations.
“We never really got going,” Keith admitted to the Club's official website.
“We had a spell in the last 15 minutes of the first-half when we put some pressure on, but other than that it didn’t really happen for us. It was pretty poor all round, compounded again by two set-pieces that have ultimately cost us the game. Although we were pretty poor in normal play, it is two set-pieces that have cost us.
“Getting done at two set-pieces is pretty schoolboy stuff. We need to get back to the drawing board with them and work hard on the training ground ahead of the next game in two weeks’ time, because it is worrying how we are conceding goals at the minute.
“Birmingham came here on the back of a couple of poor results and people might have thought we just needed to turn up and win, but this league isn’t like that; it’s really tough. Birmingham have some good players and frustrated us by getting men behind the ball.
“You can’t always play pretty football and steamroller teams. You have to roll your sleeves up and dig a result out and we didn’t do that today for one reason or another.
“To be honest though, the game should have been 1-1. If we got a point on the board, everyone would have known it was a poor performance but moved on. The set-pieces have killed us, because if we had got the fundamentals right in both boxes we would have come away with a point to add to the tally.
“It was poor all round today. We didn’t give the fans much to shout about and you could sense the frustration about. We hold our hands up; today wasn’t good enough and we have to do better.”
Town were dealt a blow early in the game when skipper Peter Clarke had to go off with a knee problem, which meant Keith took over the Captain’s armband.
“It isn’t easy losing your Captain. I gave him a poor pass to be honest and he’s opened up his knee joint. Hopefully it won’t be too bad and he’ll be back after the international break. Those injuries happen in football.
“I’m one of the older, more experienced players in the squad and I took the armband, but it was disappointing to come off the pitch having lost in that fashion.”
Despite this setback, Keith is convinced that the Terriers will bounce back – but admitted they have to show more resilience when not at their best.
“There will be other games like this before the end of the season and we have to dig in and grind a result out. At the minute, we’ve not been good enough in both boxes. I’ve played in the last three games and in each we’ve found ourselves a goal behind. Although we turned it around against Leeds, it’s always difficult if you give the first goal away.
“There’s a hell of a long way to go and it’s a tight, tough league. Even QPR, who have spent millions of pounds, can’t win every game; that’s the nature of the Championship. The fans will have to bear with us, because the club is growing and developing in its second year in the Championship.”