Robins frank in his assessment of Bournemouth defeat
Huddersfield Town Manager Mark Robins was frank in his assessment of the season-opening 4-0 defeat at the hands of AFC Bournemouth.
“We didn’t see that coming at all. It was the first game of the season, the expectation was there and our supporters were buoyant, but we conceded after 24 seconds and it killed it; it changed the mood.
“It was an absolute disgrace. We switched off and didn’t play with any idea. It looked like we hadn’t done anything all summer, or that we’d been wasting our time. That’s really disappointing to me, because we worked really hard over the summer to put something together and we believe in what we’re doing. I feel let down today.
“It is the manner in which we lost today that is most disappointing. We created very few chances. It was as poor a start as we could have had. Our season has to start on Tuesday night (at Chesterfield in the Capital One Cup), because it hasn’t started yet.
“It’s very early days. It’s not nice, but I have to stomach that and take the criticism. We’ll fight and move on, but that has to start on the pitch. We can’t turn down opportunities to win the ball back or mark people properly in our box. It was a non-performance from us.
“It’s a poor start to a new campaign. We have to learn from this and move on. We have to be better and we will be; there’s no doubt about that.”
Town’s players had some complaints about Callum Wilson’s challenge on Joel Lynch for the important second goal, but Robins made no excuses:
“You’d expect your centre half to go and clean the striker out, without a shadow of a doubt. You can moan all you want, but this is a physical game and you have to stand up to that element. We didn’t do that today.
“Bournemouth got onto our back three fairly easily and turned us with regularity. It was poor.”
“We spoke about how important the next goal would be at half-time and we made the change (Sean Scannell for Adam Hammill) to try and get some impetus. Initially it looked like it may have an effect. I didn’t want to change the defenders as that would restrict me from making other changes further forward.”
When questioned about his side’s defending, Robins explained he needs the players to stand up and be counted when the going gets tough:
“We have to learn. It’s not a possibility to change the entire defence, so the players have to learn and take responsibility.
“It’s all well and good playing well against Newcastle when there’s no pressure, but you have to do it now. It’s time to grow up, take responsibility and do better under pressure.
“The supporters are having a go at me, not the players. The supporters airing their frustration are just waiting to be entertained. I made a promise that we would try and entertain our fans.”
Town lined up in the 3-5-2 formation they have employed in pre-season and Mark believes it was the performance, not the system, which was the key today.
“The system didn’t work today, but it will work when players work their socks off and are prepared to put a shift in. Too many decided to take a day off from the defensive side of the game today. That needs looking at.
“I’m trying to be positive at home and get two strikers up, but maybe we can’t do that and we need to be a bit more solid. We’ve done it before – we played good attacking football at times in pre-season – but we didn’t cope today.
“In the end, the personnel decide games and that comes down to their willingness to work, not systems. A lot of teams will play 3-5-2 and we want to make that work, but the players dictate what we do in the end.”
Town – and Robins – must quickly regroup ahead of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup game at Chesterfield.
“There’s no point throwing the baby out of the bathwater on the back of one performance. We’ve been trying to build a style of play for 12 months. Today wasn’t good enough though, but we just need to be better at what we’re doing.
“I’m proud of the way we play at times, but we’re up and down and it’s difficult to fathom. I want to stop that, because I always want to do right by our supporters.”
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