Second half performance let everybody down
Micky Adams couldn’t hide his disappointment following Saturday’s defeat at Boundary Park, especially with the second half performance after Vale looked to be in a strong position at the break.
He said: “The key moments that stand out for me were the missed penalty and a penalty appeal that I have just seen that was a clear hand ball at 2-1 down, so the key decisions didn’t go our way.
“I thought we started slowly, went behind, had a response and could have been three-one up at half time really, Popey had a great chance.
“I asked for the same again for the second half, a quick-tempo game and I couldn’t see us losing it to be honest, but we switched off, didn’t hold the ball up in the attacking third.
“We didn’t get hold of it enough, one clearance caught us out and we were two-one down and chasing the game again.
“What is disappointing is we are missing people away from home at the moment, they are not there. Certain personnel are not coming to the fore, and some of them are big players.
“We need to look at that and analyse that and get them back to somewhere near their form that we know they can produce.
“There are all sorts of reasons for that – lack of confidence, carrying a knock, things that we daren’t even dream about, things that happen behind closed doors, but we will get to the bottom of it.
“When I talk about players being missing, I am talking about the performances, I am talking about big players that were there for us last season not performing for us at the moment, so we are disappointed.
“We are having to create chances because we can’t keep a clean sheet. We are going to have to score two, three or four goals to win a game of football, the way that we are defending at times.
“We make some strange decisions. We are in the defensive third of the pitch and we want to play our way out of trouble, where the simple thing is to clear our lines and put the ball in their half of the pitch.
“Whether that is long-ball or not I don’t know, but that’s the key decision that an individual has to make, and if they make the wrong decision, it puts us on the back foot and teams like you have seen can keep the ball and create chances against you, so we are struggling at the minute in terms of the way we are defending.
“We always look like we have got a lack of concentration at times and you can’t allow it to. We are creating chances but we aren’t sticking the ball in the back of the net like we were last season, but we will work hard at it and we will be back.”