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James Rowberry: "We've got to defend better."

14 February 2022

Newport County chief James Rowberry stressed the importance of tightening up at the back after Saturday's 3-3 draw with Oldham at Rodney Parade.

Saturday was an all-action affair in South Wales with County being 1-0 and 2-1 up before Oldham turned the game around to 2-3 before Mickey Demetriou struck late on to earn County a share of the spoils with the Latics. 

County had 37 shots to Oldham's 14 at the weekend and the xG final score read 2.8 to 1.1 in Newport's favour, with Rowberry left to lament his side's defending in the draw.

"I'm disappointed. We didn't defend well enough today, that's the bottom line of it. We've conceded three goals at home, scored three, had however many shots on goal, but ultimately we haven't defended well enough today," Rowberry said.

"We've got to stop crosses better, we've got to defend balls in our box better, we've got to make sure that our clearances are spot on because (otherwise) teams will capitalise on it.

"I knew this would be a tough game. I knew it would be extremely, extremely hard. A John Sheridan team is extremely hard to play against and they proved that [Saturday].

"We have to look at ourselves that we've got to ensure that we defend better and possibly score more, but we've scored three goals today. I thought we controlled the game with the ball, but we didn't defend well enough as a collective. We have to do better.

"We conceded from a set play and that's not what we're about, we've got to do better at it and we will do better at it."

He was pleased however with his side's determination to get a point after being behind with eight minutes remaining.

"One thing I can say about the lads is that they don't give up, they've got that endeavour and spirit to keep going and going and going. In fairness to them, I can't fault them for that bit.

"I have faith and belief in the group we can do better, there is always room for improvement."


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