Graham Coughlan | “We’ve got to be better..."

Manager Graham Coughlan offered an honest assessment after his side suffered a 4-0 defeat to Crawley Town on Easter Monday.

First half goals from Dion Conroy and Ronan Darcy, along with second half strikes from Laurence Maguire and Adam Campbell, were enough to hand the Red Devils all three points in South Wales. 

“I’ve been feeling flat for a two weeks but that was really poor,” said Coughlan post-match. 

“It was probably one of my worst days at the football club. It’s times like this where I look in the mirror and question myself why so many injuries and why have we fallen off the face of a cliff.

“At the end of the day it’s down to me, it’s my responsibility as manager of the football club. I’ve got to take the hits and take all the blame. It was not easy today. 

“We’ve got to be better. You can't conceded goals like we’ve been conceding. Yes, you can say we’re missing a number of players, leaders and your mainstays, but we can’t concede set-piece goals like we’ve been conceding.

“Deep down I was desperate too [make the play-offs]. There’s no point being in football if you’re not winning or you’re not achieving. I wanted to try and keep the pressure away from the lads, the expectation levels and everything that comes with it.

“Deep down though I always thought we’d come up short. Because of our depth, because of our numbers and we’ve asked those lads to play 52/53 games now. 

“It sounds like I’m making excuses but it’s tough. We should defend set-pieces better. We’ve got to be better in each and every department at the football club and I’ve got to look in the mirror and find answers.

"I thought we had a really strong first half, if i'm being honest. Despite the early goal we conceded, we created a number of chances and the ball just wouldn't go in the back of the net. If you take our chances it gives you a lift and we were just short of our finishing. 

He added: “I feel like I’ve let a lot of people down. I wanted to make the play-offs for this football club because the fans have been brilliant. They’ve been brilliant and so have the players. It’s a great dressing room and I feel for the lads.

“I can’t get away from the fact that this football club has come from being a relegation-threatened club when I walked through to door, to being disappointed that we haven’t finished the season off strongly and made the play-offs. 

“Irrespective of my disappointment, we have come a long, long way as a team.”

You can watch Graham Coughlan's full post-match conference here.