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Graham Coughlan | “The performance wasn’t great, neither was the result..."

29 March 2024

Club News

Graham Coughlan | “The performance wasn’t great, neither was the result..."

29 March 2024

Manager Graham Coughlan admitted his side ‘weren’t good enough’ after they fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Colchester United on Good Friday.

The Exiles lead at half time after a cool finish from Offrande Zanzala punished a defensive mix-up three minutes before the interval.

However, the U’s levelled in the 75th minute when Ellis Iandolo scored from a corner before Jay Mingi turned home a winner in injury time to seal a vital win for the hosts.

“The performance wasn’t great, neither was the result,” said Coughlan.

“We looked at their bench before the game and that proved to be the match-winner. It was a strong bench and we don’t have that in this moment in time. 

“We’re missing too many players to be competitive. We’re not strong enough or we’re not good enough in this moment. We’re coming up short in games now and I think the season is catching up with us. 

“We’ve asked an awful lot from these group of lads and today a number of them played their 51st game of the season. That’s a big ask and you can see physically and mentally we look like a team that has played that amount of games.

“I don’t have the strength and depth to change the game like they did. The lady are giving their all like they have done since day one, and they are all hurting in there.

“We are young, naive and in-experienced, but we can’t stay competitive when we’re missing the amount of players we’re missing. We’re missing too many big, big players. 

“We’re missing six or seven starters who are in the physio room and that’s really hurting us. 

He added: “Hitting 50 to 51 games can be mentally and physical draining for players and we don’t have the changes. 

“It’s been a tough few weeks as well with three back-to-back away games. We’ve gone to Wimbledon, gone up to Barrow and now Colchester today. That has played a part in it as well.   

“Let’s not make any excuses we were not good today. We weren’t good enough to come out of here with the win. 

“I thought we were good enough to keep a clean sheet because there wasn’t much in the game but when they brought their subs on that was probably the changing of the game. That gave them the impetus and momentum.

“We didn’t hold the ball up and keep it well enough today. We were sloppy and very similar to last Saturday at Barrow away. We didn’t ask enough questions or we didn't create enough opportunities. 

“We’re all hurting at the moment and I’ve got to try and find a way to keep these lads going. We’ve got to try and get something out of our season between now and the end of the campaign.”


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