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Brown: I’ve just got to apologise for that performance

7 April 2023

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Head coach Scott Brown spoke to the media after his side fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Cambridge United on Good Friday.

The clash started in a nightmare fashion as Jack Lankester found the back of the net three minutes in to open the scoring for the hosts, with Sam Smith doubling their advantage from the spot after the break.

Substitute and debutant Junior Quitirna breathed a breath of fresh air into the Town side as he halved the deficit by powering a header past Dimitar Mitov with nine minutes to go, but it wasn’t quite enough to spark a comeback as the points would stay at the Abbey Stadium.

Here’s what the gaffer had to say after the game:

On the game as a whole…

“It was a disappointing start as after five minutes, we were one-nil down; it’s a mentality thing because we are safe, we don’t want to focus, do our jobs, and take responsibility which is a hard thing to take because the players have really started to express themselves.

“We’ve had three very disappointing performances away from home recently but, overall, they probably deserved the win as they wanted it more. I know they are in a relegation battle and we’re safe, but that still shouldn’t matter, we have to be bigger and better than that.

“Today, we were nowhere near good enough, not one person in that team will get passing marks and once Monday comes around, it’ll be a totally different team with a lot of changes. That’s judged on that performance there - there are plenty of players who want the chance to play.”

On Junior Quitirna’s debut…

“I’m delighted for Junior [Quitirna] coming on; it was a great header, he managed to take on the responsibility, and has a little bit of composure on the ball as well, but he needs to understand the level that he’s playing at.

“We’ve brought him over from Ireland and he’s been great around the place and has been fantastic in training as well. He deserved his opportunity; once he comes on, he’s probably the only one who gave anything today and that’s huge for him.

“He’s got a lovely left foot, is composed on the ball, and wants to score goals which you could see today. He just needs to up his level of understanding - he can’t run past three or four people at a time and he just needs to make sure that he keeps the ball before giving it off to a teammate.”

On the penalty decision and the performances…

“We’ve watched it back and I think that’s probably one of the worst refereeing performances in a long time. They are about 10 yards away from it and how they think that’s a penalty is incredible. The lads dived, which is fair play if he gets it, but I think the decision-making needs to be better.

“It affected the rest of the game, but it’s not about that, it’s about how we started. We can say the referee didn’t help us, but it’s more about our overall performance – I’ve just got to apologise for that performance as it was nowhere near what the fans deserved.

“The lads know how we want to play, and they didn’t do that today. We were in a good place last week after a good performance, but we’ve gone sloppy again, so we need to work on being more consistent – I want a better response from my team on Monday.”

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