John Ward - Radio Cumbria Interview

Last updated : 01 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror

John Ward
United boss John Ward spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's Derek Lacey on Monday morning ahead of the New Years Day game at home to Hartlepool, Ward discussing his team's poor performances in their last two away matches :

" I've suffered again because I have watched the video of the Bristol Rovers game just to make sure that I get my facts right when I'm talking to players about things. It doesn't make good viewing first time or second time, I've not enjoyed it either way. I had some positives coming back from Tranmere but the marking at corners was really disappointing in both games.

" I think that's something we've really got to tighten up, that's what we're actually doing this Monday morning, we are doing that with the staff already. We are looking at the reasons why those three corners, one against Tranmere and the two against Bristol Rovers were finding free players. That's something that we've got to make sure doesn't happen again.

" It's for me to say to people and to try to convince them that everything is OK, but that said the last two games have not really given me that encouragement to come out with that comment. What we've got to do is to make sure that if we do tighten up on our play all the way through, we've got two home games to come and they are absolutely vital now.

" We have not picked up anything on the road, I think we have only had four home games since November anyway so we've got to make sure that we make home advantage count. We've got to put in a better display than we have just seen over the Christmas period though, I'm really disappointed with those two.

" I think you're trying to help me out a little bit and be nice to me and the players by mentioning the travelling and I'm not going to take it. I'm not one that is going to stand here and make excuses and reasons why. There are reasons but there aren't any excuses and I think that is the situation. We haven't played well, that is the reason, there is no excuse for that either, we've got to better. What probably disappointed me more than anything was when the third goal had gone in at Bristol Rovers the shoulders did drop. "

" I saw that, the body language and everything, prior to that at least people were working hard around the pitch, and I think there were one or two then going through the motions to get that one out of the way. That's not really how I want my team to be performing so there has got to be some sorting out to do very quickly before the Hartlepool game. I'm not one to stand here and make excuses for it, it was a poor effort and a poor performance and it was one that we want to get rid of quickly.

" It would have been a bit tough on the lads on the bench to throw them in, they had been sat there and then to give them 15 or 20 minutes in a losing team because that's what the perception was. We were being beaten and we were going to be beaten, we weren't going to come back into that game at all, even a consolation. That's what I was disappointed with and sometimes you can let players off if you bring them off and get them out of there.

" I decided to leave them in there, it was a question of saying to them that they had got us in a bit of a mess so let's see what you can do about it. It was a learning curve for me in terms of players that I saw on the pitch so I'll just log that one and keep it in mind. So that if we do have another one like that, and hopefully we won't, but if we do then I'll know what to expect.

" They'll know by now and they'll know by the time we get Monday out of the way what I think about that game and what I think abut one or two individual things on it. So that'll be points made and then it really will be up to players then, whatever team selection I make for Hartlepool, to go out and show me that I am wrong or whatever they want to show me for. "

" They've got to improve their performance though, I'll take results, that's my job, I'm the manager of the football club and it's my responsibility. I think that it's not unfair of me to say players have got to be responsible for their performances and how they go about their job on the pitch. That game at Bristol Rovers wasn't acceptable on the pitch so we've got to look at the players, I've got to get a better result and they've got to get a better performance.

" We've been looking at players to bring in right the way through since I came into the club. There is a bit of licence to do that and obviously we have seen (Richard) Keogh come in, I like to do what I've done really which is bring players in and have a look at them. Joe (Anyinsah) was already here and he's a favourite, people would like to see him back, I know that. Richard Keogh has come in and done well and I think that people would be pleased if he was able to stay. So those two might not seem like new faces but if we got them in on a better basis then I'm sure people here would be happy.

" There are one or two other players though that we are trying to shift and trying to look at. If we don't make it on a permanent deal then there are loan areas that we can utilise coming after the window has closed, so there are lots of things in mind. The window opens on January 1st but the Football League offices are closed which is crazy. No-one can actually play on the 1st of January when there is a full league programme, the whole thing is rather silly.

" I think Hartlepool away was the game prior to me arriving at Carlisle United and everyone was in raptures about it, about what a wonderful game of football it was in that midweek and how well both teams did, what a terrific football match it was. So if we can get anywhere close to that, it's something that I want to get back to obviously because I know that we can play good football and we haven't really shown that just of late. So I want to get back to that and if Hartlepool can match up with that one then I hope that there is another good game here. "

" It wasn't the result at Bristol Rovers at such, I can take getting beat, you've got to do that as it's part and parcel of what happens in football but it's the manner in which way you do it. I've always maintained that if you are going to lose then the other team has either got to be a lot better than you or they have got to be lucky. On Saturday Bristol Rovers were better than us but not by a lot, we didn't do much about it and that's what niggled me and still does a little bit. So we've got to try hard to make sure that whatever happens against Hartlepool we lift the performance and we lift the spirits of everybody here.

" You are right looking at other football clubs and things, there are a lot of worse things go on and there are a lot of other clubs suffer. I'm grumbling about conceding off corners and I've just watched Match of the Day on Saturday and I see Manchester United lose two goals at set-plays and I see Arsenal lose a goal on a corner. It's a massive part of the game these days and it's something that you've got to get your concentration high on. So it doesn't make me feel any better, it's a little consolation that even the big boys struggle on those positions sometimes but hopefully it won't happen to us too often again.

" That news (the death of Phil O'Donnell) arrived on the coach for our boys going home and people think there that but for the grace of God that could be any footballer. Whoever it is, and whatever it is, football gets together on that, all our players are obviously very upset and I think that it just puts things into perspective as you are driving home thinking that you have just lost a game of football. We can get up and play again and the young man at Motherwell can't do that.

" To the supporters, stick with us, we'll try very, very hard to get it back for you. I know that there are a lot of people who have spent a lot of money and have travelled a lot of distances and miles to come and watch us in the last two games and we've not done it for you. Hopefully we can put that right with a couple of home fixtures and you can forgive us a little easier. "