John Ward On Another Away Defeat

Last updated : 29 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror

John Ward
United boss John Ward spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's Derek Lacey tonight as he talked about the 2-0 defeat at Oldham Athletic earlier this evening, Ward trying to understand why Carlisle have now lost five away league games on the bounce :

" Disappointing is an understatement, I thought that it was pretty woeful to be fair. I'm really upset and disappointed with the performance tonight, right the way through the game we were second best and the better team has won the game, we are probably fortunate that it was only 2-0. We haven't threatened a goal too often, we probably did a little bit better in the first five or ten minutes of the second-half when we made the changes but the whole evening has been a wasted opportunity, and a pretty awful performance from everybody.

" They (the players) know that themselves of course, you can say it as many times as you want, it doesn't get any better. We've said it once and we get back together on Thursday and we have to respond better than that. It's just a really inept effort, when we've lost on Friday at Cheltenham we got some solace in the fact that we've had a really vibrant second-half. We've threatened goals, we've got forward, we've looked better, we've played some football and we looked the better side in that second-half.

" Tonight though we just haven't done it at all at any particular period during the game. That's what is worrying, that's what is concerning and if there is any sort of silver lining about being fifth then it is hard to look for that and hard to find it. It's hard to be encouraged by that because the performance doesn't let you do that. We are in fifth place and I guess that means the first 20-odd games have been OK but we've slipped in recent weeks and it's something that we've got to prevent happening again, we've got to work better than this on Saturday.

" It was a hard night for the defence but we have given the ball away both times for both their goals. We have not cleared our lines, there are simple defending techniques required when you've got the ball at your feet, and you don't want to be passing it short and giving it away in your own half. That's what we have done, dwelling on the ball as defenders, that was summed up throughout the game really. We got caught in possession, we were the slowest team and however I want to look at it I can't find things where I can stand here and praise and defend. "

" It was a poor effort, tonight I'm a poor manager in charge of a poor team and that's how it is. I'm not going to kid people, there are people stood at the back of that goal trying very hard to support their team through thick and thin. Even I was finding it difficult to support the team at times, and I should be, but they were still at it.

" They have paid good money to come down here and deserve a bit better than we have shown them tonight. I'm really disappointed on all sides of that that we are better than that, because we have been better than that and we've got to be better than that immediately and not wait for anything. We've got to be better than that on Saturday and I'll do my best and I'm sure the players will do their best to do that.

" We had four defeats in the previous games and we wanted to be more solid, let's be tighter, let's get forward when we can, let's not give the ball away. We tried to do that, but again, when defenders are getting caught in possession in deep positions then I don't think it matters what you shape you have got. We changed the shape in the second-half and we still did those things, it's little or nothing to do with shape, it's more to do with the responsibility of people making decisions, and we got those incorrect at times tonight.

" Maybe it has become a mental thing away from home, looking at them tonight there was a lethargy tonight about the side. There was no bright play about them and yet I can look at certainly the second-half at Cheltenham on Friday and there were all those decent things about them. The answer is a really difficult one to find, if I knew it I would tell you and you wouldn't be asking the question again. The only thing we can do is say that it has happened, we've been awful, I've told you what we've been. "

" We've got to work hard to try to get the home result right because that's where we play next time. When we travel away, and I'm not even sure who the next game is at the moment, but when we travel away we've got to rid ourselves, if there is a fear or whatever you want to call it, we've got to rid ourselves of it there and then. "

" I never shirk it, it is my responsibility, I've picked that team, I've prepared it, and they've played pretty disappointingly. Having said that I do say to the guys that they have to be responsible for their own performances, I think that's more than fair with me. I certainly don't shy away from my responsibility though, I've told what you I think and I've told the players what I think too. If it doesn't get better then people are going to grumble at me, I accept that and understand that, so for everybody's sake, particularly mine, we've got to get better.

" Being in fifth doesn't tell the story of recent times, from Christmas onwards and the last five games away from home we haven't won and we haven't scored a goal. That is always going to be a sticking point and a picking point for people that wish to criticise, and I can't grumble about that because that it is a fact.

" We've got to alter that fact, we can't do it on Saturday in terms of the away form, but, at home, when we have the bulk of our supporters there we need to impress, and we need to play well and we need to win the game if we can. It's a tough one because Walsall are up there with us, they have gone something like eighteen games or so without defeat. There is no easy football in this league so we've got to prepare ourselves and be strong enough to deal with it.

" He (Cleveland Taylor) is the player that we have been after for quite some time as you well know, again I've been pretty open with that about it all the way through. We're exceptionally close to doing that, I'll speak to Cleveland's representatives tomorrow and we're very hopeful that we'll get things done. That's if he still wants to sign for us after watching that tonight.

" I've spoken to his agent this afternoon as I was coming down to the game and we've decided that we'll pick it up tomorrow because it wasn't really an appropriate time. There are no major hiccups I don't think in terms of getting it done, I'm very hopeful that we'll be able to tell you tomorrow that it's done. Kevin Gall is a month loan and Darlington and ourselves and Kevin will look at that at the end of the month to see whether we extend that or not. "

The interview then went into an e-mail and text session between supporters, the studio and John Ward, the people concerned being Derek Lacey (DL), James Phillips (JP) and John Ward (JW), although the second answer did not require the question to make sense.

1. DL - There is news coming from the Bristol City end that they have offered (Richard) Keogh and money for Joe Garner, is there any truth in that rumour?

JW - "They haven't done that no, they haven't offered Keogh and money for Joe Garner"

DL - There is no truth in Bristol City approaching you for Joe Garner?

JW - "They haven't done what you have said they have done no."

DL - So reading in between the lines there might be some offer for Joe on the table?

JW - "They haven't done what they said they have done."

2. JW - "The performance actually was different tonight to the one at Cheltenham Town and I think that is the key to it. If we could replicate that performance tonight then we would have had a better chance of winning the game. We didn't though, we replicated the one at Bristol Rovers and that is not acceptable. I'm not defending anything but the performance itself was different, and it was a poor one tonight compared with a better one on the Friday."

3. JP - 870 fans tonight, total waste of money, doesn't get any worse than that, the players were a disgrace to Cumbria, seen 11 away games, travelled thousands of miles for this club, seen one win and one goal, what more can we say, rubbish.

JW - "Fine, I've got no answer to that, it's not a question is it, it's a statement from him. I've told you what I think and I haven't used the same words as he has but I've already said that the support was terrific. They have tried very hard to keep the team going when I found it hard to keep the team going, because it was a disappointing and frustrating performance. I thank those supporters, they have put up with a lot tonight particularly, because the performance wasn't there for them. I can only apologise for that and we'll try harder next time."

4. JP - Been awful the last five away games, how many more games do you need John Ward?

JW - "To do what?"

JP - I guess to get this away form right is what he is saying.

JW - "Oh right, well I don't know the answer to that, I'm hoping it's going to be the next one don't I. We are going to work very hard to try to make that the next one. As we talked on Friday we tried to make it this one but the performance didn't come. So again, we have to improve, I'm just repeating things that I've said before. We've got to be better than we were tonight, and it's my job and my responsibility as the manager to make sure that the players do that."