John Ward On The Hartlepool Win

Last updated : 01 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror

John Ward
United boss John Ward spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's Derek Lacey this afternoon as he talked about the see-saw 4-2 home victory over Hartlepool earlier today, Ward suggesting that his side has done well to come back with a win after two disappointing away defeats on the bounce :

" They (Hartlepool) are a good side, that's why they made it tough for us. I'm under no illusions about the levels of this league, there are some good sides in it. Not long ago my old club Cheltenham beat Leeds 1-0 so it can happen all ways through this division, and in all leagues as well. It's not that you are going to win because you are playing Hartlepool at Carlisle, you have to work very, very hard to do that.

" After the two results that we have had away from home which have really disappointed us you know then that there is a check on people's moral fibre out there and myself and my players out there. We've come through it, we've come through a tough fixture against a good side with four goals and an afternoon of ding-dong football, but hopefully everyone has gone home happy from the Carlisle end.

" It's English football, 46 games over a season, as I keep saying I'm learning a lot about working in Cumbria let alone working in this level of football. They tell me that it is not going to stop raining until March so I'd better get used to it. It's football though that provides excitement for people, life is full of mistakes, it's what you do with them and deal with them and how you deal with them later when they have happened to you.

" Today we have gone a goal down in the first-half during our best spell after having a wobbly start. We came back into the game and then suddenly two and a half minutes into the second period we have come out full of everything and suddenly there is another test of character. People use that word a little bit blandly at times but I think that the strength of the team, I used the phrase at half-time that we have got to rattle and battle first and then we can play. We've come through with the correct result, a lot of questions have been asked along the way and we have come out on top at the end, which is good.

" There was a guy behind me who wanted Jeff Smith to come on so it wasn't down to me, there were two or three people shouting at the back that they wanted some changes. Then when I did it they told me I had got it wrong, that's part and parcel of the game though isn't it. We've all been questioned, me in particular because I am the manager, I keep telling you that I am responsible for the results and that's how it is and I'm fine with that. "

" Generally when you get beaten it is questions of me, when you have done well it is well done to the players, that's life. I have been there long enough to deal with it and if you get the correct things, or at the end of the football match you have got yourself the victory then that generally is the be-all and end-all. You want to play well and win but 46 games in an English football league season doesn't always conjure that up for you.

" It was important to get the three points today, the last two games have been really upsetting and I said on Saturday that I didn't realise that we could play that badly. We had a long session yesterday with the lads and I have got a very honest group of people and I've tried to be very honest with them. I make decisions that I'll get right or wrong. Let me tell you this, Danny Graham has played well today and I have made the change just to try to do something to unsettle the Hartlepool team.

" Sometimes it's not always your so-called worst player or lad having a difficult time that you change. We switched both flanks as well, Jeff Smith has come on and Simon (Hackney) has come on to the right, and both those guys have found a goal as well. So it was a question of switching other things and not just the front side of it, fine, there is a real good chance that Danny Graham will start in the line-up on Saturday and if he puts in a similar performance then I'll be really pleased.

" He might get through his 90 minutes and find his goal which is what he and I would both like to happen so it's just making those tough decisions both for myself and for my players. When it comes out OK we are happy, I'll get plenty wrong don't worry about it, you'll be able to moan and groan at me as time goes on but we are pleased today.

" I thought that Paul (Thirlwell) struggled in the game on Saturday as a few did, one or two of them were probably lucky to keep their places today. As I said to you on Saturday though, I'm going to have to need some of these guys, I don't castigate my players generally individually but Paul found it tough on Saturday I felt. (Chris) Lumsdon and (Marc) Bridge-Wilkinson have been the stalwarts if you like of the recent run. "

" I tried to pick the side as close to the Leyton Orient team or set-up as possible because that was the one I wanted them to remember. It was a powerful performance and the only real changes there were (Danny) Carlton on the right for (Joe) Anyinsah who was here and obviously Danny Graham at the front. That should just say that that is what I stick with, that's what I believe in so go and try to do it again. So it was really a question of that more than anything else, Jeff (Smith) was on the bench so I couldn't find a place for Paul.

" I'm still getting phone calls in on players, people are so busy at the moment. I would like to bring Joe (Anyinsah) back in though, you are aware of that, so are Preston North End, I'm trying to extend the loan for Richard Keogh as well so I'm trying to do that. We're trying to get those things done and it remains to be seen if it is possible to do it.

" I spoke to Gary Johnson yesterday and I asked if we could extend the loan of Richard Keogh while we do something to get Richard here on a permanent basis. I think that it's something that we'd like to do and something that Bristol City would do, it's just a question of getting an agreement with that. So hopefully Gary will extend the loan until we can get that done.

" Port Vale will seem like our game in hand because there are only a couple of games in our league on Saturday but I'm just pleased that we've come back after today. Every time you have a dodgy couple of results the questions are there and quite rightly so, I'm not worried about that. It's what you do next though and I do keep putting that to my players, they keep getting these things thrown at them repeatedly by me.

" They have come through today and if we can show that same attitude and approach to Saturday's game then if we do get a bit of an extra game in hand then we can take advantage of that. It's here, the supporters want us to do well, I know that and they have applauded the team off at the end. Let's hope that they can applaud them on on Saturday and again at the end after that one, fingers crossed we can do it again. "