Neil McDonald - Radio Cumbria Interview

Last updated : 23 January 2007 By Thetashkentterror

Neil McDonald
United boss Neil McDonald spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's Derek Lacey on Tuesday afternoon as he gave his thoughts on the 2-0 defeat at home to Crewe last Saturday. McDonald also commenting on the season how has panned out for the Blues so far and what it might bring :

" I thought we totally dominated the first-half, they hardly got out of their half and when they did they didn't really get behind us or get through us. They've had one lucky shot from 35 yards where he has just swung his leg at it and it has hit the crossbar, and that's all they had. We had a few chances, I think that Paul Murray had a shot which was going in which hit Karl (Hawley) and young Joe (Garner) was through. We've had plenty of free-kicks and corners against their couple of corners, we've had shots and chances compared to their chances, I was reading in one of the newspapers that they had two shots on target and that was the two goals.

" I hope it's not a scenario where we make half a mistake and we get punished again like we were, I thought we'd got rid of that. It's frustrating because I think when you are dominating teams so much you have to score to try and take the pressure off because if you don't then you are open to exactly what happened. It worries you, of course it does, but we're still in a great position, it's a little blip at home – we've got to say it's a little blip because our home form has been fantastic. Without repeating myself we all know that we have to do better away from home.

" The boys, after a defeat, always come in very positive afterwards, the training has been good and we are really looking forward to the game on Saturday. The team is full of experience – Kevin Gray, Ziggy Aranalde, (Paul) Thirlwell, (Chris) Lumsdon, Paul Murray and Karl Hawley so I've thrown a young kid in to play along with them because I know there is enough experience with him. I think Joe on the day was probably one of our better players which is excellent, it's just trying to find the right balance really.

" To say that we've brought another couple of young kids in, well that's just for competition, competition for places and for the future. If I bring another four or five in who are 30, 35 or 36 then what are we going to get out of them? It's just trying to find that right balance and in my opinion I think that we've got that right balance between the youth and experience. We'll have little blips at home and we've been playing some fine football away from home but we've not been getting the results. This is the league that we are in, we're in a higher league and it becomes frustrating for everybody.

" I think everybody is happy with the contribution of the side, the supporters are coming in to watch the home games, okay they get a little bit frustrated when things don't go according to plan. They get behind the players though, young Joe said the fans were fantastic on Saturday. So, whether it's the media that are trying to have a discussion or whether it's the unofficial website that is trying to come through and undermine what we are trying to do (I don't know). I think we're on the right tracks to tell you the truth. "

" Everybody is fit, it's been difficult over the last four to five or six weeks. We've had nowhere to train, our training ground is underwater and I'm a great believer in preparation and making sure that everything is right. We've suffered a little bit with that but we've tried to get through it, we've been training at different venues which sometimes upsets people because they've got to travel a little bit here and there. It's time consuming I suppose and the areas aren't as good as what would we like but the training this week has been really, really good. We had individual sessions as well as a team session and we're trying to break that up this week, hopefully the players will be nice and sharp as they have been over the season so far.

" Paul Murray is just a little bit stiff, when you have been out a long time then you have little doubts on whether or not your knee is 100% OK. He's a fully committed player, he's a 100% player and it was nice to have him back to be part of the team, unfortunately we didn't get he result that we wanted to. There were are a lot of positives to come out of the game though and we have to focus on the positives and not the negatives. It's disappointing to lose to teams below us because if we are going to be where we want to be then we have to beat those teams. Over the last two games we've lost against teams below us, we have to make sure that Saturday is not the third time.

" I don't think that transfers are for the lack of us trying, I think it's frustration on other clubs not getting back to us to commit and to be given a chance to speak to the player. Sometimes it doesn't boil down to us, we are trying to freshen things up and add the squad but sometimes it has been out of our hands. We'll still keep phoning away though, we'll still keep on being a pest, until we get the answer as yes then we'll keep on trying. We are working very, very hard behind the scenes and that is everybody working behind the scenes to make us stronger.

" I find it more frustrating more so as the higher you go up the harder it is to try and get in touch with the manager and get a response from the manager. You are asking them to give you a phone back and they don't give you a phone back, obviously they are very busy but I'm very busy as well and I always return my calls. You would like to think if they'd been at this level that we need a little bit of help, and we need a little bit of respect as well to return their phone calls. That is the most disappointing thing sometimes when I'm phoning Premiership clubs, the majority of Championship managers phone me back but Premiership managers don't.

" Everyone looks forward to the Saturday, of course they do, it's extra special for me when we play at home, but away from home we have a great following, we have a great set of supporters that go away. As I keep on saying, we haven't given them the smile on their face enough this season and we're trying very hard in the second-half of the season. We got a good result at Brighton and we'll be going all out on Saturday to try and win the game and try and bring back more points to put smiles on the travelling fans because they do travel a long way in huge numbers and we're very, very thankful of that. "