SATURDAY was a deeply disappointing all-round performance. We just never played from the start and for a local derby, it couldn’t have got any worse.
The sending-off of Matt Smith ensured it ended up as a real thrashing. But having said that, we should have been three or four down at half-time. So we can’t look upon that as a excuse.
Even when we went down to ten men, we should have made it more difficult for them. We were never going to win, but it was about damage limitation and getting men behind the ball and making it hard for them. We just lost all our discipline and they could have scored ten and Chris Kirkland had nothing to do in the game.
In terms of the sending-off, I thought it was harsh. It magnified our problems, but having said that we got murdered in the first half.
It was very hard to judge the two new boys, Jimmy Kebe and Cameron Stewart, who never got going or were in the game and it was a hangover from the Rochdale game, when they could have won by four or five goals as well.
I just didn’t think the formation worked and for me, Ross McCormack cannot play up front on his own.
It’s okay when you are playing well and seeing plenty of the ball and knocking it around, with one-twos and knocking the ball down the sides of defences. But we were knocking balls up in the air to Ross and the balls were coming down with snow on them! Ross was ploughing the loneliest of furrows.
In the midfield, we never got into the game and defensively, we were given a really hard time by their two strikers and Connor Wickham was a right handful. Give them credit, they played well, while for us it was just one of those games you want to forget.
It was probably worse than against the likes of Hereford and Histon.
Defensively, it just went wrong after the first goal. Everyone was just drawn to the ball and you knew the big left-back was going to score. You couldn’t say any player was tuned in all game and by the end, we were just following the ball all over the shop.
From right-back to outside-left, we got outplayed all the way through the team.
Looking back to the Rochdale game, the only player who played well was Paddy Kenny and you couldn’t even say that on Saturday when you concede six.
Brian had the players in yesterday and by his own admission, he said it was humiliating. I felt for him on the touchline and salt was rubbed in the wounds, when the fourth official put up the board for four minutes of injury time and then got the final goal to make it six.
It was just a day to forget and move on from.
Now we have an opportunity to face the league leaders in Leicester. I’m sure some will be saying: ‘Oh dear.’ But as Brian said, it might be better to face someone like that when something like Saturday has happened; it might focus us to get back on track.
We have got to get hold of the ball more in midfield areas and win the battle. It’s not just about challenges, but keeping possession of the ball. At the minute, we are struggling to get possession of it.
We aren’t doing the basics of the game. We are making ten or 15-yard passes and putting people in trouble with misplaced balls.
Towards the end of the game on Saturday, it was just a shambles with players running all over the shop and they were getting through us at will.
In terms of where it leaves us in the league, if you look at the table, we are still not that far away from the play-offs. I am sure Brian will still be looking to bring players in.
At this present time, we are in a group of teams who will be thinking they still have a chance of top-six. Although I know that’s an easy thing to say.
Something I have said before in this column is that performances catch up with you. For me, I don’t think we played as well as people thought we did when we were getting good results.
For example, we won 4-2 at Charlton. But we had four shots on goal and scored four. We have not had good enough possession of the ball for me.