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Interviews - Simon Haworth's reaction to a frustrating afternoon in Radcliffe
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Author: Taran Dhamrait - Sun 21 Nov 21

Unfortunately, Simon Haworth’s post-match interview from the weekend’s game at Radcliffe in video form is unavailable but can be read below.

On the opening 15 minutes…

“It’s massively frustrating. For the first 10 or 15 minutes we were terrible, probably as bad as we have been all season and they score two goals from it.

“We didn’t defend the set pieces; we weren’t alive and we’ve gotten into a bad habit of letting a couple of goals in in quick succession which we talk about all the time yet it’s happened again so it’s disappointing.

“I said to the lads I don’t want to see that ever again, it was awful. It was weak, there was no leadership or strength shown, we just let them score two easy goals because they put it on us a little bit and like I’ve said, we’ve built a bad habit of letting goals in in quick succession.

“Defensively, we’ve come off it. We defended very well early in the season but the last four or five games we’re letting too many goals in. Maybe we have to change it up and bring somebody in or give someone a chance in that back four.

“We weren’t brave enough to go and head the set pieces clear, we made it too easy for them and they are two soft goals. They nearly got another after that which would have been even worse but once we got a grip of the game, we were far better. We do work on our defensive side but I think at this level of football, you get one thing right and then something else goes wrong. Earlier in the season, we were defending well but not scoring and now we much look better going forward but making some individual errors at the back.”

On a good response…

“The following half an hour of the first half we were outstanding and as good as we have been for a long time. We’re guilty of not scoring enough. We’ve scored one but missed some real good chances. But then for the second half, we’re confident going down the slope with the wind behind us that we’d cause them problems and get back into the game and whilst we’ve dominated possession, we didn’t create enough in the second half and with the set pieces we had, we didn’t do enough with them compared to what they did to us in the first half.

“Credit for us to come back but we should come back after that first 15 minutes, we owe it to ourselves. Did we do it, yes and we did it really well, but I am disappointed with the second half.”

On what Celtic missed…

“I think the whole game we were missing our target man, hopefully this week we have good news of one coming in that we can play off. Second half, we didn’t get to the tempo of the second half of the first 45.

“I was confident that we would get level and maybe go on and win it but we didn’t and we let them off the hook.

“The game kind of fizzled out without us creating too many clear cut chances. Charley’s had a chance which they’ve scrambled off the line which would have given us half an hour to go and win it but it didn’t and you know what it’s like, the longer it goes on, they kill time and it got away from us.

“We’ve had a clear-cut penalty not given, the boy has punched the ball clear which is an absolute shocker but that’s the way it goes.

“Josh Dawodu has got a little knock so we missed him and his delivery, but we did more than enough in that game to have got an equaliser and a draw. My concern is that we’re not getting enough goals from the chances that we’re creating, that may be because we are missing a target man but hopefully for Farsley we will have that in place.”

On Adam O’Reilly and Hayden Campbell…

“I thought Adam was excellent and I think he is a fantastic little player. We saw that in the first half, he’s hit the cross bar, he’s everywhere and he’s done an unbelievable cross for the goal. He ran the show and was the best player on the pitch in the first half. He tired a bit second half, but he needs football.

“Someone said to me why have we brought Adam in and that we need a nine; Adam is a different class and if you get the chance to bring in a player that is better than the level, he’s probably leagues above this level, you can see that from the first half, he’s come into a team and been our best player so you don’t turn that down.

“Hayden has a goal in him, we’re trying to get him to maybe work a bit harder and be a bit more physically strong, but he needs to come here and do that to develop. He has a bit of quality in him and now has two in two for us.”

On signing a striker…

“It blows my mind to think that people think we’re just sitting here with Marcus gone and that we don’t want to replace him. We’re spending an awful lot of time trying to bring one in. They need to be good enough, need to make a difference, be for the right money and be available. It’s not for the want of trying, it really isn’t. We’re aware that we need a nine and we really are trying to get one. I’m really hopeful that we’ve got one in for next week.

“The system suits playing with a nine, but every team needs one. They’ve had Bobby Grant, Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro who are two ex-league players who are a real handful and the boy on loan from Accrington was good.

“They made the ball stick and they made it difficult for our defenders. We need someone for Jake, Justin, Hayden and Bakkor to play off which is important for us. Marcus was doing that but it’s not easy to go and find someone, if you sign someone blind and they come in and aren’t good enough, you’re back to square one so we are just trying to get one good enough.

“We knew we kind of had to suck it up for a couple of games, we got away with it at Bootle but maybe we’ve not got away with it today. In fairness, the attackers are probably not the reason we’ve not got the result today, we were just defensively poor. We always criticise the attackers but our defensive side of things hasn’t been good enough for the last few games.”

On next week in the FA Trophy…

“Next week is a big game, we have nothing to lose. They are the league above but we’ll go and give it a go. That 30 minutes today, if we play like that we beat anybody in our league and the league above but it’s just not sustainable as we’re leaking goals at the other end. We’ll work hard on that this week, hopefully we bring a striker in, and we can go on from there.

“We’ll keep going, we’re not miles away from what we’re doing, we’re still a good team and have been on a good run. Hopefully a striker can come in, give everyone a lift and some confidence. I’m sure Adam will do that from what I’ve seen today. We’ve got a good squad but maybe we need to bring Shane in and give him a go with his defensive experience in there.”

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