Shez - "worst performance of the season"

Last updated : 14 April 2007 By Dave Moore
John Sheridan (pictured) must be pulling his hair out after what he describes as the 'worst performance of the season'. The Latics put in a lack luster show that had the fans walking out well before the end of the game. Cheltenham were gifted two first half goals by a defence that was a complete shambles. The whole team need to take a look at themseleves. It appears that the ambition has gone and promotion is not wanted. Some of the players will obviously realise that they will be out of a job if the Latics do get promoted and I wonder if that's at the back of their minds and reflecting on the field of play. There's no excuses. The pitch was in the best condition for a while and they were again playing a team from the lower reaches. Sheridan needs to show the players a video of the away win at Nottingham Forest and should ask them to take a good look at themselves.

The manager told the official site after the game, "That was our worst display of the season, and I'm trying to think why it happened. I've not been happy with our performances since the first half at Leyton Orient, and I don't know why they're happening as everything is fine in training. For some reason we have no spark and we've found ourselves behind in a few games recently. We've come back a couple of times, too, but you can't do it every week and we deserved nothing today. Full credit to Cheltenham though. They did well to stop us but we've got to find a different solution when we come up against that. As for the goals. Well, a pub team would concede those kind of goals and they were a bit embarrassing, really."

"I could have said a lot of things and blown my top, but is there any point in doing that with three games remaining? I've told the lads in the dressing room that the most important thing now is we stick together. We're still sixth but we're making it difficult for ourselves. We'll have a better chance if stick together as players and as a management team. I'm more disappointed than anyone, and I don't like seeing us play like this. I don't mind losing, you can't win every game, but to lose in the way we did was very disappointing. For some reason they just look like different players. Training is spot on, everyone's nice and bright and enjoying themselves, but then we go out on a Saturday and don't perform. As I said previously, I've not been happy with our performances for a while. The only positive we can take is that we're still in that play-off zone. We have to stay positive."

A delighted Cheltenham Town manager John Ward summed up his sides performance and said, "The effort and the attitude of these players towards everything has been second to none and they have shown that again today. It was nice to win at Swansea on the first game but we're looking at three or four to play now and it was a big performance today. Everything I read in the home programme was that Oldham must win so it emphasised the importance of the game to them as well. So to win here was fantastic and that shows in the fact that I didn't make a substitution until stoppage time. The fitness levels were excellent, the attitude was first class and we played some good football as well. We always wanted another goal to settle things down but they changed their goalkeeper at half-time and Blayney pulled off two or three really good saves in the second half. Again we've given one of the top teams a real problem and we've got another chance to do that next week when Blackpool come to us. They will be a good side with good players but they will know they are coming to play a good side at Whaddon Road."

"Kay has 14 goals now in a higher league and he's got 27 I think in two seasons. That is a result of patience from everyone at the club. I've also got a group of young players who have not lost in 15 games at reserve team level and it's that patience which is giving them a chance to develop with us. My backroom staff are prepared to put in hours and hours with these players and they get real pleasure out of watching things like Kay's performance today. People say that as a manager and coach you set the mood but every now and again the players do that for me in the sense that they are enjoying the challenge."

"They are giving themselves this fighting chance, there is no edginess about them and there is also a massive determination but also a relaxation as well. We've got no little groups that break away anywhere and my subs were there welcoming the players off the field after the game. Andy Gallinagh and Sosthene Yao were there as well and all the injured players like Jamie Victory, Scott Brown and Ashley Vincent are at the training ground during the week giving their encouragement as well. In the background everyone is pulling in the same direction and there is a real togetherness that we've tried to develop over the last three years. I want to keep that going for another two or three years because I think that's important for our club."