Kavanagh blasts Cumbrians’ first half display

Jake Howells
Jake Howells

Carlisle United Graham Kavanagh criticised his side’s first half performance as they lost their opening day League Two clash against Luton Town at the weekend.

A big crowd of 6,760 were silenced by Mark Cullen’s first half strike and although they had the better of the second period, Town’s defence held firm.

Kavanagh told the club’s official website: “It’s really disappointing that we came away with nothing.

“The first half performance wasn’t anywhere near the level we expect.

“I’ve got to sit down and look at the DVD and ask the questions as to why that happened. Three at the back is a system we’ve used all the way through pre-season but we didn’t really have the bravery to get on the ball in this game and we didn’t expect to see that.

“The opening day of any season is always difficult because you’re expected to perform. Maybe that was a burden the players struggled with in the first half.”

The Cumbrians did improve after the interval with Billy Paynter denied by the post as Kavanagh added: “We put an extra man at the top end of the pitch in the second half and we looked far more effective.

“We just couldn’t give the fans a goal which is something I am really annoyed about, particularly when we’ve had 6,700 people through the gate.

“I had words at half time, asked a couple of questions, changed a few things round and I looked at the shape.

“With the number of chances we created after the break we probably should have scored. We didn’t, but we dust ourselves off and go again.

“The supporters were magnificent for us and I could feel the same level of frustration and disappointment from them as we had in the dug out. I did sense and smell a bit of fear in our lads in the first half and I was surprised by that.”