Still blames poor first half for Shakers defeat

John Still
John Still

Hatters boss John Still felt his side paid the price for a poor first half performance against Bury on Tuesday night.

The visitors were behind early on as Tom Soares’ header broke the deadlock, and could have should have been out of sight by the interval with Hatters barely getting out of their half at times.

“But overall, for 90 minutes, not a performance I think that was good enough to win the game.”

John Still

Still said: “The first half was not good enough, nowhere near good enough. We never won individual battles, we didn’t play with any tempo, and fortunate I think to be 1-0 down.

“Second half, I thought we had equal share, the better chances and their keeper’s made two very, very good saves.

“But overall, for 90 minutes, not a performance I think that was good enough to win the game.

“We were two slow in the first half, whole situation was too slow, so we never really got into a position to mount our attacks as I lost count of the amount of times we’ve gone to clear a ball and been shut down.

“Second half was much better but you can’t play a game when you’re 1-0 down.”

Town skipper Steve McNulty was of the same opinion as his manager, but couldn’t put a finger on why Town were so slow out of the blocks.

He said: “We didn’t start too well in the first half. They got a foothold in the game for the first 25 minutes, half an hour and then we came into it a little bit more for the last part of the first half.

“I don’t think it’s anything to do with not trying or anything like that, sometimes things just don’t go for you and clearances are dropping to them.

“I thought we dominated the second half, their keeper has made two or three really good saves, so we’re disappointed not to get a point to be honest.

“They’re the home team and always going to put us under pressure. We’re more disappointed than anyone with our performance in the first half but well come back strong.”

It’s the fourth game running where Hatters have been off colour in the first period according to the boss and he will take steps to see exactly why that’s been a recurring theme.

Still said: “We haven’t performed in the first half and the funny thing is we didn’t perform in the first half at Wimbledon, we didn’t perform in the first half away to Mansfield.

“So what I’m going to do is I’m going to re-evaluate those games, see what we did, see how we did it, see if there was something we should have done that we didn’t do, or something I should have done that I didn’t do and when I do that, I might come up with an answer.

“Ill look at it, watch all the games on the DVD before we get back to training on Thursday and that might tell me a little bit of a story.

“If it does, we will be able to get take another step forward.”

However, McNulty didn’t feel there was an issue with the team’s preparation, adding: “One hundred per cent no. They don’t leave any stone unturned, that’s just down to players not being ready.

“They couldn’t give us any more information than they give us, it’s nothing to do with preparation or lack of preparation. We always prepare right home or away for every single game.”

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