Martin Allen believes that this afternoon’s 4-3 defeat to Yeovil Town is a reminder of the principles needed to hold on to leads and win games.
Speaking after the match, Martin said:
“It was a crazy game for sure today.
“The wind was horrendous, and I thought we played really well to get through the early stages of the match.
“In the second part of the first half, up until half time, I thought that we did really well too.
“But the second half was a very open game.
“Having sat for five minutes and had a chat with the senior players and the staff, you’d probably say that we would have changed our team at 3-1 up on a different day.
“We’d have put Bondz N’Gala on as an extra centre-back, and used Sam Muggleton because of the wind.
“You could call it ‘park the bus’, which is what we’re so good at.
“But today we kept two up front, one in behind the front two, and we played a very open game.
“We tried to win it and score more goals – I suppose that’s a good lesson for all of us, and reinforces the messages, values and principles that we’ve put in place.
“When you get ahead you’ve got to win the game; you’ve got to do what you can to win it, even if it might not always look the best.
“That’s what we’ve done over the last two years here – when you’re winning 3-1 you’ve got to change it and block them out.
“This afternoon we could have scored, they could have scored, we could have scored…. It was like a kids football game on a Sunday morning!
“Overall I think the players did well though, even if a few individual errors cost us dearly.
“I think this afternoon was the first time that we’ve conceded from a corner in God knows how long.
“I suppose this is probably the day to do it, rather than when it’s really going to matter.
“We played a much more open, expansive, attacking style of football today.
“As we saw with the Hartlepool game that makes you open to conceding goals.
“All these things remind us of what has got us in this position and what has got us on this run – being hard to beat and being difficult to break down.
“If we’ve got to defend our goal for 25 minutes when we’re 3-1 up and put another centre back on, then so be it.
“That’s what has got us the points that we’ve got, since that shocking performance against Newport County in the FA Cup.
“This just reinforces the messages and what we’ve done over the previous few months.”
“This afternoon was like a game of schoolboy football – you try and score, we’ll try and score.
“I think most people know that my teams don’t normally play like that.
“When we get those 3-1 leads, we shut up shop.”
“Some people would be critical of that style of play, but then you look at the points that we’ve got.
“The one real disappointment today is that we didn’t top 60 points.
“That’s what we were aiming for, and the focus for our players is to beat 60.
“Now the team that goes out and plays Crawley next week will be a strong team and a full-on team.
“If we’d won today then I’d probably have given out a few debuts on Saturday, but my mind-set is different now.
“We’ll play a full team – I want to win down there at Crawley and the young boys will have to wait.”