Worst performance Duff hits out at Robins’ insipid display
CHELTENHAM Town manager Michael Duff labelled Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Colchester as the worst performance since he arrived at the club.
The Robins barely registered a shot on goal as efforts from Kane Vincentyoung, Frank Nouble and Abo Eisa, brother of ex-robin Mo, saw the playoff chasing U’s cruise home.
An unhappy Duff said: “It could have been more.
“That’s the worst performance since I’ve been here. It was insipid, we didn’t head it, didn’t pass it, didn’t do anything we asked them to do, it was so disappointing.”
The Robins got through the first 20 minutes with few alarms until Vincentyoung burst through some half-hearted challenges and scored the opener.
Duff said: “Goals change games. The first goal is always important when you come to a team trying to get in the playoffs.
“They will look at the goals as good ones, but I thought they were really poor. Nobody has made a tackle or blocked anybody off.
“It was one way traffic. We were dogged the first 15 or 20 minutes, but we need to be dogged for 90 minutes.
“We can’t keep conceding the goals we are. It’s not like we don’t do any work on it.
“People need to make better decisions. The most frustrating thing is that we didn’t try to pass the ball.
“We didn’t switch the play at all. Things we’ve worked on we didn’t do and if you don’t turn up physically and mentally, that’s what happens.
“People didn’t take responsibility. We knew what we needed to do, get it wide, and we didn’t do it once.
“It looked like we don’t do any work, which isn’t the case.
“That’s the most frustrating thing, when tactical and technical stuff goes out the window as we didn’t roll our sleeves up either.
“It was a comfortable 3-0 win and I think the keeper could have played with a cigar in his mouth.”
Duff has seen his side scrap their way to two crucial home wins over fellow strugglers Macclesfield and Yeovil but says he “cannot accept” a performance like he saw at the Jobserve Community Stadium.
He said: “Nobody fancied us and I don’t mind getting beatenbut I can’t accept that. There haven’t been many of them since I’ve been here so hopefully it is a one off..”
Duff was keen to focus on the bigger picture, with Cheltenham eight points
clear of 23rd-placed Macclesfield having played a game fewer than the Silkmen.
He said: “The players have been good since I’ve come in so I won’t start saying they are this and that.
“We know that wasn’t good enough. There is no argument about the result and we have to pick ourselves up because ultimately we are in a better position than when I arrived.
“We’ve let them know we are not very happy and they know that themselves and they’ve been told.
“We’ve not all of a sudden become a good team. We have got eight points clear but not with performances like that.”
The one plus point from the game was the return of Tyrone Barnett from injury as a second-half substitute.
Duff said: “I thought Tyrone did all right when he came on, winning every header as he does. We thought it was going to be four to six weeks, but it was two weeks yesterday he did it.
“That is a positive especially with Alex (Addai) going down the way he did.”
Addai has had a scan on his hamstring injury, suffered in the win over Yeovil and Duff said: “It doesn’t look great I’ll be honest, but until we get a professional opinion I don’t know how long he will be out - I thought Tyrone was going to be out for six weeks.”
The Robins face another long trip next week to Grimsby Town, and Duff said: “Players are always disappointed after a game, but when you see the real disappointment is with next week’s performance.
“That’s when you know if today has really hurt them or not.”
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