Dodgy de­fend­ing Duff is left frus­trated after Burn­ley loss

Gloucestershire Echo - - FOOTBALL - Jon PALMER gloslives­[email protected]­plc.com

MICHAEL Duff is hop­ing his Chel­tenham Town side got their poor de­fend­ing out of their sys­tem against Burn­ley’s Un­der23s.

The Robins lost 3-2 at home to the side coached by Duff be­fore his move to Whad­don Road last sea­son.

Two tri­al­ists took ad­van­tage of sloppy de­fend­ing from set-pieces be­fore Luke Var­ney equalised twice be­fore half­time, then Bobby Thomas headed the win­ner from a free-kick in the sec­ond half.

Duff said: “I was dis­ap­pointed that ev­ery time the ball went in our box, one of them headed it, not us.

“They have had three shots on tar­get in the game, but you don’t ex­pect an acad­emy team to be phys­i­cally bet­ter than us in the box, which tells me it was just the men­tal­ity.

“Gen­er­ally we are pretty good at those sorts of things. We are a big team, with nine of our team over 6ft, but they wanted it more than us.

“There was a lit­tle bit of the lads tak­ing lib­er­ties be­cause they thought, “oh well it’s only an Un­der-23s team”, but they are not bad and they had a right go.

“The three goals have come from balls into our box. The league that we play in, we need to do that bet­ter.

“First half we moved the ball well and cre­ated numer­ous chances. In the sec­ond half be­cause we con­ceded an­other goal, a few looked “I am not quite so sure now”.

“It was dis­ap­point­ing, but ul­ti­mately no­body got in­jured which was the key. We looked quite fit, but there is lots to work on.

Duff added: “If you re­flect from this week to last week. If those balls had come into the box against Le­ices­ter City, I don’t think they would have scored the goals.

“Is it right? No. But it hap­pened and it’s a re­minder you need to be pre­pared to do the ugly stuff to win foot­ball matches, even in pre-sea­son against young play­ers.

“They wanted to go and head the

ball. Jimmy Dunne has been out on loan at Hearts, Sun­der­land and he won pro­mo­tion at Ac­cring­ton, so he un­der­stands it.

“Bobby Thomas, the lad next to him is 18, but he’s 6ft 4in and he wants to go and head it. They caused a lot of prob­lems.”

On the plus side were the per­for­mances of Var­ney and Sean Long at right wing-back, who linked up for the forst Chel­tenham goal and looked dan­ger­ous.

“Reg was a shining ex­am­ple. Do­ing ev­ery­thing right pays you back. Live your life right, train right and it pays you back. I’ve said it all along, since I came in,” said Duff.

“He took his goals well and could have had a cou­ple of oth­ers.

“Longy has done well, look­ing strong. It was a dif­fi­cult sea­son for him last year, but it gives us some­thing dif­fer­ent.

“We have Broomy (Ryan Broom), who can go out there as well. That gives you dif­fer­ent op­tions in wide ar­eas, de­pend­ing on op­po­si­tion, form and other things.

“Last year, Conor Thomas went out there, but the only real op­tion was Broomy.”

Thomas made his re­turn from in­jury but Reuben Reid, George Lloyd, Josh De­bayo and Chris Hussey all missed out.

Lloyd and Reid are def­i­nitely out of the open­ing game at Ley­ton Ori­ent, and will be miss­ing for a while - and Hussey will join them.

“Huss won’t be ready, just based on he’s not played any min­utes,” said Duff.

“Even if he’s fit, it’s been a nig­gling one.

“He’s trained for four or five days with the lads and he’s close, but he need min­utes.

“Josh we are hop­ing to be back in­volved but Lloydy (George Lloyd) won’t be ready for next week­end.“

Man­ager Michael Duff shows his frus­tra­tion Pic­tures: Thou­sand Word Me­dia

Burn­ley’s Bobby Thomas gets above Ro­han Ince

Luke Var­ney scores Chel­tenham’s first equaliser

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