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Gifting simple goals

8 September 2018

Harry Kewell bemoaned the mistakes his side made during Notts County's 5-1 defeat at Exeter City on Saturday.

Goals from Pierce Sweeney and Jayden Stockley had put the hosts 2-0 up before Enzio Boldewijn’s stunner reduced the deficit to one by the break.

But, shortly after half-time, Sweeney added a second from the penalty spot and Kewell feels each of those three goals should have been prevented.

“They were all giveaways,” he said. “I asked the players, how do you win games if you gift simple goals to the other team?

“The first came from a set piece that we should have been able to defend, the next was courtesy of a mistake that we didn’t recover from and the third was another caused by not coping with a dead ball.

“It’s frustrating because in open play Exeter didn’t trouble us and we had chances in the first half to take the lead.”

With Notts chasing the game, the hosts extended their lead with Stockley netting another and Aaron Martin completing the scoring, but Kewell says his side had little option than to pour forward.

He explained: “When you’re 3-1 down you don’t just sit back with six defenders on the pitch trying to contain the opposition.

“We had to take more risks and attempt to get ourselves back in the game because everybody in this squad wants to win matches.

“When the third goal went in, it took the wind out of our sails and then we had to chase it a little more and that means you leave gaps.”

278 Notts fans made the long trip to St James Park and the manager was grateful to the supporters in attendance.

“I want to thank them for coming because Exeter is not just around the corner,” Kewell added.

“I love it when you have a good away following and I’m just disappointed that we didn’t put on a better performance for them.

“I want to reassure the fans that we are going to improve. The style of play and fitness levels needed are in transition so we need them to be patient.”


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