Brewers skipper assesses a first home defeat since OctoberSkipper John Mousinho summed up the frustrations and disappointments of all those of a Burton Albion persuasion at the Pirelli Stadium in the wake of the surprise 1-0 home defeat to Newport County AFC when he came out to speak to the media after the game.
The experience midfielder has won promotion from League 2 before in his career and knows that there is no need to panic with twelve games left but admitted that coming on the back of Tuesday's defeat at Accrington Stanley, a result that ended a thirteen game unbeaten run, defeat to the Exiles was not what he expected and he pulled no punches in his summary of the game.
"This was a lot more disappointing that Tuesday to be honest." said John, "I was expecting us to bounce back strongly today after Accrington. Our home record has been exemplary up to now, conceding just one goal under the new manager so to give up that record with a whimper is really disappointing."
Had Adam McGurk scored when his shot came back off the inside of the left hand post in the first half it could have been so different but Mousinho admitted that the whole game was frustrating for fans and players alike.
"You can put it down to fine margins but in the end we werent good enough. I think you can sugar coat it around us hitting the post and a couple of goalmouth scrambles near the end but I look through the game and I think it was very frustrating for everyone involved. It was a real shame for the fans to watch that and we looked like a mid-table side looking to play the season out instead of a team with the bit between their teeth fighting it out at the top end of the table and scrapping for promotion, scrapping to improve everyone's lives."
"At the end of the day we didn't put the ball into the net, they [Newport] did and that is what wins you football games and they thoroughly deserved the victory I thought."
Many teams have come to the Pirelli this season aware of Albion's home form and 'parked the bus' challenging the Brewers to break them down but the skipper gave Newport credit for the way they approached the game whilst admitting that his own side had not been creative enough to win the game. With this game gone the team now need to focus on making sure things are put right at an improving Hartlepool next weekend.
"Newport came and played 4-4-2 which not many sides do. They didnt come to defend, I didnt think they came to be negative, I just think we didn't take the game by the scruff of the neck or get the ball down and play enough to create chances and that applies to the whole eleven, not just the midfielders or forwards because I think your play starts from the back. We didn't keep a clean sheet so as a back five we didn't do our job. It wasn't like the AFC Wimbledon game where they came to camp out and get a draw, I didn't see that from Newport today. We just weren't up to it today."
"Perhaps I am being a bit negative now but the the lads have done brilliant things this season and we are still three points ahead at the top of the league and six points clear of fourth place so there is a lot to positives to take forward but the best teams don't rest on their laurels. For the best teams, defeat hurts them and I think that going into next week, the best teams bounce back with a bit of anger, passion and ruthlessness. We are now focussed on next Saturday but that starts tonight with recovery from this game and then getting into training on Monday and making sure there are no more disappointments."
"We cant take away what the lads have done so far and the season that they have had expecially the runs that we have had at home. I think the lads that are in the team will be gutted and the lads that havent played will be thinking they can get into the team and make a difference. The lads in the team will be thinking they need to do more to stay in the side and we go again from Monday preparing for Hartlepool."
Mousinho praised the character in the squad and said that defeats often hurt successful teams more than others and that there was still plenty of spirit within the came, epitomised by several games recently when the side have come from behind to get results on the road.
"I have seen the characters that we have in that dressing room." he said, "The character we showed at Dagenham last week showed that. We were 1-0 down at York and Portsmouth and we keep coming back and fighting and that is another reason why you look at this game today and scratch your head as to where that performance came from. We have got enough talent and experience in that dressing room and enough hunger to really dig in and go again. Today hurts more because of the way we have been playing this season but there is no need to panic. Panic is when you are twelve points adrift at the bottom with three games left."
In situations like this players look to the captain for inspiration and John knows he will have a role in getting the team back on track next week.
"As skipper I will do my bit to get the lads going again next week. There is only so much you can do to a certain extent though, to be fair. I think Sir Clive Woodward said when asked how do you motivate players he said 'I dont, I pick motivated players' and that is massive. Players have to be motivated. If you cant be motivated at this stage of the season when you are three points ahead at the top of the league then you need to go home and do a different job. The prospect now of really doing something with the season and changing everyone's lives is massive and I thoroughly expect all of the lads in the squad to come in and be hungry and really mean it next week."