Gary Owers showed disappointment in some of United play after the final whistle on Tuesday night, but commended the spirit that saw them fight back to earn a 1-1 draw against Gateahead at Plainmoor.
“Frustrating evening,” said Owers. “We dominated the game in terms of possession, but lacked any real quality unfortunately, in the final third.”
Jamie Reid had a goal chalked off for offside before Gateshead scored in the 28th minute.
“It looked onside but can’t start talking about referees. There is plenty that he got wrong, and he got one or two things right as well so, they’re just part of the game now.”
United had most of their best play in the first half but couldn’t find a goal to show for their dominance.
“It is a kick in the ‘you know whats’ because we’re stood there watching wave after wave of attacks and they score with their first shot. It’s not the first time I have said that this season. It’s a goal that we shouldn’t concede. They leave one up against three centre-halves, he takes the ball in, turns and obviously they counter attack on us, but it’s frustrating.”
The Gaffer can’t ignore what Sean McGinty’s 90th minute equalizer meant to his team.
“I will say, that you go into the closing stages of the game and we’ve got nothing, and they kept going. The lads are trying – it’s a horrible night, in the end we’ve salvaged a point. If you score in the 90th minute, it’s a point gained – we had nothing at half-time. Like I say, lots of possession – dominated the play – and it’s really frustrating to watch. The final ball hitting the first man or not getting off the ground, or not delivering at the right time, or taking shots on when you’re not in the right position to take shots – it’s all that. We talk about it and we see things, it is up to the players to improve. Decision making, and sometimes it’s just a lack of quality. The lads need to spend some time practicing.
“I’m not feeling sorry for myself. We’re going to work hard, and I have great belief in the players and we’re going to work ourselves out of this position. I’ve got all the targets and there are a number of draws that we need to get this season that I have factored in, so let’s say that’s one of the draws that we need. There are a number of wins that we have to get as well and they’re going to be more important. We need to gear up to try and win games now. The two games against Eastleigh are massive, and the Boreham Wood game.”
Tuesday night’s match was brought forward at the initial request of Gateshead FC. It changes the picture over the festive picture as other teams will be playing on the 23rd.
“We’ve played that game early, I don’t know what the other fixtures are on the 23rd of December. We’ve got a point for our efforts and we’ve got 21 league games left to get X amount of points to get us safe. That’s what we’re going to endeavour to do.”
For United’s dominance, especially in the first half, Owers was conscious of the Yellow Army’s frustration at the final result, and they’re valuable support.
“I’ve got mixed emotions; I tried to hang around at the end and sort of gather the feelings of the supporters and [they were] somewhat frustrated – fair enough. I’ll never criticise anyone for turning out on a night like that tonight, thank you for coming and they have been behind us. They’re as frustrated as I am sometimes they want to see better, I’m sure.”
“We’re going to have to win towards the nine or ten games. We’re going to have to get up to that, but that’s aiming for fifty/fifty-three points, it might be that, that amount in the end but we don’t know at the minute. You have to set targets that would get us safe going on recent history.
With a number of player loans coming to an end soon, the Gaffer is looking to bring more players to the club, and preferably permanent signing.
“We’ve got a little bit of a break [after Saturday’s match] until Boxing Day so they’ll be a few people leaving and we’ll have to see what we do in terms of recruitment as well. The loan situation isn’t a good one. We’re looking to bring in players that can sign permanently.”