Date: 24th August 2008 at 5:20pm
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Speaking first our captain, states that we will get it right and that more hard work is needed at Bodymoor Heath to get the team to gell and work on our obvious flaws.

It’s still open for debate as to whether our defensive frailties are down to lack of understanding and lack of fitness, or simply despite the new signings we are no better than last year.

Time will tell on that one because I believe we are stronger, but the defensive unit hasn’t yet played alongside each other often enough to form an understanding. It also goes without saying that Curtis Davies’ fantastic recovery may be one thing, but he isn’t quite sharp enough or fit enough to withstand an aerial bombardment from a team like Stoke.

HF, with our lead already in the tie, is the time for a bit of experimentation and is the perfect opportunity for us to use it as a training match and work on those flaws.

‘You could go anywhere and two goals should be enough to get at least a point. But again, we conceded too many.

‘There is lots to work on at the training ground. We can’t concede that many goals. It’s impossible to concede two or three goals per game and expect to win.

‘We need to tighten up defensively and I’m sure that’s what we will do.’

Curtis Davies shares the same outlook, and says simply we ‘didn’t win the battle’ against Stoke and that was our undoing. Davies goes one further though and has called for wins on the trot against HF and Liverpool.

‘We are bitterly disappointed. It was always going to be a battle and we lost the battle.

‘They had a lot of long throws which we managed to deal with throughout the game. To concede with the last one is extremely disappointing.

‘We are all gutted. You come to a place like this and it’s imperative that you stand up and are counted but we didn’t do that.

‘It’s a defeat. We need to be stronger and see games out. We need to bounce back against FH Hafnarfjordur and then it’s the big one against Liverpool.’

Ten out of ten for optimism and no doubt HF will be a training match, but you can’t say the same against Liverpool – even if their form is as dodgy as ours at the moment.

And you just know they’ll get an extra 5 minutes if needed, let alone the obligatory ‘non penalty’ we will conceed for the third time on the trot.