Caretaker gaffer (once more) Kevin MacDonald has spoken following the two nil loss to Southampton in the Capital One Cup last night.
Audio – MacDonald Gives Southampton Thoughts
It’s fair to say I think almost everybody looked at the team selection for last night, no creativity, a defensive minded selection and the same old fail to perform ‘names’ who can’t be there on ‘merit’ if you know what the word implies and thought defeat and that’s exactly what we got.
I’ve read around, apparently it was a brighter performance and improvements shown again overall, but I wasn’t watching so I won’t comment outside of saying the result was as expected.
MacDonald knows he’s got a tough job on at the minute and despite the press wibblings, confidence is clearly shot, but here’s what he said on the game.
Source: Official Site
He talked about the first half performance firstly.
‘We were quite happy in many ways, especially in the opening period. We controlled the game to a point and snuffed out Southampton out. We created one or two half chances – and their goalkeeper has made more saves than ours has. But if you don’t convert your chances, it’s few and far between.’
Second half he admits was far more even and of course by the end of it they made their breakthrough.
‘It was a bit more even after the break. They took a two-goal lead and then we managed to get back with a consolation goal. But there were certainly more positives than negatives.’
As for going out of the League Cup for this year.
‘Knowing the players, they want to win every game they play in. Obviously getting to a cup final would have been great. If you get to the next round, it’s great and then you’re in the quarter-final and you never know. You get a home draw and then you take your chances. But it wasn’t to be and well done Southampton – and good luck to them in the next round.’
Moving onto the issues of confidence, or the severe lack thereof in the camp, he explained his main job is to lift the players at the moment and try and get them firing again.
‘It’s hard for the players too because players never want to see managers lose their job. I don’t care what anyone says. Players are playing professional sport because they want to be the best they can be. They have inner pride. At the moment they are a little bit low. But they will come through it and hopefully we will progress up the league.’
Be nice if some ever showed that inner pride as fans have talked about a lack of that for a few years now.
With a certain amount of push me pull you when it came to KMac and the job at the last time of asking, this time round he’s commented.
‘I have already almost lost my voice – and it’s only been two days. But you have to enjoy yourself – and make the players enjoy themselves. I have not had any time to talk to anyone. I got the phonecall on Sunday. I spoke about what had happened. I spoke to Tim himself. Because of the timescale I haven’t had a chance to speak to anyone. To be fair, I’d rather concentrate on getting these lads a little bit more confident and get up the league with a bit of luck.’
Moving back to the game briefly, the selection and Jordan Amavi playing further forward, he explained.
‘It’s probably the same reason I put Leo Bacuna further forward. Those two are the two best crossers at the club. We were playing Rudy Gestede with Gabby Agbonlahor up top. We wanted as many crosses into the box. We probably had seven or eight crosses. The first effort Rudy got on the end of – and then Ciaran got on the end of one. They weren’t perfect crosses but we got on the end of them and that’s why he was further up the pitch. I looked at that and made that decision. If they’d scored one of those goals or two of those goals everyone would say what a great decision.’
Defensively he added.
‘Ciaran Clark had to play. He needs to play games and to be fair Jose Crespo and Ciaran Clark defended well against Graziano Pelle, especially in the first half. Micah Richards was injured, he’s got a little niggle. Joleon Lescott was injured. Micah’s might depend on what happens with the FA disciplinary. If nothing happens, hopefully they’ll both be available for Monday.’
The Birmingham Mail have him quoted further about the managerial search, and his message is clear – he’ll do the job for as long as he’s wanted. But we need an appointment quickly in any event.
‘The sooner the better. I think it would be better for the football club because then we can get back to doing what we`re doing. That`s down to the club. It seems to be that they`ve gone down the road of talking to a number of people. Good luck to whoever comes in. But sooner rather than later will be better for the football club. If they ask me to stay on until Monday`s game then that`s fine by me.’
Radio WM have less uncut quotes from the sets above dealing with the question of his interest in the job more specifically, and they carry.
‘I doubt I would get that opportunity, because having seen what what`s going on in the press, it sounds like they`re going down the road of speaking to two or three people. They`re not speaking to me, and as I said, I`ve not spoken to anyone at all about it. I`ll do the best I can do for the club and we`ll just take it from there.’
Eurosport also have him quoted as talking about the youth set up and how he worked with Tim Sherwood and the plans they had.
‘We had discussed it. I was going to move sideways to work with the development side because we have a big belief between us, with Tim, myself, Tony McAndrew and Ben Petty from further down, about how we were going to develop the players. That was good for me, I could get my hands dirty a lot more, but it was always a plan that we had. I’m disappointed because Tim was very, very good to me. The other thing that people tend to forget: they always tend to think that whatever team it is, it’s Aston Villa first team. Well it’s not, it’s Aston Villa Football Club, so I’ve moved a couple of the younger coaches up to work with me (while overseeing the first team) but then of course we’re short on the other side.’
As for the future, he doesn’t know if his role would change under a new man or even if there’d be a role for him.
‘It becomes quite difficult for everybody, but this is why we’re involved in the coaching side because we want to do it, and we want to make sure that nobody misses out. You have to take care of the schoolboys who are coming through, you have to take care of the Under-18s, the Under-21s, because every day they miss a chance to play and train, they miss a chance to practice and become better.’
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