Writer: Mike Field
Date:Friday April 4 2008
The headline says it all, and this is what Martin O'Neill has said today, 'we've lost some really daft points this season'.
Speaking on the official site ahead of the 'must win' against Bolton, O'Neill talked about the need to 'grind out' results and take points and wins even when we are awful - and until we can do this he doesn't believe we can match the big boys.
'We need to be able to grind out results even when things are not going our way. I don't think you actually set out to do that but during the course of a game, when you realise you're not creating an abundance of chances, you then start to focus on that.
'Whatever you do, don't concede a goal and then you have to make one of those chances fall to you - make it happen in the opposition penalty area.'
We have all been concerned about our habit of conceeding late goals, most notably against Sunderland only the other week which is the one that sticks in O'Neill's head.
'Whatever we said about the game against Sunderland, they scored with seven or eight minutes to go and they hadn't caused us that many problems. I'll accept we hadn't done much either at the other end.
'But the thing from that position was not to lose the game. We've lost some really daft points in the last minutes of matches this season. That's been really disappointing, because we haven't been able to see things through.
'Now there might be the odd occasion where you have done your utmost to do that and it just didn't happen, a break of the ball has gone in the wrong direction.
'But if that happens more often than you want it to do, it means we still have plenty to improve on and plenty to learn.'
You can also look at it from the angle. When we are all over teams we rarely make it count, we never add that additional goal or take advantage and finish them off 3-4 nil when the opportunity arrises. As the season drags on and we fail to do that and have been winning by only one goal we have caused problems for ourselves because a 'lucky break' or 'bounce of the ball' puts us severly on the back foot again.
Bolton will certainly be interesting though!
Date:Friday April 4 2008
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