I'm sick to the pit of my stomach

Last updated : 15 January 2006 By Tony Scholes

It was a game where virtually nothing happened for the most part, either before or after the five minutes when all three goals were scored, and Cardiff manager Dave Jones was certainly more pleased with the result than the performance.

“It was always going to be difficult for us, it was so congested in the middle of the park,” Dave Jones said after the game. “Burnley set their plan out with five players across the park and with Ade Akinbiyi up front and he’s always going to chase everything down.

“I felt that we were trying to go through the middle too much. We need to get a bit more width and try and get in behind them because there was nothing going through the middle whatsoever.

“It shows in the amount of possession, we had 61% of it, so we couldn’t break them down in the first half. The first time we get wide and get a cross in the keeper goes and drops it and we score a goal. Then the second goal has also come from a build up there.

“We needed to be patient and that is what I asked them to be. Sometimes when the game is tight and the crowd is saying get into them, they have just got to keep patient and keep working away, and keep believing we will do it.”

Jones had three new players in his squad but only one, Steve Thompson, started. He wanted them all involved and added, “It was important that all the new players got on the pitch at some stage, and it was a great debut for all of them.”

Overall he was happy, even if he knew his side hadn’t played well and said, “If we had been absolute rubbis and we had still won then I would still have been pleased. At this stage of the season it is all about picking up as many points as possible, and sometimes it is not always about performance, it is the number of points that’s up for grabs.”

There was never any likelihood of Steve Cotterill being pleased with it but having seen his side play so badly he did have some very strong words about the referee.

“We had a madcap five minutes,” he said, “But I thought the referee gave them nine out of ten free kicks all afternoon and gave them an important one that led to our mistake and their first goal.

“I don’t think we were helped by the refereeing performance and we were comfortable with not much between the sides. The referee has helped them today because it was our free kick for a foul on John McGreal, make no bones about that. This referee has refereed the game fantastically well for Cardiff all afternoon. It was a good refereeing performance.

“The booking for Ade was harsh and he’s been harsh all afternoon. It hasn’t aided us and it hasn’t taken away my anger from some of the things we’ve done in the second half. The game was difficult enough coming down to Cardiff, they are on the back of a 5-1 turning over so they had to get back on track.

“We’ll be pleased now to get back home next weekend after four out of five away games and it is up to the players how they react now.”

It was a dismal first half and Steve called it right when he said, “At half time I thought it looked as though the chances were it would be a draw, but we have had that madcap five minutes that has really cost us.

“The keeper has made a big error for the first, but he’s not the only one who has made errors today and a few of our players have got to go home and look at themselves long and hard tonight.

“Unfortunately the first half is out of my head because I can only remember some of the things that have gone on in the second half. I’m im being honest I’m sick to the pit of my stomach. That was so unlike us, but I feel hurt and disappointed by that today, because I work my socks off for them and I never let them down, so it is up to them now.”