It is hard to see too many positives at the moment

Last updated : 25 September 2005 By Tony Scholes

McGhee had to make two late changes to his side when both Dean Hammond and Gary Hart were taken ill and neither of them was deemed fit enough to play. “Both Dean and Gary were ill overnight,” McGhee said. "Dean has been a huge influence for us this season, particularly for our passing game. Losing him was a big blow.

“Charlie Oatway came in for his first game in a while and did a terrific job but he is a different type of player from Dean and that is why Dean has been playing ahead of him. I think the changes we were forced to make disrupted us a little, we didn’t play as well as we have in recent games.”

On to the game itself and he had words for our two strikers and said, “Their two centre forwards were physical, got up against our centre halves and made it difficult in the air all afternoon, but we coped with it.”

And on some of his own players he added, “I think individually Seb Carole was terrific again and Colin Kazim-Richards came on and did a really good job. Alex Frutos did a great job defensively and it was important that he was switched on towards the end of the game when they were pushing on a little bit.

“Those things will hold us in good stead. We know what to expect in the future and we know that we can rely on these boys so from that point of view that was good. But the general performance was ordinary in comparison with some of our recent performances and the point was very important.”

On Burnley’s equaliser McGhee added, “We felt the penalty was harsh. Kerry Mayo got involved with McGreal and it had been going on all afternoon. He pulled Kerry before Kerry pulled him so it was a harsh decision for the referee to give against us.”

Steve Cotterill was left to rue a seventh successive league game without a win and said, “We’re not as happy with the performance as we have been, but we were unlucky not to win, their keeper pulled off a few good saves and Garreth O’Connor’s shot, if that had been six inches the other way it would have been in.

“We stuttered a little bit today and it is hard when the expectation is on you to win. I thought we looked a little bit anxious at times and therefore we sometimes played an extra pass when we didn’t need to.

“When you are at home and you have got to do all the running, and I don’t mean this disrespectfully, and we’re expected to beat Brighton, it is tough on them. But bear in mind Brighton have gone to places like Leeds and Preston this season and got more than creditable draws so they are coming on nicely.

“We created chances but I would call our performance unlucky today, we have played a lot better than that and not won. At this moment in time the players need a win and the supporters do as well.”

Asked about the injuries to Danny Coyne and John McGreal he added, “It is not good news and Danny’s, we feel, might be a bad one. We’re very disappointed and down about that at the moment. We’ll have to wait and see how he is. He has an appointment to see a specialist early in the week and we’ll await the outcome of that now.

“John McGreal has gone for an x-ray. I don’t think it was a very clever tackle by the lad if I am honest, but to be fair to him he is only a young boy and he did ask at the tunnel whether John was okay.

“It is hard to see too many positives at the moment, because we have not won the game which we are disappointed with, given away the goal which we are disappointed with, and the two injuries, of which one could be very serious. It sums up our luck.

“If it goes wrong with Danny, we could be talking about another Wayne Thomas. It won’t be a couple of weeks out, it will be a long, long time and we cannot afford to have that.”