They are all up for it at the moment

Last updated : 23 February 2003 By Tony Scholes

Alongside Grimsby they were just about the worst side to have played at Turf Moor all season and it was somewhat staggering to hear their manager John Gregory after the match think that his side had played well in the second half and refer to their fighting spirit.

"We showed character to fight back in the second half and we deserved the third goal of the game," said the former Villa boss Gregory. "If we had started the game like that there would have been only one winner but it wasn’t to be.

"They were two awful goals from a defensive point of view, we gave them two opportunities in the first-half and they took them both. I would have expected better from Luciano Zavagno and he would expect better from himself but defenders can’t afford to mistakes like that in their own penalty area.

"I thought we deserved a penalty when Paul Cook handled Luciano’s goalbound header but we didn’t get much this afternoon, I thought the referee should have spotted it. It would have put us back in the game and I also thought Lee Morris also had a fair shout for a penalty in the second-half.

"Rob wasn’t feeling too good before kick-off but he decided to give it a go but it wasn’t working out so we brought Adam Murray on and I was pleased with the second-half performance with Adam playing his part in that. In fact everyone contributed in the second-half and kept going to the final whistle but the goal wouldn’t come.

"We had to get the big stick out at half-time today, I’m not saying that’s why we improved in the second-half but we need to take that into the derby game with Leicester next week – we need to bounce back."

I’m not so sure Stan agreed with Gregory’s view of the second half, in fact he thought we were comfortably in control.

"That was an important win for us," said Stan. "Now we need to string together some wins to try and get into that top six.

"Derby are a good team with some quality players and that was a good performance from us on a tricky pitch. They are all up for it and there is competition for places at the moment.

"Ian Moore run sixty yards to get there for the first goal and got his just rewards whilst Tony Grant has put their guy under a lot of pressure and chipped a great ball to the back post for Gareth Taylor to get the second.

"Derby had a little spell in the second half but we knew they would and we were prepared for it and all in all this was a good team performance and we thoroughly deserved the victory."