Lee Bowyer spoke with the media after his team drew 0-0 with Preston North End.
The head coach gave his thoughts about the game, an update on key injuries and the circumstances around Matija Sarkic’s transfer.
Here’s what was said.
What did you make of that?
It was near on word for word what I predicted earlier on in the week, it was not pretty, similar to Stoke game, two tough that fight for everything it was more a battle than a football match. That’s how I’d described that. Two good teams that try and win points for their club.
It could have been 2-2 at half time, even the fourth official said at half time ‘How is this 0-0?’
I thought ‘Alright concentrate on your job’. I thought both ‘keepers played really well today, they both made good saves. The second half there was less chances but I think we edged it on that one chance that went across the face.
That was always going to be the difference, something like a slip or a set-piece that was going to win the game. Unfortunately for us we didn’t take any of our chances and a draw was probably fair.
Two good saves by Sarkic…
He is improving, I have said before Marsh [Goalkeeper coach Andy Marshall] is good at his job, he is making Mati a better ‘keeper but that’s what he gets paid to do, make saves.
He has done it again so he can get his paycheck this week.
Taken him time to settle?
It is a different club, different lads, different environment it takes times to adjust for everybody, especially a goalkeeper, he has got to know distances, when to come out, when not to come out.
There are a lot of things he had to adjust to, the way we want to play for one. He is doing that and it’s good to see.
Was he the first choice once Neil got ill?
I spoke to Andy Marshall and there was a list and he has worked with the lad before, so he said ‘I’ll put my name to him, he’s a good goalkeeper’. And I trust Marsh, I have worked with him, he knows what I am like and what I expect from a ‘keeper, he pointed us towards Mati and it was a good choice.
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After conceding seven in two a clean sheet is a positive….
It’s tough, losing the two centre halves who have been excellent since the start of the season. The last two results didn’t look pretty on the goal front. But that wasn’t us at all last week, this week we got back to some normality. We competed better, we looked back to our normal selves.
All they needed was to recharge their batteries a little bit, it was nice to get back to a clean sheet then you have always got a chance of winning games.
I thought the two lads that came in, Dion came on at half time last week and didn’t do anything wrong and George with his experience you know what you are going to get, every day in training he is a great pro. The two lads who came in did really well.
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Marc Roberts injury…
Marc was a funny one, we thought it was something to do with his stomach, he had a scan but it wasn’t his stomach it was coming from his back and round the front.
I know it sounds a bit funny but I am hopeful, nothing really showed on the scan, apart from this thing around the back. So I am hopeful he will be available for Tuesday.
Maybe the long throw is how Robbo did his back, too many throws – and I am being serious, I think that might have played a part of it because of the rotation he did, the doc seems to think it could play a small part of it, hopefully he will be OK.
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Would that make you limit how many he does?
I thought today he obviously had to try to do something we did that, we got balls into the box. Dion crossed one for Troy’s header. We haven’t just relied on it. We have scored goals with Robbo with the ball in his hand but that doesn’t mean he always throws it into the box. It’s just mixing it up.
Kristian Pedersen injury….
Kristian had a little hamstring injury and if we are lucky he might be available for Forest but again we will analyse that and won’t be taking any risks because we have got the international break after that and then another two weeks.
The Kristian one, Wednesday-Saturday is tough. He came on and trained and felt a little bit tight, he went in after the warm-up.
Strikers didn’t look very happy to come off….
We put on two fresh strikers with 20-25 minutes to go and I was hoping we would have got them the ball with a bit more quality – but we didn’t.
They were causing problems but when we got the ball wide our balls into the box didn’t have enough quality, which Jukey obviously thrives on. If have got them strikers I am going to use them, it could have been worse, I could have taken off two strikers and put on two defenders!”
It’s been done here
Not by me
How is Neil Etheridge?
Ok, he is playing catch-up.
Is he fully training?
Yes, he is working hard but he is behind everyone. That’s the reality of it he got set back a lot by Covid. He is working and he is going to have to be patient.
When he’s fit you are going to have a decision to make?
Yes, maybe – that’s what you want in every position. At the moment Neil is not available and Mati is going really well.