When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Cherries: This is what you should have said, Paul
WHEN asked by BBC Radio Solent’s Andrew Hawes how he felt about fans calling for change, Cherries boss Paul Groves replied: “You can understand the fans’ frustrations. Who wants to travel and watch a team get beaten like that today – nobody.”
Here is what Groves should have said...
“I would like to apologise, unreservedly, to our supporters for a quite dreadful performance. From start to finish, we were appalling. We were beaten 4-0 and the scoreline flattered us. It was embarrassing.
“Swindon outclassed us in every department. Their finishing was clinical, ours was comical. Their defenders were strong, ours were weak. They were creative and inventive in midfield, we were devoid of ideas.
“I am told supporters paid £25 for a ticket and I know they would also have incurred other expenses. Our display was totally unacceptable and I will be speaking to the players about the possibility of them stumping up for refunds.
“The group are well paid and it would be the least they could do. I will also be speaking to the chairman about the possibility of arranging free coach travel to our next away game at Crawley.
“Although we had a few injuries, there can be no excuse whatsoever for such an abject showing. We lost Simon Francis, Marc Pugh and Harry Arter but were able to bring in players of the calibre of Steve Cook and Donal McDermott, both of whom we paid good money for.
“At the start of the season, people said we had strength in depth and some felt we were so strong that we could have fielded a reserve team in this division. Don’t forget, we have added to our squad since then.
“Today, we had to dig deep into our resources because we had no fewer than 12 players injured. However, some of those who came in were found wanting, especially Donal.
“We have kept faith with Donal and gave him his chance against Swindon. He repaid us by metaphorically sticking up two fingers to us.
“Once I have analysed the DVD, it will probably dawn on me that I should have taken a leaf from Paolo Di Canio’s book and substituted Donal after 20 minutes. He seemed disinterested.
“It would, however, be unfair to lay the blame at the door of one player. In fact, we should all take responsibility and I am certainly going to take my share. I picked the team, I have assembled the squad, they were my tactics and game-plan and I was the one responsible for motivating the players.
“We knew Swindon’s danger man would be Matt Ritchie. He is one of the best players in the division and that is why we have tried to sign him on a couple of occasions.
“We set out to try to man-mark Ritchie. But, after only 12 minutes, Wes Fogden cheaply squandered possession to him and he made us pay by drilling home an unstoppable drive from 25 yards to give them the lead.
“The goal prompted chants of “you’ll never sign Matt Ritchie” from the Swindon fans and they were probably right. Why would he want to join us when the two clubs look like they are heading in opposite directions?
“I thought the goal would have been a wake-up call but didn’t realise how wrong I could have been. Just a few minutes later, we gave him a free hit on the edge of the box and, fortunately, he shot wide.
“After Miles Addison had headed a corner inches wide for us, we were guilty of some kamikaze defending, the like of which I wouldn’t have expected from such experienced players.
“Although we knew all about the aerial threat of Andy Williams, we decided to give him a free header just six yards from goal. I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
“I know I don’t show my emotions like Paolo, but my blood was boiling by this time and I was ready to give the lads both barrels at half-time.
“Then, just before the break, we were thrown a lifeline when Tubbsy went through with just the keeper to beat. He simply must starting putting away those chances and it was like the one his missed against Brentford.
“Although their third goal was a bit of a fluke, I was extremely concerned as we seemed to hoist the white flag after Ritchie’s free-kick from near the touchline had made it 3-0.
“I know our supporters can take losing but nobody is going to stomach seeing the lads go down without a fight. For me, that was the most alarming and disappointing aspect of today – we threw in the towel.
“They continued to carve us open and it was no surprise when Williams hit the post and Adam Rooney scored a fourth late on.
“I was lost for words.”