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Cherries: Groves laments poor display as pressure mounts on boss
BOSS Paul Groves admitted there had been a “desperation” about Cherries ’ display as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat against League One rivals Walsall today.
Cherries’ dire start to the campaign continued with only two points seperating them from the bottom four following a first reverse at Goldsands Stadium.
Andy Butler’s first-half header put them on the back foot before George Bowerman’s late winner won the day for the Saddlers after Charlie Daniels had levelled eight minutes from time.
Under fire Groves again ran the gauntlet of irate Cherries supporters with calls for his head reverberating around the ground following the final whistle.
He said: “I thought it was one of our poorest performances, certainly at home, in terms of our ability to pass the ball and to carve out openings. There was a desperation about the performance and that had not been the case in our previous games.”
Groves’s decision to replace Josh McQuoid with Josh Carmichael after 60 minutes was met by some home supporters with chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing”.
Explaining the switch, Groves said: “You are at home and you want to take the game to the opposition but we weren’t able to do that for the first 55 minutes. The change enabled us to have a little bit of momentum, not much, but it eventually got us a goal back.”
Groves added: “The supporters voice their opinions which they are entitled to do. For the majority of the time, the crowd stayed with it. They tried to get behind us from the off and, once things go against you, people voice their opinions which is natural.”
A group of supporters held a post-match protest outside the main entrance to Goldsands Stadium when further calls for Groves’s head were made.
Asked by BBC Radio Solent’s Andrew Hawes how tenable he felt his situation was in light of the protests, Groves replied: “It is not my decision. My job is to continue to work with the players and try to address the issues that we might have in terms of trying to play and trying to win some football matches.”
And asked whether he felt time was running out, Groves said: “You work hard, probably even harder and you try to find a solution. You just keep working and trying to improve as much as you possibly can.”
Fielding a question from the Daily Echo, Groves was asked whether chairman Eddie Mitchell had spoken to the players since the final whistle.
He replied: “The chairman came in and voiced his opinion at the end of the game which he is entitled to do. But that stays within the dressing room. He is entitled, at times, to voice his opinion in respect of what he feels and what he thinks and there is a time and a place.”
And asked whether he felt under pressure, Groves replied: “I think you put yourself under pressure (because) you want to do well. You go back to working even harder and putting in more time to try to turn things round.”
During his address to supporters following the final whistle, Mitchell described as “rubbish” Cherries’ past two performances.