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THE VERDICT: Appleton on Dagenham

12 January 2015

Head Coach reflects as United pick up a point

Michael Appleton was left a little frustrated despite his United side stretching their unbeaten away run to five games with a 0-0 draw at Dagenham on Saturday. The U’s might have nicked all three points in a hard-fought game, but had to settle for just one, as Michael told Yellow Player afterwards:

“A point was probably fair for both sides but I thought we worked their goalkeeper more than they worked ours. Clarkey has come off with a clean shirt which suggests he’s not had too much to do. 

“I thought we defended really well and I thought we were going to get the winner that possibly our attacking play might have deserved, but all in all it was a difficult game for both sides. The pitch wasn’t particularly great and the wind was a strong as it’s been for a long time so conditions weren’t great.

“You have to take small steps and before the game I said can we keep a clean sheet and give the attacking players a platform to work from. We looked very solid and dangerous on the break, with a bit of pace in the side. With a little composure in that final third then things can be very different.”

There were contrasting fortunes for two United strikers, with James Roberts taken off as a precaution after his hamstring tightened but Will Hoskins made his return after three months out through injury.

“It was very unfortunate for James,” Michael said. “He’s not had an injury in his career and then he has two setbacks. We did the right thing and got him off very quickly. I don’t think it’s as bad as the first one, it’s more of a tweak and he’s obviously got more understanding of it now. 

“But we were delighted to have Will on the pitch again – I think he will be a great asset for us. He’s certainly got bags of ability and the more games he gets, the sharper he becomes, the more problems he will cause for the opposition.”

See the full interview plus extended highlights and an interview with Ryan Clarke, all in Yellow Player right now.

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