Disappointed Brady blames poor defending after Harrogate draw

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A furious Jon Brady labelled some of his players as “mentally weak” after their 2-2 home draw with Harrogate Town on Saturday afternoon.

Poor Brackley defending led to both the visitors goals with Saints twice failing to clear their lines, allowing Harrogate to take a 1-0 and 2-1 lead, and although Saints did earn themselves a point through Stefan Moore and Brett Solkhon, Brady was left fuming with his side’s poor defending.

He said: “I thought we gave them the two goals, through our poor clearances and our decision-making in defensive areas, especially from our captain, who side-footed it straight to their central midfielder, then no one’s got out to him to press the ball and he’s allowed to run five yards and smash it into the top corner.

“Our awareness of what’s around us and when to put our foot through it and clear it is not good enough at the moment. And also our attitude and awareness that, when there’s no pressure on the ball, to know when to get your foot on it and move the ball and play, I feel that we’ve gone a little bit soft. We’re not strong enough or tough enough mentally to deal with it in those situations and we’re giving the opposition the opportunities to score quite easily.

“We have had the meanest defence in the league but it’s highly frustrating at the moment.

“Steve Diggin played really well today but we shouldn’t be in that position. At the moment, we only seem to show some fight when we’re 1-0 down, instead of having fight when it’s 0-0. My wide men, my strikers, my midfielders need to drive at players and be committing people and we only seem to do that when we go behind. That’s not good enough and I feel some of them have gone mentally weak and I’m really disappointed.”

Brady also lamented his side’s bad luck having seen several decisions go against Saints in recent games, but he insisted his side must improve to get themselves back on track.

He added: “We are going through a tough spell with decisions at the moment but ultimately you have to look at yourself and I feel that we’re not tough enough with ourselves and that’s how we’re conceding our goals – through the poor clearances. We’re just not putting a foot through when we need to or being able to play when you have more time. I feel that all over we have to get stronger.

“We’ll speak about it at training. We’ll go through it, we’ll work on it. We’ll work on our clearances and work on being under pressure and without pressure and we have to work on us in forward areas committing people. I think Steve did it quite well today but Izak Reid didn’t play today because to be fair he hasn’t crossed a bridge in two or three weeks and we have to get tough with ourselves and be honest with ourselves to get back into a position where I expect us to be, which is in the top three. I’m not happy at all.”

Brady also commented on his sending off on Saturday, adding: “It’s right under the linesman’s nose, the ball goes out off their player and then he gives the decision their way. Decisions were cosntantly going against us today so I said it was an absolute disgrace, I shouted it out and the referee decided to come over and have a word and send me off.”