Dunne: U’s must respond to loss

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray blamed his side’s slack

defending for the 2-1 home defeat to Millwall.

The Teessiders slipped out of the play-off places after George

Friend headed into his own net and Martyn Woolford converted a

simple chance.

Boro staged a fightback after the restart and Curtis Main pulled

one back before having a second goal ruled out for offside in

stoppage time.

“They were poor, poor goals for us to concede from a defensive

point of view,” Mowbray said. “We made it very difficult for

ourselves.

“We gave Millwall something to hold onto and then we had to try

and break them down and we couldn’t do that. We had chances to get

back into it but we didn’t take them.

“We didn’t get the luck but we can’t keep saying that. It is

down to us to win football matches.

“Of course we are very disappointed and of course it has an

effect on confidence. And of course it is very frustrating for the

supporters here who have seen these results over the past few

weeks.

“But do we still believe we can make the play-offs? Of course we

do. We know we have what it takes and that we just need to stay

strong as a group and keep doing the things we did that won us 11

home games and got us in the top six in the first place.”

Cody McDonald headed the only goal of the game as the League Two

leaders set a new club record of 11 away wins this season.

Cook said: “We huffed and puffed and we did okay and certainly

in the second half I thought we could have gone on and win the game

but unfortunately for us it just didn’t happen.

“I can’t fault the effort or application and we created two or

three chances but it’s obvious that we are not scoring enough

goals. I thought we did our best and we knew it was going to be

difficult because of the way Gillingham set up but we lacked a bit

of quality.

“While it’s physically possible we will move heaven and earth to

do our best but it looks to be too much of an ask at the minute but

as a manager you have to keep believing.”

Cody McDonald’s second half header was enough to secure the

points against Chesterfield and keep Gillingham at the top of

League Two.

“It’s a fantastic performance all-round from the squad,” Allen

said. “The great thing is there are so many players who can go in

and play.

“We defend as a team and we attack as a team. We played one or

two touch football, moved the ball about and though it was a bit

scary in the last 20 minutes, we’ve seen it a million times. When

we defend in numbers we are strong and we are not left open.

“It’s a victory for the club and it’s an historical day to be

honest for the club, the players, supporters, chairman and to be

manager and get this record makes me very proud.

“Breaking a record of 100 years is fantastic. Deon Burton came

in at the end and said ‘well done lads, we’ve made history’ and

that’s all we spoke about. To be the squad and part of the club

when we made history is quite amazing.”

Alex earned their second win at the Ricoh Arena this month as

substitute Max Clayton scored with his first touch.

Leon Clarke had earlier given Coventry a 12th-minute lead that

lasted just four minutes thanks to a Mark Ellis volley.

Davis said: “It was a bit scrappy in parts but we came here with

a plan again and I thought we wanted to go as long as we could,

keeping them out.

“Obviously the early goal was a set back but I always felt we

could score from something.

“The game was fairly even. It was a bit of a battle and scrap

and that’s maybe the result of playing each other four times.

“I think that makes a difference. You know each other

player-wise and although we tried to change the shape it is still

difficult because our paths have crossed three times already so it

was difficult.”

Crewe keeper Steve Phillips was man-of-the-match on his last

visit to the Ricoh Arena and enjoyed himself again.

“He made two or three important saves, as we expect him to do

because that’s what he is there for,” added Davis.

While the message to Clayton was clear. Davis said: “I told him

to go out there and score the winning goal. It’s nice when you have

a talented 18-year-old to bring on and get you a goal.”

Magnus Okuonghae cancelled out Max Power’s early opener but then

it was all Rovers, with Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Ash Taylor and Cole

Stockton scoring before Michael O’Halloran netted from the

spot.

The U’s are three points adrift of safety in the relegation zone

following their heaviest home defeat of the season.

Dunne said: “It was very disappointing for us but we have to

respond.

“The goals we gave away were very poor and we were second best

all over the pitch. We didn’t deserve to get anything out of the

game.

“Tranmere’s first goal was a cracking goal but our equaliser got

us back in the game.

“I thought we were okay at that point but a poor defensive

mix-up cost us, because it was a basic error.

“The timing of the goal really hurt us and put us in a difficult

situation.

“It was a collapse in the second half and I’ve told my players

what I think of it.

“We can’t make the mistakes we made defensively and not expect

to get punished.

“We have a young changing room in there and there are a few of

us who have lost 5-1 in there before but we have to respond – we

can’t get downhearted.”