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Club News

Macclesfield Reaction

28 March 2016

Paul Hurst acknowledges that the first half performance in particular wasn't good enough in the 2-1 defeat to Macclesfield Town on Easter Monday, although he also believes that the officiating played a part in the defeat at Moss Rose.

Town went down to their first defeat in nine games against the Silkmen, when after a terrific goal from Jon Nolan cancelled out Jack Sampson's strike, Reece Styche pounced just over 20 minutes frim time to send all three points the way of Macclesfield.

However, the Town boss believes that the winning goal was clearly offside and expressed his dismay at the decision after the game.

He said: ''I'm unhappy for a few reasons.

''I'm unhappy with the first half performance from ourselves, I thought we were slow and there wasn't any intensity in anything we did really.

''It shouldn't take words at half time to get a reaction but I won't be the first manager to have to do that and the second half was much better.

''We got ourselves level and there only looked like one team winning it really, but I'm very unhappy with a decision from the linesmen because I'm not sure what he's actually doing for their goal.

''When the opposition bench says he's miles offside then it usually is, I know one of their lads had a puzzled expression so I think its the wrong decision and I was unhappy with the officiating all afternoon really. I don't think he ever had control of the game.

Hurst explained that the thing that particularly riled him about the decision is that he felt it was the reason the players didn't come out of the game with anything.

''I hate it when its on days like today because ultimately that's cost us and that is why we've lost,'' he explained.

''I think we could've done so much more in the first half but the game lasts for 95 minutes as it as today and we've watched our unbeaten run end and not gone away with at least a point because of influences that aren't our fault.''

''We've gotta do all we can to take decisions out of it so that they don't cost us and try and be two or three goals up and out of sight when possible.''

Omar Bogle and Gregor Robertson came into the side on the day in two changes to the team that won 1-0 against Wrexham at the weekend, although Hurst doesn't believe that changing the side had any bearing on the result.

Asked what he believes was behind the first half performance, which also included the Town boss making an early change when Ryan Jennings came on to replace Craig Clay five minutes before the break, Hurst said: ''Maybe there's an element of the game from the weekend, I'm not sure but I only made a couple of changes because I thought the lads had done extremely well.

''Evan and Pat have played most games recently so I thought I'd freshen things up a bit but first half it was very bitty and there wasn't much happening.

''We certainly didn't pass the ball at all so that was frustrating. I made the change during the first half and hold my hand up and say that was unlike me but it wasn't working and Craig Clay was having a bad day so we went back to the traditional 4-4-2.''

''I think Omar's done well the last couple of times he's come on and he's desperate to get back playing. I don't think there's much between Evan (Horwood) and Gregor (Robertson) at all ether.''

''I'm not trying to deflect or protect my decisions, I don't think those changes played a part in the defeat and it would be unfair to pin the first half on two players. There's no doubt it wasn't good enough, and to be honest, maybe I wish I'd have made more changes.''

Hurst believes that the defeat likely puts to bed any chance of the team managing to catch Cheltenham Town at the top of the National League, and believes that the team now have to focus on getting into the play-offs with eight games left to play, starting with the visit of the Robins in front of the televised cameras on Friday night.

He said: It's been a nice thought to think that we might be able to do but I've said for a while that it would be extremely difficult and another defeat, it's another game less to try and do that.

''For me, the biggest thing is to always be the best you can and to try and win ever game so Friday will be no different.

''I haven't seen results today but if they've gone right for the teams around us then its still crowded. The Wrexham game was a big result for us.

''I still think we've got enough quality to make sure we're in the play-off positions but you don't get anything because of your name or quality, you have go over the white line and produce and secondly, you've got to hope that decisions don't cost you.''

Click here to listen to the full post match press conference.

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