Fletcher & Johnson On Stoke
Darren Fletcher and Glen Johnson have both been speaking about the mistakes Stoke City made in our defeat to Chelsea yesterday.
Hosting the side at the Bet365 Stadium for the game, Stoke suffered a four nil defeat and Fletcher quickly held his hands up to the error he made for their goal.
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel as he met with the media following the game, our stand in skipper knew it hadn't been a great day for him.
'We made individual mistakes that resulted in us being punished on goals and if we have got it back to 2-1, we could have made a right game of it. But we got an injury (Martins Indi), went a bit gung-ho and they got another couple of goals. It`s a disappointing scoreline and we have to take our medicine and pick ourselves up.'
He went on to say.
'It`s not the best start to a game when you`re a goal down within a minute and then I make a mistake as well and they are clinical and it`s 2-0. We were actually playing quite well and so it`s hard to take. Sometimes you can take it when it`s a bad team performance leading to a defeat, but it wasn`t a bad team performance, it was one or two mistakes which they punished.'
Ending the game at centre back himself, he went on to say./
'You see them bringing Gary Cahill off the bench and we are missing a lot of defenders and that is the big difference. There`s nothing we can do about it. We just have to get on with it. Circumstances happen with injuries and we are not going to cry about it. The top teams are clinical. They get one chance and bang it`s a goal. That`s why they are the top teams. You think you are doing well in a game, then all of a sudden you find yourselves 2-0 down, 3-0 down, 4-0 down, and you are looking around and thinking we haven`t played that bad and yet have had a heavy defeat. It`s one to learn from.'
At two nil Fletcher had a chance to pull us back into the game but that didn't work out for him either.
'I actually don`t know what happened. It comes off my hand, so I don`t know if they got a touch, I`ve not seen it back. I go to head it, but it hits my hand and drops on my foot and goes wide. On another day it comes off any part of your body and goes in. It`s probably harder to miss and probably sums up my day and the team`s day.'
As for Johnson, he also knew we'd cost ourselves on the day.
'Obviously against these teams you can`t afford to make mistakes. It`s a dream start for them and not the best start for us, which plays into their hands because obviously they can sit back a little more and not rush anything. In the general play it was ok, but because Chelsea could sit back and let us play.'
With Stoke giving it a go at two nil down and trying to come back into the game, Johnson felt it would've been different had we got a goal back but when you chase a match you always risk opening yourself up at the back.
'At 2-0 we need to get the next goal and anything can happen, but if you don`t, then they can get four. The lads are quite confident and are international players, so it`s not about confidence. But out of our six centre halves we`ve got five injured, probably six now. At the end of the day we`ve lost to Chelsea, which anyone can do, but obviously we`d rather have had a tighter game with not so many mistakes.'
He ended by saying that we simply had to put it behind us now and focus on Southampton ahead of the international break.
'The sooner we put it behind us the better. We`ll see how the lads are injury wise and see what sort of players we`ve got to go to war with next week. But there`s no point dwelling on this, it`s done. No-one wants to lose 4-0 whether you are in the team or not. To have six of your centre halves injured is strange five or six games in, but that`s football and what can we do? But if we are going to make the same mistakes it wouldn`t have made any difference. We`ve gifted them three goals, so it could have been a different game if we`d cut out those personal errors.'