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McCann apologies for 'staff error' in Walsall defeat

3 March 2024


McCann apologies for 'staff error' in Walsall defeat

3 March 2024

Grant McCann apologised to his players and issued the same to Rovers supporters for what he deemed a costly staff decision in the defeat to Walsall.

McCann revealed a change of defensive instructions from the sidelines led to Jack Earing being left free to rifle in Walsall’s second goal, less than five minutes after Kyle Hurst had deservedly drawn Rovers level.

“The second one was a mistake from the staff and we’ve let the players down today,” he said. “We made a decision to mark [Mo] Faal on Timmy [Lo-Tutala] when we’re zonal from corners. We’ve taken one of the markers away from the guy who scored. It’s Hakeeb’s man but we’ve moved Haks to mark Mo, which has cost us.

“I apologised to the players and I apologise to the fans. We did it because we thought Faal was causing a problem around Timmy and he wasn’t letting him come.

“But we need to stick to the plan and the process. We’ve let people down today.

“I said we have to stick to the process. There’s no ifs, buts or maybes. We talk about positivity and we’ve gone negative in a situation and that’s cost us.

“We know Walsall are strong in set plays but we dealt with everything fine. The referee had given a free kick previously because Mo wasn’t looking at the ball and he was just getting around Tim.

“I said to the players I can’t apologise any more. We made a huge decision that cost us today and it’s always the way. Once you make that decision it drops to the player that Hakeeb should have and ends up in the back of the net.”

McCann was largely pleased with Rovers’ performance on the afternoon and felt only a few minor tweaks were required at half time as they looked to get back on level terms following Josh Gibson’s opener for Walsall.

“I said to the players they were playing well and had been from 20-odd minutes in,” he said. “They were controlling it, the patterns were great and we were getting into good positions.

“At half time I said that when we get into good positions up the pitch, we just need to keep the ball a bit more and try to create more opportunities and chances.

“We got there quite easily through the thirds. In the second half we got there and looked more dangerous.

“Even later in the game there were some balls we put in that we just didn’t arrive to. It’s just a frustrating result for us.

“I thought we played very well. It’s the best we’ve been in possession. We controlled the game from 20 minutes on.”

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