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Ainsworth: I never want another display like that
GARETH Ainsworth said his Wycombe Wanderers side couldn’t handle a devastating opening spell from Rochdale – saying some of his players’ brains weren’t working.
The Blues boss pulled no punches in his assessment of this afternoon’s 3-2 defeat at Spotland, having watched his side collapse to three goals down inside quarter of an hour.
Everything Rochdale hit went in during the game’s opening stages as Wanderers lost in Lancashire for the third season running, with goals from Matt McClure and Jo Kuffour only teasing the travelling fans into thinking an unlikely comeback could be on.
Ainsworth said: “I’ve just told them I never, ever want to see another 15 minutes like that as long as I’m in charge. It was terrible - we were pulled all over the place, pulled from pillar to post. We couldn’t handle it
“When we sorted it by putting a deep lying midfielder in there, we stopped the rot until half time and almost got it to 3-2. If Matt’s chance [he missed with the score at 3-1] goes in it’s a high pressure game second half.
“But we didn’t deserve anything today after that 16 minutes. We were well and truly beaten by them. It’s great to come back, great spirit shown, but that 16 minutes, I can’t take that. We are going to have to seriously take stock of what we did. That did hurt me, that one. We seemed very wide open.
“We tried to activate them and get them going but their brains weren’t working today.
“We could have nicked something at the end, whether we deserved it is debateable. We won the second half 1-0 but we were well out of the game by then and they were just holding on.
“We’ve had a few good trips home lately so we’re probably due one of these.”
Dale boss Keith Hill said that opening spell was as good as anything he’d seen from his side since returning from a spell in charge of Barnsley and Ainsworth was forced to concede his former Blackburn team mate got things spot on.
He said: “They are very good at being spatially aware. They know where the pockets are. Keith Hill’s managed at a higher level and he’s known for his football prowess. They did well today.”
Ainsworth meanwhile said he had plenty of food for thought as he seeks to start a new unbeaten run next week, with today’s defeat bringing an end to a six match streak without a defeat.
He said: “As long as we get back on it next week against Burton, that’s the important thing. If it happens once, it’s OK. If it keeps happening it becomes a problem and I have to make sure this doesn’t keep happening.
“I said in the press this week the biggest learning curve I ever had was being bottom of the league. Coming away to Rochdale and conceding three in 16 minutes is the second biggest learning curve.”
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