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Berra: We've Got to Get Back to Keeping Clean Sheets
Monday, 9th Jan 2017 06:00

Centre-half Christophe Berra says the Blues have to get back to being difficult to score against and stop conceding sloppy goals, Vanarama National League leaders Lincoln City having been the latest side to profit from Town defensive errors during Saturday’s 2-2 FA Cup third round draw at Portman Road. Earlier in the season the Blues went on a run where they kept seven clean sheets in 11 matches.

“It was a scrappy game and to them it was a cup final,” Berra, the stand-in skipper in the absence of captain Luke Chambers, reflected on a game the Blues would have lost but for Tom Lawrence’s 86th minute strike, his second goal of the match

“They are top of their league and flying high so they came here full of confidence and that’s a huge thing.

“They are a full-time outfit so were very fit and we had to match that. We did that but they got a couple of goals, which were poor as far as we are concerned.

“All credit to them, they deserved the draw and it is all thanks to Tom that we were able to get a draw. That’s football.

“There are always highs and lows in football and at the moment we are suffering more lows.”

He added: “These kinds of game always create upsets and that could have happened but we were able to prevent that.

“It is a one-off game and it was difficult. We have not been as consistent as we have been in the past.

“Winning games breeds confidence and we have not won enough games. The fans are not enjoying it and that comes across. Lincoln fans were outstanding and really got behind the team.

“As a player you always want to do well in the FA Cup, in all competitions really, and you want to win trophies, but the league is your bread and butter. The further down the league you go the harder that is.”

Looking ahead to the replay at Sincil Bank a week tomorrow, Berra said: “They want to get to the Football League are flying high. It will be a different game at their place. They will be expected to do well and expecting a cup shock.

“We will need to play as well as we can and be more consistent. We need to get back to being difficult to score against.

“We have a good team here and we need to show that. We went on a great run of clean sheets earlier in the season, and we need to get back to doing that.

“Recently we have been conceding crappy goals and yet we still have the eighth best defensive record in the league.

“Clearly something is good about us but we are giving away sloppy goals, or sometimes unfortunate goals.

“People will say it is the back four but it is not always the case, although we will take it on the chin.

“There is pressure in every game, especially for defensive players because we don’t want to make a mistake. Attacking players can go out and express themselves so it is different.

“Speaking personally, I want to do well and I will go home and evaluate every game.”

Lincoln’s two-goal striker, Theo Robinson, said Saturday was one of the best days of his career.

“It’s right up there,” he said. “It was a great team performance and we were unfortunate not to get the win.

“It was a great strike from Lawrence because before that we were soaking the pressure up and I really thought we could hold on and win it.

“I could have had a hat-trick and that would have been a good personal thing, but the most important thing is we got the draw and we are in the draw for the next round. It is a case of going back to our ground now and getting the result.

“We have gone up against a Championship team and almost beaten them. We can take that into our league games and if we can play like that every game we should, we will do well for the rest of the season.”

Regarding the 4,838-strong Imps travelling support, the former Derby frontman said: “It was an emotional atmosphere. I have played in front of big crowds before but the Lincoln fans made this special.”

Robinson says he’s not yet thinking too much about the fourth round with the draw later today.

“We have to win the game against Ipswich first,” he continued. “The draw will give us a push so hopefully it will be a big team like Liverpool or Arsenal as I have never played at their grounds.”

Meanwhile, Town's U23s are in action against Colchester United at Playford Road this afternoon (KO 1pm).

Photo: TWTD

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Blue_Meanie added 06:09 - Jan 9
You still here as well???
Do one with the 'gaffer'. Useless.

Marcus added 06:12 - Jan 9
I'm usually a very patient person but there are some comments here that seriously irritate me.

“They are a full-time outfit so were very fit and we had to match that." Shouldn't they need to be matching us for this?!

“People will say it is the back four but it is not always the case, although we will take it on the chin." Actually people are blaming the Skuse and Douglas partnership in midfield more than anything.

I do respect what Lincoln achieved but we mustn't also consider that this should have been a game we won with ease. Had we been playing better and had a bad day in the cup then I wouldn't be thinking negatively. However as our league season is going nowhere, the cup is the only hope we have for the season and it's clear the players and management don't care about it. C'mon Town, pull your socks up and start playing!

Where are our leaders? We have a team full of yes men to McCarthy, there isn't a proper leader on the pitch. We seriously need to change this to progress. We need a leader in every position - maybe one or two decent signings and then the atmosphere will change.

Right now Portman Rd is a toxic atmosphere that sucks the life out of the players. Something really needs to change before our club dies - most look at McCarthy, some look at Evans, almost everyone looks at stagnation and decline.


greenfinch added 06:12 - Jan 9
Just hoping that the replay won't be shown on TV it's so embarrassing watching the town at the moment, hate to say it but your time is up mick, please go.

LimitlessBlue added 06:34 - Jan 9
Oh do shut up, concentrate on your game and stop blurting utter crap in the press. I am embarassed reading these comments.

pup12 added 06:54 - Jan 9
Tell us something we don't know !?

DurhamTownFan added 07:05 - Jan 9
Two mistimed headers have cost us int he last two games. I think he wants to leave in the summer for a fresh challenge but it looks like he's checked out already in recent games. May as well let him go now and free up the wages.

tomitfc added 07:10 - Jan 9
Wow the irony in this!! The sooner Tommy Smith is back the better. Berra is past it and has been for a while now.

Brownie added 07:14 - Jan 9
Fan of Berra who is a good player at this level.

That said agree with Durhamtown he has been at fault fo a few goals recently. Needs to step up to the plate as does the whole team. We have a run of games against teams in form - Blackburn, Huddersfield, Derby etc - plus the replay and we are vulnerable.

Like most I am worried,I want change & I want the football back!


LimitlessBlue added 07:36 - Jan 9
if Berra wants clean sheets he should stop sh1tting himself !

hoppy added 07:40 - Jan 9
“They are a full-time outfit so were very fit and we had to match that."

Wow, we were able to match a non-league club for fitness? Well done us!

Dissboyitfc added 07:52 - Jan 9
Utter garbage from Berra who is himself now past it, rubbish Sunday morning Defending ( no offence against Sunday football) players training all week should not be making these kind of mistakes week in week out.

"And we had to match their fitness levels", WTF! Every time i come on this site i hope to read something positive, but its always just rubbish. For example "they deserved the draw" no they deserved to win!

Just leave and take MM with you!

parkinshair added 08:01 - Jan 9
Another Monday and another player wheeled out to give us the usual sound bites. Talk is cheap and I'm sure I'm not the only one fed up of hearing the same old spin.
Berra is wrong anyway. Lincoln deserved the win not the draw. They were infinitely better than us and if Tom Lawrence hadn't have been on the pitch it would have been a comfortable afternoon.
I fear for Saturday. Anything other than a win will only fuel an already toxic and volatile Portman Road yet a win will just be another bit of paper over the cracks. Depressing times.

d0nk added 08:02 - Jan 9
Chris 'defensive error' berra. Absolute shambles. Dont deserve any wages after that on Saturday. None of them do. Sick of my club at the min. Bunch of pussys, and managed by a moron

battyblue added 08:04 - Jan 9
When we kept a few clean sheets it was because we had virtually the whole team defending at the cost of not scoring for several games so still not winning you can't have it both ways with town with the managers poor coaching/tactics/team selection he is just not capable so wish he would just go,,i don't hold much hope of winning the replay i predict we will go there set up not to get beat and hoping to nick one near the end the true McCarthy way,,,had enough a while ago of this poor excuse for a manager like the majority.

BrettenhamBlue added 08:08 - Jan 9
Garbage comments, may as well be talking to himself.

dirtydingusmagee added 08:15 - Jan 9
So obviously,as he was skipper he got the gaffers script to give us our'' Monday Moan''...............PRICELESS !

MonterreyBlue added 08:39 - Jan 9
This went past "embarrassing" several weeks ago. They are a full time out-fit? Berra earns i would imagine 10 times more than their highest paid player.

The perfect example was Lincoln pushed into a corner, 3 passes (on the floor) later and they we away on a counter-attack. Same happened to us a minute later and Berra just shanked on into the upper tier.

Inept tactics, long balls to no-one, short passing moving the ball too slowly and with no idea where they were going or what they were trying to do.

The only passages of play i liked where when Dozzel, Lawrence and Ward got the ball on the floor and passed it (on the floor) to feet around the box, then we looked more dangerous.

New signings: i don't think it matters if the managers style of play and tactics are like this. I also don't think our team is that bad, 2 or 3 new signings and we have a play-off team BUT and i can't stress this enough, a manager who is up to date with the modern game.

IWe don't need 5 million pound players to pass the ball on the floor. So frustrating.


WBBlue18 added 08:46 - Jan 9
The thing is that it's not just us saying the same things about this team:

Terry Butcher said earlier in the season that there was nobody in the dressing room ready or willing to stand up to McCarthy and that, in his time, there were people even willing to challenge Sir Bobby, which was a good thing as it put "things on the table" for discussion. He said at the time that the current squad is full of "yes" men...

On Saturday I was told by a Steward that "one of our ex-pros" left the game with 15 mins to go and when asked about the match said it was "*** **** crap" and that we were outplayed football wise by a conference team and also that, in his view, "players are not playing for the manager anymore".

Isn't it interesting that people in the game are saying the same things as us?

martin587 added 08:54 - Jan 9
Well,it was your blatant error that gave Lincoln there second goal.! Suggest you concentrate a little harder,don't you.

dirtydingusmagee added 08:58 - Jan 9
todays news header SHOULD have read ITFC part with Mick McCarthy, not more stating the obvious drivel .

TR11BLU added 09:06 - Jan 9
Not letting you anywhere near the first eleven would be a start, utterly useless and Ive been saying that all season.
You Berra have two assists for the last two games running and Im not talking Town goals.
Get in Micks car, with Skuglas in the back and pi$$ off now.

Dino out Now

TrueBlue1998 added 09:42 - Jan 9
Think its unbelievable that Berra's getting criticism! Yes he's made a few mistakes recently but overall he's one of the best defenders in the league- last year he was statistically the best. Also very good to have playing next to Webster, I'm sure he can learn a lot from his experience. I can't see us getting a defender as good as him with the money that Evans is spending

Jimmy86 added 09:53 - Jan 9
Think this is a bit rich coming from Berra as he has been 1 of the main culprits of our leaky defence of late. Was responsible for QPR's first goal and Lincoln's 2nd. With mis judged headers. Could also lay the blame for Bristol's goal as he collided with Bart, who had basically claimed the cross.

Berra has not been the same player since the red card against Norwich in the play off. Was shaky last season too and at times looked like a giraffe on ice skates.

He has actually been worse than Chambo at times, but has never received the same stick. Chambo has had to play out of position to allow Berra to play CB and Berra knows his position isn't under much threat barring injury. Feel sorry for Chambo who has always done a job for the team. He isn't a RB, both he and Mick knows he isn't a RB, but like with Sears Mick continues to play him there out of position, as he'll do a job for the team

Kesgraveblue57 added 10:05 - Jan 9
Berra your nothing but a donkey and you have a cheek to say we must stop leaking goals you Mr are the worst culprit go to your dream team, Rangers want you Ipswich don't

muccletonjoe added 10:06 - Jan 9
The whole club is a disaster area atm. This comment beggars belief.

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