Andy Cook was disappointed that his side let their standards drop on Sunday afternoon as they fell to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Middlesbrough.
Speaking after the game Cook shared his thoughts and said: “We didn’t do enough throughout the entire 90 minutes to win the game.
“The last 25 minutes we did well and got into the game but from 15 minutes onwards in the first-half we were not happy with our performance.
“The intensity we always want from the team wasn’t there and we allowed ‘Boro into the game and they took their chances.
“Fair play, the second goal was a great strike but we need to do better to close it down and win those duals.
“There’s a lot we can take from this game but it’s more learning on the things we didn’t do.”
Cook fielded an experimental starting 11 and formation for the cup fixture and admits that he ultimately takes responsibility for the loss as he made the changes.
“There’s a few reasons I could pick out why that performance wasn’t up to our usual standards but along with all the choices made here it starts and stops with me,” Cook explained.
“I decided to change formation and change a few players around so ultimately, I take responsibility for it.
“I asked a lot of my players to adapt to what we changed to as we changed it all not just one or two positions.
“The team did what they needed to in that sense but overall the side need to get better in that middle half.”
Despite the loss there were still positives to be taken from the game as long-term Red, Annabel McKechnie made her first appearance for the first-team in over two years since she returned to the club in the summer. Cook was delighted to see her take to the field and put in a great shift.
He said: “We have a team huddle after every game and I share my initial thoughts and I ended today’s with only praise for Annabel because she’s worked her way into the side.
“She joined us at pre-season and she let me know that this was her first season back in two years since her pregnancy and her comeback was going to take time.
“Fair play to her she’s played the first-half of the season with the reserves and done exactly what she needed to do with them.
“The reserve side coaches have constantly kept my up to date with her progression and she trains with the first-team every week so to see her take her chance today and be brilliant when she came on was fantastic and she won the penalty which led to our goal.
“I’m sure it won’t be the last time she plays for the first-team this season.”