We looked shaky at the back, says Stevenage boss Sheringham

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes - Credit: Archant

Teddy Sheringham said his players ‘let themselves down’ in their home defeat to basement side Dagenham & Redbridge on Monday.

Boro fell to a 3-1 loss with all four goals coming in a manic, but ultimately disastrous, first half for Sheringham’s men.

The Stevenage manager hauled off defender Mark Hughes after 30 minutes with his side already trailing 2-0, and after the game said that he could have taken off any of his defenders as he looked to find a way back into the game.

Asked if the players had let him down, Sheringham thought carefully about his answer before saying: “The players let themselves down.”

The Boro boss added: “We started the game very well for 10 minutes. We had chances, didn’t take them.

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“We looked decidedly shaky at the back. It cost us goals and put us out of the game in a 20 minute period where they were quite ruthless and got themselves in front.

“It’s happened before where we’ve had good possession and had chances and good play in the first 10-15 minutes and not taken the chances.

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“It’s a problem for us. It puts pressure on you without a doubt, and your defence can’t hold out. When they’re not performing at their best that’s going to happen.”

Speaking about the decision to replace Hughes with striker Armand Gnanduillet and change shape from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, Sheringham said: “It needed a shakeup really. It probably could have been one of four being changed at the back.

“I was a little bit concerned at their team shape. When you have two different systems playing against each other you tend to get lots of chances and I didn’t want that playing against Dagenham.

“I wanted to get against them. We didn’t get against them.

“At 2-1 we’re back in the game. You think ‘let’s consolidate’ but they got the killer blow. Poor defending again. It wasn’t over at half-time and we kept playing away but didn’t really get that golden opportunity to close the gap.”

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