Underwood: The world's against us at Bracknell
September 27, 2007
JON UNDERWOOD says he felt like the whole world was caving in on him in the build-up to the 5-0 hammering at Paulton Rovers on Saturday.
The Robins manager was forced to take a weakened side to Somerset following the shock exits of his captain Damien Smith to Fleet Town on Friday afternoon.
Striker Jordan Kiffin also departed just 24 hours earlier while Underwood was unable to bring in defender Kevin Prust as a replacement for the unavailable Michael Buck due to paperwork issues.
Bracknell then suffered another setback when goalkeeper Michael Parkin was stretchered off after 10 minutes with a dislocated shoulder.
Underwood had no reserve keeper to call on as Chris Grace was also unavailable so defender Ross Watson had to play in goal, which culminated in the Robins’ biggest defeat of the season in the Southern League.
Underwood told The Wokingham Times: “We were a depleted side on Saturday having lost Damien to Fleet and then Jordan on Thursday evening and then I was informed on Friday afternoon that Kev Prust, who was my replacement for Michael Buck, could not play as he had not received international clearance having played in Australia about two-and-a-half years ago!
“I had been feeling that the world was against us so to lose our goalkeeper through injury so early in the game was a huge blow as we had no keeper on the bench.
“Given all of that it would be wrong for me to be over-critical of the players.
“Paulton finished second last season and are a decent side so even with a full-strength team it would still have been a tough place to go and get a result.”
Underwood admitted the game at Paulton was effectively over after going down 3-0 at half-time but insists it is still early days despite his side’s lowly 21st position in Division One (South & West).
“We gave two penalties away in the first half and in between that Ross dropped a weak shot that 99 times out of 100 he would have just picked up,” he said.
“You can’t legislate for those things. Yes there are areas where we weren’t good enough but I’m working hard to improve the quality in the squad and it will come.
“It just needs to come sooner rather than later so that we don’t find ourselves adrift at the bottom of the league.
“There are still plenty of points to play for. We are only six games in after all.
“There were positives to take from the game, particularly the performance of Jermaine Lowe in midfield and also of young Ian Harvey from our youth team.
“He did well in the second half playing upfront and I’m certain he will become a very good player for this club.”