Phil Parkinson issued an apology to the travelling Altrincham fans and vowed to step up his search for attacking reinforcements after being stunned by three first-half Leamington goals and a second-half red card for leading marksman Jordan Hulme at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium on Saturday.
Hulme faces a four-match ban, after an off-the-ball clash with defender Junior English, but it was the way promotion-chasing Alty succumbed to lowly Leamington after a bright start that perturbed Robins boss Parkinson the most, as he said:
“I have no idea where that performance came from. I’m soul-searching, to be honest, and we deserve all the criticism we get, particularly for what happened in the first half. That cost us the game.
“We have an identity at Altrincham. I have tried to promote that and instil it in the players ever since I arrived at the club, but in that first half, I didn’t recognise the team out on the pitch. We speak in training every week about when to go long and when not to, but, for some reason, we decided today to turn into a long-ball team.
“Well, I hope anyone who feels we should resort to that more often can now see why it isn’t us. We played Leamington football, not Altrincham football, and that’s why we had no control of the game. I didn’t recruit players to play that way, yet that’s what we did consistently throughout the first half.
“People may write it off as a bad day, but it was worse than that for me. You can only dismiss it as one of those things if you have tried to impose your style of play on the game but it hasn’t quite worked out or you’ve been undone by a bit of quality.”
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