Grecians player-coach reacts to St. Luke's Cup exitPLAYER-COACH Danny Butterfield gave his post-match reaction following the narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Plymouth Argyle in last night’s St. Luke’s Cup semi-final.
“I can’t fault the individual effort," Danny said, "We just didn’t cause enough of a threat on their goal in the final third, other than from set-pieces, so it was a little bit frustrating on that part. We’re normally good at having good possession and opening teams up with the possession in the final third - that wasn’t the case tonight, so there’s plenty to work on.
“There were half-chances, but nothing consistently to put their back four under pressure to score goals to win the game, so like I said, other than set pieces which with Tom’s delivery was always going to be a threat, we didn’t cause their keeper too many problems.”
City fielded a mixed team of experienced first-team regulars and youth team players, and Butterfield was pleased with how his side gelled.
"I certainly think Will Richards came in at left-back and did very well, Toby Down stood his ground at centre-half, and I think Stevie Rogers did well in possession in the middle of the park. Of course he gave the ball away a few times, but so does everyone.
"I think it was a good game for everyone, it’s more minutes in the bank for the lads that aren’t in the starting eleven at the minute and good experience for the younger players trying to earn themselves professional contracts.
"It has importance to the players who aren’t in the starting eleven at the minute; they need to keep their match fitness and match sharpness, and they need to be knocking on the manager’s door with performances to be selectable for the next game. And also for the younger players it’s a chance to showcase themselves in front of the manager."
Billy Palfrey’s long-range effort proved to be the difference between the sides, with Butterfield accepting that it was a goal worthy of winning the game.
"In fairness it’s a great strike from distance; it’s ended right up in the top corner. If you are going to concede, it’s sometimes those goals that fly in the top corner, and you have to hold your hands up sometimes. I think Christy himself will feel disappointed having got something on it that he didn’t keep it out. There’s no blame aimed at Christy, it’s just by his personal standards he feels that perhaps he should have kept it out."
Despite the game being the second Devon derby between the teams in only four days, Butts was keen to stress that their was more than just local pride to take from the contest.
“It was a cup semi-final, it’s against our local rivals, and everyone’s fighting for their futures, whether it’s the immediate future or the future of earning a contract. Every game should be competitive because there’s something riding on every single game you play. That’s the message I passed onto the players before the game."
With Paul Tisdale watching on from the Big Bank, Butterfield felt that the manager would have taken many positives from what he saw during the ninety minutes.
"The positives are that there’s no injuries, we’ve still got a fully fit squad going into Saturday’s game at Yeovil," Danny continued. "Again, we've got minutes into players’ legs that haven’t been in the starting eleven the last couple of weeks, and perhaps the the manager has got his sight on a couple of younger players who were trying to impress. So despite the disappointment of the result, I still think there’s positives to come out of it for us as a club."