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Get your head up, boss tells striker

Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 15 January 2014

ATHLETIC manager Lee Johnson says it is up to misfiring striker Adam Rooney to lift his mood for the challenges ahead.

The Dublin-born forward failed to find the target at Walsall last night with two excellent late chances — including one from the penalty spot deep in added time — as Athletic slipped to a 1-0 defeat.

The former Swindon and Birmingham striker is stuck on seven goals for the season.

Up against a Saddlers side who climbed to sixth place in the league, Athletic’s boss was forced to come to terms with a highly-polished display that still yielded a loss, for the 12th time this season.

“Rooney will have to lift himself,” said Johnson. “I’m not here to be a social worker, I am a football manager who needs results. He is a senior player in our team and if he is down, he has to liven himself up and kick on. And when the chance comes next time, bury it.”

Rooney, who has been linked with a move to Scotland, came on after returning striker Charlie MacDonald had come off.

MacDonald saw one effort saved, and Johnson was impressed with the front man’s work.

“Charlie MacDonald’s movement was excellent,” said Johnson. “It was a slick ball played to him by James Dayton in the first half, and a decent save.

“We were fantastic with the passing and the movement we had. But if you don’t score, you can’t win

“I could name at least 10 very solid chances and scoring opportunities. I went into the dressing room afterwards and said, ‘fantastic lads’. Because as a manager, that is the performance I want with the energy and the will to win.

“I don’t want to say we were unlucky, as people get the hump when I say that. It was just the fact we didn’t put our chances away when they arrived.”

Athletic’s next game is a trip to Port Vale on Saturday and after that there lies a tricky run of games against Peterborough, Wolves and Swindon up to the first weekend in February.

“We have a strong group here. David Worrall comes in next week and he will give us a bit more as well,” added Johnson, referring to the loan Rotherham midfield player who has yet to make an appearance after signing for the rest of the season.

“There are a lot of fantastic signs for the future, but we have to steer ourselves out of this murky patch,” said Johnson.



ATHLETIC’S home match against Peterborough on Saturday, January 25, will go ahead as planned after Posh were defeated 3-2 at home by Kidderminster in an FA Cup third-round replay last night.

Comments

should have never took the pen no matter what he cost us.

Lee i am getting fed up with your match comments.

The verbal abuse that Rooney got last night, from the so called fans on the social media networks, was a disgrace. It was a good penalty, producing a good save. Walsall did their homework and it paid off.

So Laticsobserver, this is the same player you were saying we were being ridiculous over, couldn't score from the penalty spot, and missed a sitter from 6 yards out, we know nothing about football do we.

how much longer must we put up with strikers letting the team down.the defence and midtield are to..it seems a a good div 1 standard .it seems a long time now since weve had a good foreward the last being lee hughes.in my 40 years watching latics ive seen many good strikers and many poor,this batch are poor

For what ever reason Rooney is having a nightmare and he needs to go, because the output no way justifies the outlay. Shocking.

I can't think for one minute why a manager would let a faultering striker who has just come on and already missed a sitter, take a penalty in the last minute when we are losing. Very naive at best! And I am not a psychologist or a social worker.

"We were fantastic ! We were unlucky ! We did this we did that ! We lost 1-0, we got zero points! As i have said on numerous occasions the whole club has a losing mentality ! Clubs with winning mentality go away from home and win 1-0 seven or eight times in a season thats how clubs in lower leagues clubs gain success. If the group is indeed stong we will have no problems but are they really strong ?? Still waiting for the group to produce consistently !

I agree Chaddyender, you know nothing.

Better players than Adam Rooney have committed far worse errors in their careers.

Quite clearly if you have the ability to read, you will see that 99% of reports from everywhere and all the TV replays clearly show a World Class save from the Walsall keeper.

I'm not condoning what happened, just being realistic if you've played the game perhaps you would know that life can be tough as a professional footballer, no matter how much you get paid.

LJ is OK

Rooney is a waste of a striker and you keep trying to tell the fans what a good player he is. It's like playing with a man down and you won't give Carl Winchester a run in the team. Let him go to Scotland hurry up and get rid we won't miss him.

Lee Johnson you told us Dayton was a great player we are lucky to have him he gets bums of seats. Only time my bum leaves the seat these days is when I'm going home after watching another boring match with one goal in the game, normally the away team scoring first. Another bad season, struggling in regulation once again & same old stories from the manager how unlucky we were, can't be unlucky every week just haven't got a decent striker and no goals from midfield either, not just strikers.

Can we not loan Rooney out.I think I have seen 1 good performance since he came!. "GET RID".,

you would have thought we had a ten million pound player budget the way some hark on.
LJ is doing his best and rooney was unlucky. simples

There are some unbelievable comments on here. We have one problem and thats the ability to convert chances into goals. It's a big problem, but we have outplayed most teams we've faced this season and the football has been far superior to anything we've seen here for a long time. To those who say get rid of Rooney - fair enough so long as you can replace him. I'm afraid LJ will have to soldier on with what he's got and by the way, being a 'social worker' is part of being a manager.

Lee Johnson says "I don’t want to say we were unlucky, as people get the hump when I say that ...."

But, Johnson, you have said it !!!

... and yes, we do "get the hump" as you say it after almost every match !

Are other teams never "unlucky" ?

 

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