LEE CLARK is ready to get back to basics on the training ground as he aims to drill the art of defending into his side.
Town’s disappointed manager couldn’t believe the manner in which three points were thrown away in Saturday’s roses derby at Rochdale.
Ashley Grimes fired in an 89th-minute equaliser to condemn Town to a second draw in as many League I games.
Clark’s men have equalled the club’s best-ever run of 27 successive league games without defeat, set back in 1927.
But that was no consolation to the boss, who watched as Gary Roberts’ slip gifted possession to Rochdale skipper Gary Jones, who played in Grimes for his third goal in two games.
“One of my forward players who has terrific ability took a liberty in the wrong area,” said Clark.
“He should have put it in the stand or hooked it down the pitch.
“My philosophy is a simple one of splitting the pitch into thirds, and I stress it to the players and will keep doing so.
“In the defending third, take no chances, defend the penalty box, get in good clearances and if you have time to play it, play it, but if you don’t, don’t.
“If the ball has to go in with the supporters, so be it, because the opposition can’t score from there.
“In the middle third, it’s one and two touch, and when you don’t have the ball, press and close the opposition down.
“In the final third, be inventive, go for goal or try to create things for others.”
Rochdale manager Steve Eyre, whose side lost 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday a week earlier, said: “We need to stop going behind in games.
“But for the second time this week (after the Carling Cup win over Chesterfield) we’ve tinkered with the shape and the lads have bought into the new tactics.
“We were brave and I think on the balance of play we deserved our draw.
“Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro wasn’t in the game for first 30 minutes.
“But he swung it back our way with an opportunist (first Rochdale) goal.”
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