LEE CLARK watched Town’s hopes of a points return at Colchester United disappear with the 75th-minute dismissal of his captain Peter Clarke then insisted: “Anyone who says we didn’t deserve something must have been at a different match.”
On course for at least a point until Clarke was harshly red carded for two bookable offences, Town tumbled to on-loan Barnsley striker Kayode Odejayi’s simple side-footed 80th-minute winner as the hosts stayed fourth in League I and left Town ninth.
Clark, whose side haven’t won in five, added: “My players executed the gameplan to the letter and I thought there were some very good individual performances.
“When we had the opportunity to get the ball down, we did so.
“I’m not sure how much the sending off affected us, but the goal came from an individual error (Joe Skarz’s missed tackle on Kevin Lisbie, who went on to cross) and we seem to be getting punished very heavily for those at the moment.
“But I have told the players they have nothing to be ashamed of with that performance. You sometimes need that little bit of luck, and we don’t seem to be getting it at the moment. But things will turn and our belief us still there.”
Clark switched to a 5-3-2 formation with James Berrett brought in for a first start of the season as sweeper (Nathan Clarke and Robbie Simpson also started, with Andy Butler, Anthony Pilkington and Jordan Rhodes dropping to the bench).
“I thought James was outstanding in both aspects of his role – as a third centre-back and a central midfielder,” added Clark.
“I checked with (keeper) Alex Smithies, and he confirmed that before the sending off, he didn’t have a proper save to make.Related content
“Perhaps we would have liked a little bit more in the forward areas, but we did manage to create some chances, and I have no real issues with any players.”
Clark said of Simpson: “He had a good chance near the end and his work ethic deserved a goal.”