Players should carry the can, says Hughes

Jeff Hughes gets a shot in
Jeff Hughes gets a shot in
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Midfielder Jeff Hughes admitted a failure to stick to the game plan was the downfall of Fleetwood Town, as they lost their 100 per cent record in League Two.

A disastrous first half saw Town 3-0 down at the break against Burton Albion on Saturday, Graham Alexander’s men clawing the scoreline back to 3-2 but unable to find an equaliser.

Hughes said Town’s failure to follow instructions had been key on a wild and wet day at Highbury.

He said: “Burton set it up well. They let the centre-halves have it and get pressured.

“We passed it about more than we were supposed to.

“It’s something the gaffer sorted out in the second half.

“When we stuck more to the game plan we had prepared we got results.”

Town tried to play a short passing game, the heavy conditions not helping their cause, Burton capitalising.

Hughes said the first 45 minutes were down to the players.

He said: “The passing game was something we took it upon ourselves to do – it wasn’t what we were told to do.

“It wasn’t the day or the game to be trying to do that and I think we know that. It was all our own doing.”

After a superb start to the season, Hughes admitted Town had been lulled into a false sense of security ahead of Saturday’s defeat.

“”I don’t think anybody saw that coming,” he told The Gazette.

“I think that was the problem. Maybe we were a little too confident.

“You can’t afford to give anybody a two or three goal win.

“It’s something we know we have to address. We were very poor defensively, though we tidied it up in the second half.

“It’s a cliche but it really was a game of two halves.”

Town were a changed side after half-time, scoring two goals and creating a hat-ful of chances to draw level.

Hughes, who scored the first of Fleetwood goals with a fine strike from inside the box, insisted the manager should take the credit for the turnaround. He said: “The gaffer told us a few home truths.

“We knew what we were doing wrong, that we needed to change a few things, – obviously not worded like that – but he said we weren’t following instructions.

“We won the second half but three goals was just too much. We can’t afford to give that away to anybody.”

The midfielder, a summer capture from Notts County, believes Fleetwood’s domination of the second 45 minutes was clear to see.

“Even before the first they were dropping very deep,” he said. “We thought once we’d got one we’d get a couple, maybe a few. It just didn’t pan out that way.”

A double substitution appeared the catalyst for Fleetwood’s revival, Gareth Evans setting up Hughes and Jamille Matt blasting home from close range to give Town hope.

Hughes praised the impact of both players

“We’ve got four good wingers here,” he said. “Gaz (Evans) has come on and done his part.

“Jamille is a big lad and such a threat up top.

“That helped us all round as well.”

The lack of a midweek fixture gives Town time to turn things around for the trip to struggling Hartlepool.

Hughes believes his team-mates will learn quickly

He said: “We need to learn from mistakes.

“We’ve got a full week to prepare. We’ll watch the mistakes on screen and see what we did wrong.

“When you look at it like that, it’s a real encouragement not to do it again.”