Monday, April 1, 2019

David Smith faces the media after Saturday's disappointing draw against Launceston City

Photo:  David Smith at today's media conference [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras coach David Smith fronted the media on Monday to discuss Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Launceston City.

It was a shock result and may have dented Zebras’ title hopes even so early in the season.

“At the end of the day, you create the chances to score, and if you don’t score, you pay the penalty,” Smith said.

“And credit to Launceston City.  To be fair to them, they had four or five good chances as well.

“Everyone told me that Launceston City were this or that, but to be fair, I was impressed by them.  I thought Cartwright dominated in the middle of the park and I thought Mies was a handful all day.

“Launceston City took it to us and we didn’t handle it very well.

“We created enough chances to win.  I thought Cartwright and Mies were the two most dominant players on the park.

“We didn’t lose, but it was two points dropped.

“We worked pretty hard on trying to get guys behind [their defence].  We didn’t take our chances, though.  Credit to their keeper at times, but we made poor decisions.

“It’s frustrating at times knowing you’ve got a team that look like scoring and just don’t finish.  And, we scored such a good goal, but we just couldn’t handle the game.

“We’re 2-1 up with 3 minutes to go, and we give the ball away.  We should have slowed it down and kept the ball.

“We do it in training, but we just can’t keep the ball.  We gave them the chance and they took it.  The ball is your best friend.  You don’t want them to have it.  We just lost our heads and panicked.

“We’ve just got to work through it.  People forget that we are a new team.  There’s still a lot of experience there, but we’re losing that experience.  Losing Muller is putting more pressure on Hey and Sanders.”

Photo:  David Smith also decried the fact that clubs were split apart because youth and Challenge League teams rarely played at the same venue as the senior team and this split support within the club [PlessPix]

Zebras were also missing Luke Huigsloot, one of their key players.

“The experienced players should have stepped up and ensured that we kept the ball,” said Smith.

“But, it was probably the older players who gave it up.  Some of those guys need to have a good look at themselves.

“What we need now is more belief in ourselves.  We’re not out of it.

“We’ve only had one good first half all season, and that was against South Hobart.

“In the other four games we’ve played, we were poor in the first half.  Second half, we’ve been really strong and we’ve come on well.  We need to transfer some of that second-half performance to the first half.”

Smith said perhaps the team needed to change their possession style of play to what he called ‘the Tasmanian style’, or the long-ball game.

“Perhaps we need to get people behind the defence and play balls long,” he said. 

“Lengthen it rather than shorten it.”

Smith continues to have faith in striker Mathew Sanders, who flies in from Melbourne for each game.

He said Sanders was an experienced and deadly striker and he would get goals.

Smith said that on Saturday, Sanders had had an off-game and bad luck, but he would work hard to get back into the groove.

Zebras are away to seventh-placed Riverside Olympia at Windsor Park next Saturday.

If Devonport and South Hobart draw on Sunday, a win on Saturday will enable Zebras to make up some ground on the leading pair.


Anonymous said...

I guess Huigsloot's boss didn't let him play again, just like the other week?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dave but how can you say that Zebras play a possession game and then say that because you couldn’t keep the ball
they scored because you gave the ball away because you can’t keep it?
Playing the ball back and forth across the back is not possession football.
Maybe I am wrong I don’t know.

Anonymous said...

Not just experienced but young or older and have good technical ability you keep the ball .like South Hobart young but great on ball as ken would say keep it

Anonymous said...

Rhodesy is the Craig Foster of Tasmania Football the guy has a great ability to read games very similar to yourself Walter .

Anonymous said...

This shows that teams are still working on getting their play right and that lower teams can surprise you. We need to see how things sit after the first eight games, after everyone has played everyone else.

As a coach, you are stuck between needing points but wanting to play a certain way. The trick is being able to adopt your style of play whilst still getting results.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.07.
So you suggest that the so called lower teams are not working on their own play? Why don’t the so called better teams surprise them as well ? It should happen both ways. Answer is Zebs are too hot and cold.

The Phoenix said...

What a load of rubbish.