Boss reflects on a night of mixed emotions at Bramall LaneManager Paul Cox was proud of our players’ performance in tonight’s closely-fought 2-1 loss at Sheffield United, but rued the injuries to striker Liam Hearn and centre-back Martin Riley.
Only a quarter-of-an-hour had elapsed when summer signing Hearn was forced off with an injury – the extent of which is as yet unclear.
Riley had to be replaced by John Dempster with around 20 minutes remaining after suffering a knock, and our boss admits the loss of both players is a blow.
“I stated before the game that I didn’t want any injuries, but we’re going down like flies at the minute,” said Cox.
“We took Hearnsy (Liam Hearn) off and it was nothing to do with his old injuries. He just fell awkwardly on his knee.
“Riles (Martin Riley) went off because of his groin and we took [Jamie McGuire] off because we just can’t afford to lose anyone else and he was on a booking.”
Cox continued: “I thought the lads were absolutely tremendous tonight and probably deserved to take the game into extra-time against what is a very good Sheffield United side.
“So it was mixed emotions because you want to win every game, but our main focus this season is on the league.”
When asked what the latest news is on the injuries to Hearn and Riley, our boss added: “Neither of them look good. Liam might have twisted his knee and ‘Riles’ has done something to his groin.
“It’s not something that we wanted coming into the game with only 18 fit players to choose from, but I’m proud of the players and I thought we put in a great performance.”