Gavin Cowan gives Bucks benefit of the doubt
Gavin Cowan has given his players the benefit of the doubt after their under-par display in defeat to FC United of Manchester.
Cowan's AFC Telford United players were not at the races and found themselves three goals behind before Ellis Deeney fired in a late consolation penalty.
It was uncharacteristic from the Bucks – and the manager admitted it was painful to take.
He warned his players that is what happens when they have eyes elsewhere, and he said they may have been looking too soon at Saturday's FA Trophy semi-final with Leyton Orient.
He said: "I was specific after Solihull that no one was to talk about Leyton Orient.
"Up until 20 minutes ago it was not on my radar.
"The players had no reason to think of that game, it brings a distraction and this is what happens.
"I am not saying it was a factor from the lads, and credit to FC United they played with freedom.
"They were the better side and there hasn't been many times you could have said that this season.
"I've given them the benefit of the doubt, as this is the first time I have come away truly disappointed in their hard work and desire.
"That hard work is why the fans have come back and there is a buzz, because win, lose or draw, they know the lads give everything.
"Today, not consciously, they maybe had their minds on other things."
Asked if it was any pressure that affected his charges, Cowan added: "There is no pressure.
"Where did anyone think we were going to be at the start of the season.
"Probably scrapping relegation so there is no pressure."
The Bucks now have a week free with no mid week fixture, as they look to prepare for that mammoth last four clash against non-league football's top outfit.
The Bucks boss added: "I live for games, I like Saturday and Tuesday.
"But this gives us a chance to lick our wounds, and make sure we get back to doing what we can.
"We know against Leyton Orient we have to bring our A game because they are one of the best, if not the best in non league.
"We can't get to emotional about one loss, we just need to get back to what we are capable of."