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Gavin Cowan takes responsibility for AFC Telford's FA Cup exit

AFC Telford United manager Gavin Cowan took full responsibility for his side’s disappointing exit from the Emirates FA Cup.

Gavin Cowan
Gavin Cowan

The Bucks lost 3-0 to Cheshire side Nantwich Town, who play one division below in the Northern Premier, as their struggles in front of their own fans continued.

Some of them voiced their frustrations and Cowan didn’t hide afterwards, saying: “They’re my players, they’re players I’ve recruited and players I’ve put out on to the pitch, so the buck stops with me.

“I want to apologise to the supporters. I’ve set a level of expectation since I’ve been at the football club, so the bar is very high. I understand their frustration. Some of the supporters were amazing at the end, and I took the time to offer my apologies. Some of them were really encouraging, and some were pretty damning and frustrated and I appreciate that. I don’t take it personally because they just want the club to do well, the same as I do.”

Cowan wasn’t prepared to say where he felt his team’s problems lay.

“I’ve got to go away and look at it,” he added. “It’s extremely disappointing, for me, the staff and the players, because no-one goes out there to lose football matches. It’s hard to go into detail about what went wrong without criticising others, but ultimately it’s my responsibility and mine only.”

“For all the lads endeavour today we just couldn’t get it going. We were constantly open; we looked quite good going forward at times, but to be that open was criminal.”

The Bucks boss was adamant he hadn’t underestimated Nantwich.

“We knew they would be a good side, we certainly didn’t take them for granted, because a lot of their players have played at this level and higher,” he said.

Acknowledging the defeat as perhaps his lowest point in his tenure, Cowan remained bullish, adding: “I’ll maintain my beliefs, and perhaps we are suffering a bit of a hangover from last year. The message last year was “whilst it’s all going lovely let’s stick together”, because in the times of darkness you all have to stick together as well.

“I’d ask people to stick with me, because I will get it right.”

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