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Longman: ‘Ten minutes has killed us’

19 April 2022

Ryan Longman was frustrated his side were unable to build on a strong first-half performance after losing 2-1 at seventh-placed Millwall.

Two goals in four minutes early in the second half gave the Lions an advantage the Tigers could not overturn despite a late response from substitute Tom Eaves.

Defeat at The Den ended City’s six-match unbeaten run on the road – but Longman was encouraged by the performance against Gary Rowett’s play-off hopefuls.

“We had a good first half – all of us had a decent performance,” said Longman.

“We came in 0-0 half-time, away at this place especially, going in at 0-0 is a positive. There were lots of positives to take out of the first half.

“Maybe we didn’t come out as strong as we should have in the second half – a frantic 5-10 minutes and that’s how football goes.

“Ten minutes has killed us – a crazy goal and a good bit of quality for the second goal.

“We got back into it and I was really glad for Eavesy to get another goal, but maybe it was a minute or two too late for us.

“They’re a quality team and they showed that, they stuck to a game plan and it worked for them.”

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The Tigers headed to South East London knowing Championship safety had already been secured following the 2-1 Good Friday victory over Cardiff City.

But with three games still to play, Longman says the team remain motivated to finish the season with a flourish.

“For this club, it was a really good achievement and for the new owners, when they took over, that was aim,” he added.

“To achieve that is brilliant for the club and hopefully next year we can crack on.

“In these last three games, we want to put a stamp on this league and show we’re ready for next season.

“For the boys, there’s a lot to prove for them still personally, for this club, and everyone wants to make a good impression.”

The 21-year-old has made 32 league appearances in his first season at Championship level, with many of those outings coming at wing-back, a position he has had to learn.

“I played a little bit at wing-back throughout my academy years with Brighton but not to the extent of this,” Longman admitted.

“I’m enjoying it. As a player, you want to adaptable, versatile and it’s nice the gaffer sees me as someone who can play in multiple positions.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence now. I really feel like I’m adapting to this league quite well.

“I feel I’ve got a lot more to show as well, and hopefully I can do that over the three games left.”

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