Joe Dunne takes the blame for Cambridge United's Carabao Cup exit
Disappointment with first round defeat to Newport County
Joe Dunne took responsibility for Cambridge United’s 4-1 defeat to Newport County in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Two goals from Padraig Amond and one each from Jamille Matt and Antoine Semenyo did the damage, with Ade Azeez getting the U’s consolation through a late penalty.
“I take full responsibility for the defeat,” said the U’s head coach. “It’s just a bad night, everything was poor.
“The players were brilliant on Saturday, absolutely brilliant to be able to turn things round and beat a top side. But I’ve got no excuses, I don’t want to make Saturday’s energy an excuse.
“When we’re stretched, we’re stretched and tonight defensively we were really poor as a whole team.
“I picked a team and tactics that I thought would get us into the game, but we were already chasing the game very quickly which, from our point of view, is disappointing and just the manner of the goals.
“However, it’s completely my fault and my responsibility because I pick the team and the tactics, and the players were brilliant on Saturday and tonight we came up against a highly-motivated team to really put us to the sword, so I have absolutely no complaints.”
Having threatened early on, Newport broke the deadlock in the 18th minute through Amond, after a pass from Matt.
The visitors doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute after a neat passing move as an unmarked Amond slotted home.
Four minutes after half time, Matt headed in Matt Dolan’s free kick to make it 3-0, and in the 86th minute, substitute Semenyo fired a diagonal shot into the bottom corner for 4-0.
There was a consolation for the U’s in the last minute as Ade Azeez dispatched a penalty after Jake Carroll was fouled in the area.
There had been hope that United would build on their 3-2 win over Notts County last Saturday, but that did not happen.
“You want a bit of momentum and obviously a cup run is important, but we were way off it and that’s down to me,” said Dunne.
“These players have played exceptionally well on Saturday and they’ve gone out again tonight and unfortunately haven’t been able to reproduce.
“But as I said, I thought Newport were, to a man, first to the ball and first to everything. We just, as a team, didn’t defend well enough in the key moments of the match.
“When the second goal went in, it was a case of what do you do to change it? With some players we can’t take the super risk and we paid for that. We’re paying for mixing it around and mixing it up.
“It’s a hard one to take but we have to get ourselves going again and get up for a big derby on Saturday.
“We’ve shown we can do it as a team. We did it on Saturday, we haven’t tonight, but I will never fault my players, I will never blame my players – I’m responsible for that, not them.”
United are away to Northampton this Saturday (August 18).