Harrison Dunk feels United just fell short in producing the ugly side of the game for a long enough period to complete what would have been a valuable draw at Exeter City on Saturday.
The U’s longest serving playing admitted that whilst the side underperformed when in possession of the ball throughout the fixture at St James Park, he still felt they could have avoided the narrow 1-0 defeat in Devon had they sustained their grit and concentration levels for a little longer.
“You have do the ugly things. We weren’t good enough in the ball throughout the match which means you have do to do the ugly things even better than usual.
“We did our job up to the goal, but we needed to do the job for the 90 minutes. In these games when it is so tight you really have to be on it because that split second when you are not, it can make the difference.
“We would have liked to have closed the game out better than we did. It was just a very even game, which they probably just edged and we would have liked to have been tidier in possession. It was just very disappointing we couldn’t finish the game with a point.”
He continued: “It shouldn’t take the opposition scoring a goal for us to impose ourselves so that’s an area we need to build on.
But it felt like we were cancelling each other out for most of the game. At the end of the day though they took their chance and we have to learn from that.
“It’s important that on another day now, we do see a game like that out and pick up a good point. They are the points that will make a difference come the end of the season. So we can’t be losing them.”
Despite the setback, Dunk is confident United are continuing to make progress under Head Coach Colin Calderwood. He not only takes positives from the U’s recent three game winning streak in League Two but even the manner in which they have remained competitive in games for longer that sets up the chance to close out results.
He said: “The results recently have shown we are in games whereas in comparison to perhaps earlier in the season when we were folding, now we are staying in games a lot better.
“We look more productive on the ball and there are less of the silly mistakes that were costing us games, and because of that we have been in games longer which always gives you more of a chance to pick up points. That includes today, up to the goal late in the game I thought we did our job well.
“I think everyone can see we have a far more solid shape, we are working with more solid foundations. Hopefully between now and the end of the season we can build on that and continue to pick up the right results.”