Often Partisan

Brighton Preview in Association with EZE Group

Blues take on lowly Brighton and Hove Albion today at the Amex Stadium hoping to register their first league win since January 10 and end a run that has seen them draw five of their last six league games.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton come into the game in 21st place, one point outside the relegation zone although with a far superior goal difference. Brighton haven’t won since beating Ipswich on January 21 and have not scored in their last two games. Their home record is patchy, with one win in seven home league games stretching back to November 4 and only three home league wins all season.

Emmanuel Ledesma is available for selection following his loan move from Blues’ last opponents Middlesbrough, but defender Greg Halford misses out with a knee injury and Solly March is still sidelined with a calf problem.

Blues

Gary Rowett’s chief concern is the injury to David Davis, with Blues giving the former Wolves man as long as possible to prove his fitness for the game. Should he not make it, Rowett will have to make the decision whether to give Callum Reilly his first start since the Blyth Spartans cup game or whether to bring in Rob Kiernan for his Blues debut. Reece Brown could be promoted to the bench following some impressive spells in training.

Up front, Clayton Donaldson’s woes in front of goal have continued and he may find himself replaced by Wes Thomas. Dimmi Gray could start again despite having tonsilitis and taking a whack in the stomach during the Boro game; David Cotterill may find himself benched after another sub-par performance.

This is one of those games we should be aiming to win and thus I think we will struggle to do so. Brighton are deeply mired in trouble, only one point outside the relegation zone and their form has not been great. There is every chance they will shut up shop, thus negating Blues’ counter-attacking game and forcing them to break the Seagulls down – something they have struggled with under Rowett. The key for me will be if Davis makes it or not; if he doesn’t Blues need to have someone in the middle who can break up play, retain possession and ensure Blues have control over the middle of the park.

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29 Responses to “Brighton Preview in Association with EZE Group”

  • Kazakblue says:

    I hope it is not another banana skin match, one we should really be comfortable in winning and then doing our very best to lose it.

    Blues need to be far more clinical and cynical in front of goal, I will go for a 2-1 away win. KRO

  • Peter Bates says:

    As much as I praise gr since he came to the club we can’t keep giving teams the ball and hope they don’t break us down we also need to be a bit more adventurous in the attacking third when the ball his played up to the centre forward we need players to get aroundhim for the second ball we are a bit to easy to defend against kro

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Whilst being pleased with our resurgence under Gary Rowett, It would be nice to see us start scoring again more frequently,
    The re-jigging of our defensive mid-fielder will possibly cause a problem but like others, I would like to see us play 2, strikers up front for a while.

  • Andy W says:

    I concur with most other comments. I am really happy with the fact that the manager has pulled us away from the danger area for the time being, but I think we are now seeing the depth of his and the players abilities to work with what we have at this level. This is the time we have to dig in, get some results and maybe accept a not so fluent style of playing until we are safe, and maybe then the experimentation can be justified. I am concerned about our lack of goals recently, and the fact that we are starting to leak them at the other end. I’m not surprised to be honest, as I guess the lack of quality we have compared to other teams around us has always been fairly obvious. I just hope the players keep the “air of positivity” that the manager has often referred to. We have a habit of going on long extended bad runs in the last couple of seasons?

  • Trevor Honnor says:

    Shite result but at least now we have got a couple of new lads back on the score sheet. I still maintain that playing 2 strikers is essential for scoring goals, especially now that teams have figured us out.
    Hopefully Thomas may get a run of games now and get a few more goals.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Mmmmm……..Ipswich away and then Brentford next Saturday. Can see us getting dragged in a bit here the way things are going.

  • andy says:

    I just cannot understand why Blues are not going 442. Ok when you are playing in the Premiership and are limited then I can understand it more, but in this league you have to play 442 unless we really are a poor side?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think that once Morrison and Davis are back, we’ll be ok. It’s hard to lose the backbone of your team without it having an effect. We’ll just have to struggle on until we have them back. As for Randoph, as much as people like him, everytime the ball goes near him, I’m expecting him to drop a boll*ck. He’s been done by so many powderpuff shots this season it’s no longer funny. But, I don’t think we have an alternative at the moment, because Doyle doesn’t really instill too much confidence either. I’m hoping Townsend steps up for next season.

    As for 4-4-2, I think it’s the only way to go now. As others have said, we can’t keep giving the opposition most of the possession, then be surprised when they use it to our detriment. We DO have the players to hurt the opposition… when Rowett actually take the shackles off and let’s them (but, as with earlier in the season, we’re switching when it’s too late.) I felt that today, for the first time in a while, he made the right substitutions… but maybe if he’d made them 10 minutes earlier…

    Unfortunately, recent results have meant that the Brentford and Blackpool games have to be home bankers now, or we’ll be sucked right back into a fight to stay out of the bottom 3.

  • andy says:

    With Gary Rowett praising the impact of both Thomas and Novak in todays game maybe these two could pair up in a 442 and see what they do. Novak in particular formed a formidable strike partnership with Jordan Rhoades and with Donaldson and Zigic too Blues have enough options to find the right partnership.

  • Dave Mann says:

    How we lost to that crap I will never ever know , bad defending and missed chances AGAIN and is starting to piss me off …….it’s no f£&ing good scoring three if they score four and I am fuming at that performance and ime not looking for positives, no thank you!!! Kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s ok playing on the break using the flanks, but one flaw in our system is that we’re very one-sided. Caddis and Cotterill provide most of our ammunition, as there’s not much being created down the left hand side.

    Grounds has improved a lot since the start of the season, but is lacking in attacking instincts. With Dyer, unless your going to play to his strength, which is feeding him in space so he can run at the full back, then it’s pointless playing him. Gray, as good as he is to watch on the ball, mostly has no end product. in 16 starts (and 9 sub appearances) he’s scored 4 goals (3 in one game) and rarely sets up a goal. Our attacking play down the left needs to match the right, or we’ll continue to be one-dimensional.

    In fact, we have too many players in important positions producing very little. The likes of Gleeson, Shinnie, Gray and Donaldson need to up their game, because, as was proved yesterday, David Davis is the glue that holds the team together.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I think Morrison is a bigger loss than Davis but those are those.two provide the physical strength down the spine of the team. We are starting to look a bit lightweight again. Seven league games without a win and five points out of 21. We need to find a way out of this soon as it must be a drain on belief and confidence. The lack of quality in the squad is starting to tell now. Mind you the penalty before half goes in and we would have got at least a point yesterday.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think that if the penalty had gone in, we’d have won quite comfortably. Brighton were in the bottom group and were short of confidence. When we equalised, then got the penalty, their players must have been thinking “here we go again.” But that miss galvanised them and got their tails up.

      I have no doubt, that if Morrison, Davis, or both had played yesterday, we’d have been looking at a 3 or 4 goal win. Without that spine, we just open up and let teams through. Before we bought Davis, we had a soft underbelly… yesterday proved it’s still there.

      • staffs is never wrong says:

        Think you’re talking tosh tbh. We are where we are because at this moment in time we are a bottom half team

        • staffs is never wrong says:

          I think you’re right.People talk a good game on here.We are a bottom half team,and i will be happy with survival again this season. We had a good run under GR,in fact it still is a good run. Hopefully,he will get the backing next season o ake us where we want to be.If he doesn’t get the backing next season,we will once again be a bottom half team.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I agree and I think anybody with any intelligence knows that if rowett gets no support from the board next season we will struggle again and be fighting to stay in this league which we will do comfartably this season… We’ve gone 8 games without a win and in 4 of those we could have won but we dident so talks cheap and facts speak Lot more than people on here thinking they know all the problems and can’t understand why we can’t solve them…easy game to read in it boys!!! Kro

    • steve says:

      I think GR has done a great job and i think he’s the man to take us forward. We have taken some big points this season against some big teams.We would be down now under elsie. I think some fans got carried away with some of our results lately. Play off’s was never a possibility imo.Survival was the main priority. I reckon we will have new owners by next season and then we can look forward to a brighter future with GR at the helm

  • Art says:

    GR with almost the same team recruited by Clark has produced a miracle and we should survive relegation….amen.

    As for the future unless we get some financial investment through either the current or new owners the best we can expect is a middle of the table position with a strong possibility that we will lose any ambitious manager including GR.

  • andy says:

    Everyone likes to be a football manager on here and correct what the real manager does or doesn’t do. Me personally do not try to be a football manager, the only thing I insist on is that I am old fashioned and want to see Blues play 442 every week. A couple of comments on here are correct in that Blues are currently NOT a team that will compete for promotion, it is more a case of consolidating our status as a Championship club until new owners come in and can take us forward. We should be thankful that we are in a stronger position than others below us in the table to preserve Championship status because that is all we can hope for at this present time.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Change the record guys PLEASE!!! Kro

  • Shirley Blue says:

    GR has performed miracles to get us where we are but some chickens are coming home to roost now with the lack of quality in the squad. It could be that the end of this season cant come soon enough. We need E&Y to do the right thing as quickly as possible and get the club sold to some reputable buyers and we can start a new Chamiponship season in August with a much stronger squad and GR at the helm.

  • Blue lizard says:

    these players are clarks.with the exception of Morrison ..Dyer(disappointing so far) and Kiernan who it’ s too early to say….the team as we all know is by and large not good enough and has limited talent as granny used to say. “Yowm cant Polish a turd”. let’s hope E&Y unravel the financial mess and sell the club quicker than I think they will.. Till then I think we will struggle and hope we don’t get sucked back in to the bog end of the table if we did get a 10 point shafting that would be a disaster I don’t think we would ride out…. Hope I’m wrong

    • swissjonny says:

      You cant polish a turd but you can put glitter on it.This is what E and Y need to do-and sharpish.iI suapect the FL will dock us 10 points so important that we get a margin.Any astute investor will surely need clarification on this point as nobody is going to pay championship money for a div 1 club.This could slow things down.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Absolutely agree. The FL need to come to a decision one way or another asap. GR needs to know in order to know what kind of points target to head for and therefore how to approach games (and whether he needs to get more players in on loan). If there is going to be a points deduction we need 60 points. It also needs to be clarified for potential Investors as well.

  • Blue lizard says:

    The FA couldn’t find it’s arse in the dark and everything they touch becomes a saga…..too many lunches and G&T’s and red noses with veins in


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