Often Partisan

GAMEDAY – Preston Away

Gary Rowett will be looking to build on a positive performance from Saturday in Blues’ second game in an action-packed week.

Preston

16th-placed Preston come into the game on the back of a good home win against Reading and will be hoping that they can add to the two wins they have already picked up in December. Defensively, they’ll be hard to beat having kept eight clean sheets in their last ten games.

They are likely to be unchanged from the side that beat the Royals with Bailey Wright remaining on the bench and Jermaine Beckford not quite fit yet.

Blues

Blues could have Jon Toral back into the squad after the Arsenal midfielder missed out against Middlesbrough; otherwise there are no new injuries. Rowett has said that he doesn’t have the squad to allow him to rotate and although Blues play Cardiff on Friday it could be he sticks with an unchanged team from the one that could have sneaked all three points at the Riverside.

Ref

Kevin Wright takes charge of this one; he’s shown 38 yellow cards and three reds in his 17 games so far this season. His last Blues game was way back in November 2013 when Blues beat Barnsley 3-0 away at Oakwell; in that game he booked three players including Lee Novak.

Suspension Watch

5 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld
4 Yellow Cards: David Davis, Jonathan Grounds, Stephen Gleeson and Paul Caddis
3 Yellow Cards: David Cotterill
2 Yellow Cards: Jon Toral
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak, Neal Eardley, Michael Morrison, Paul Robinson, Clayton Donaldson, Jonathan Spector, Andy Shinnie and Demarai Gray.

The cutoff date for 5 yellow cards to attract a suspension is November 30, 2015
The cutoff date for 10 yellow cards to attract a suspension is April 9, 2016

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87 Responses to “GAMEDAY – Preston Away”

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I see no reason why we can’t take something from this lot. Preston have drawn nearly half their games and have 16 goals for, 16 against. It screams draw, but I think we can nick it by the odd goal.

    The only change I can see, is Toral in for Shinnie.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Same here staffs, Toral for Shinnie and a win by the odd goal will do very nicely . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Their record at home is no better than ours Dave. They’ve won just 2 in the league at Deepdale. So there’s no reason why we can’t turn them over. All we need to do is score. Easy peasy. :)

      • zxcv says:

        your both just putting your own spin on it, what you want and what you get will depend on what blues team shows up. There home record has little to do with it if we don`t turn up. If we play like we can we are capable of beating anyone at any ground, but I don`t know how good they can be on their day, neither does anyone else. So.at our best and based on our away form we have a great chance of winning regardless of their form at home.

        • Dave Mann says:

          Obviously , that’s my spin on it . Kro

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Nothing to do with spin. Our home form has been poor lately, which means teams come to St Andrews thinking they’ve got a good chance. Unfortunately, that’s been the case. By the same token, based on their home record this season, we should feel that we have a good chance of coming away with at least a point. I don’t think that’s unreasonable tbf.

          • zxcv says:

            Staffs There are other factors to what you say ie who have they played at home to have such a bad record ? you do not know that do you. have you really looked at the games where they played top teams and won or lost,? do you even know the two teams they beat? Was there a game they lost when they deserved to win. you are just saying what you want to happen and this is Blues.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I think we have a good chance of getting at least a draw. I prefer to be positive. Whatever you think, is your choice.

          • zxcv says:

            And also by the same ideology you use we our bound to lose our next home game then?

          • zxcv says:

            not so positive now is it?

          • zxcv says:

            Also I happen to think we have a great chance of winning if we turn up its called reality

          • zxcv says:

            Simon Grayson …“From start to finish we played well against Reading and another day, it could have been 3-0 or 4-0.”

            did you know that.?

  • nicko says:

    i agree with staffs blue there record is not good at home they tend to defend deep and hope for a break were they can pinch one i think with gray vaugh and maggs we will be to good for them tonight win by 2 clear goals kro

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Let’s hope the Middlesbrough game heralded the end of Blues’ poor run.
    It has been painful watching Blues at home recently, not seeing a goal for nearly 7 hours.
    No wonder attendances at home have been disappointing and the atmosphere flat.
    I hope money is made available in January and that we can maintain our Play-Off aspirations.

  • Macca 21 says:

    Blues away on a Tuesday night In the league. Always a pick on my coupon. Hi % success rate whoever we play.

  • Mitchell says:

    If I was offered 0-0 now I would say No. I want to see where we actually are now especially with Vaughan playing. I may regret it later but want a win that this opposition offers-albeit their recent results have been good. Halford may get his start and Vaughan needs a goal. Goal in each half the target . If it has to be a draw then 1-1 2-2 but not 0-0.

  • Mitchell says:

    zxcv. I think that Dave Mann has seen us away all season and he has seen a totally different team to what we see at Stans. Results have impressed him and the way we counter attack. Therefore he has to be full of optimism without putting spin on it. Not wishful thinking on his behalf but factual evidence he keeps witnessing.

    • Dave Mann says:

      Correct Mitchell, the facts and the reality is that we’re better away from home this season , no argument , no spinning , no nothing , just need to look at 18 points away and 11 at home , that’s the reality zxcv , and your propably right that were lose on Friday night at home to Cardiff but … What about losing tonight and winning Friday , that would change reality right round to what’s happened so far but hey it’s just about what happens on the pitch and it’s guess work as it is now because I don’t think any of us can see in to the future even though it’s only tonight and Friday were talking about . Kro

      • zxcv says:

        Dave just for the record I didn`t say we would lose on Friday, I said based on staffs ideology we would lose but since I do not agree with spin I do not think we will lose Friday what ever the result tonight.

        • Dave Mann says:

          Fair enough and that’s your opinion but I was just suggesting that the way the seasons gone so far that an away win tonight is more likely than a win Friday .. The reality is were better away than at home though I agree with you that I personally think we’re get something against Cardiff but none of us know for sure we are just guessing .. Reality , ideology , opinions , there all different ways at looking at a situation so let’s wait and see what happens . Kro

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Ideology? Do you not think you’re labouring the point a little? It was an opinion, nothing more.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Their home record isn’t the best, our away record is pretty good. If that’s not grounds for optimism, then I don’t what is. If others don’t agree.. hey ho, life goes on.

  • Texas Pete says:

    It’s an away game. While reading the comments I began to think it was at home. The key is that they have to attack and we have to avoid going 1-0 down. If we can get the first goal on the break all is good. They will have to attack more and we can get another and so on.
    I will be happy with 0-0 as another building block and I hope Halford and Brock get some time with the right circumstances.

  • Dave Mann says:

    If it was at home then I wouldn’t fancy our chances as much but away I think we’re Nick it 0-1, 1-2 . Kro

    • zxcv says:

      That’s better Dave, now your basing it on us and our away record not just on their poor home form as staffs was doing in the first post I responded to. Because if you do that then it has to be fair to apply the same theory to us on Friday which I disagree with.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Having just read that lot I think I’ve just lost the will to live.

  • ChrisG says:

    I think tonite we will either win, lose or draw….there that keeps everyone happy!! KRO

  • Bluey says:

    I think we`ll lose 3-1.

  • zxcv says:

    Staffs out of interest how do you think we will get on against Cardiff?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think we’ll win… but I’m sure Cardiff will think they have a decent chance too, simply because of our home record. Nothing is definite in football.

      • zxcv says:

        no disrespect but that’s where I think you are totally wrong because I am certain the complete opposite is true. Both the Cardiff manager and bcfc Manager will tell their players to put any talk of this game being any easier due to their home record completely out of the thoughts as you can not go out with that attitude and I am surprised you obviously think they will. Player do not rely on spin.

  • KC says:

    Based on selection, needs Shinnie to have one of his rare better games to put it diplomatically !

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      It wouldn’t seem fair to drop him after Boro and I agree it would be a bonus for him to show some of the form of when GR first came in.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Apparently, there are 35-40 scouts at the game tonight!

  • How the hell are we supposed to win with one shot at goal on target in the first half, this club has still not got it , we play one striker to make our defence a fortress , not with a goal like the one Preston scored in the first half , its time to change to an attacking system , as you ain’t going to score goals spending 60% of the time in your own half .

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Overall, 18 shots, 6 on target. That’s 33 shots in the last 2 away games.

  • Mitchell says:

    It’s not bad and it’s not that good-but it is where we truly are. Battling away performances deserves real credit. Our biggest problem was getting into 2nd spot a month ago-it gave us glimpses of grandeur and has blinken unsettled us ever since. Made a rod for our own back etc..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      To be fair to the lads, they could and probably should have won the last 2 games. I feel disappointed for them. If we manage to find out shooting boots, who knows how high we can go.

  • dulux says:

    Good second half performance, but another two points not taken. So many chances not converted is the glaring statistic from this game. Gray was excellent but couldn’t finish. We were a different team in the second half with Toral supporting the forward play.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Excellent second half performance whereBlues absolutely battered them. Preston had no answer to wave after wave of Blues attack and Toral was superb. The lad is so comfortable on the ball and is always looking to bring others into play. On any other day it would have been Blues winning by 5 or 6 but we just had an off day in front of goal.

    As an aside, although he played very well, Gray’s miss showed he has a long way to come before he is a £5 million pound player. I would have expected him to score at the death and I would have put money on Vaughan or Toral murdering that chance.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Another 2 points dropped and another barnstorming second half performance , 6points is only 2 points so wining at home Friday is a must to compensate , time for home wins to return if we’re to push on , we’re have the big two back after Cardiff so all is not lost . Kro

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Second half, other than perhaps at Fulham, is the best, offensively, I’ve seen us play this season. We moved the ball around very well and constantly found space on both flanks. I agree that it’s two points dropped but we can take real positives from this second half showing.

  • Mitchell says:

    To my joy and I must say total surprise is the great form of Eardley. Full credit to GR for his recall. He looks sharp,hungry and committed . With one game more before Don&Cotts return-sit back and enjoy Cardiff on Friday. Without doubt our players will be busting a gut NOT to be replaced for Boxing Day, and a win for me is nailed on against Cardiff. Even Bluey must be optimistic given the circumstances-or am I asking too much Mr. Mann?.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Great performances last night, but their goal looked a bit of a keeper howler. It was a simple cross which the defence left to the keeper who totally misjudged it, Really looking forward to Cardiff on Friday night who had a late late winner against Brentford.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I fancy us to win Friday purely because our luck must change at home , we’re playing better in second half of games and our fitness is not an issue with the way we’re competing for 90 mins , Tiredness not a problem so let’s put these teams teams to bed at home starting with Cardiff … What does Bluey think ? Not a home win that’s for sure or will we all be pleasantly supprised !! Kro

    • Mitchell says:

      Bluey- we all love you really- just a bit of fun. After all we are all part of this wonderful family of unhinged bluenoses!

  • Lichblue says:

    Having been to both Boro and Preston I am gutted that we have not got six points from those games. Our second half performances in both were excellent but obviously lacked the goals. Last night Toral was excellent as was Demari in the second half. Jonathon Grounds had an excellent game which included hitting the post – not something i have been saying a lot of late. Let’s hope we can get a win at home (at last) on Friday. KRO.

    • DoctorD says:

      Lichblue — why do you think we started so slowly in both games?

      • Paul Bradley says:

        Looked like we panicked a little from the onslaught of the home sides. Once we got into our stride we started to rattle both teams. But we need to try to do this from the start of games.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If we could play a whole season away from home out form suggests we make the playoffs perhaps comfortably. That attacking verve had to be displayed at St Andrews by perhaps giving the midfield and wingers more freedom from defensive duties.

    Let’s give our opponents something to worry about more than worry about them

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Sounds like we should have won again last night having let Boro off the hook on Saturday.Strange how we look so flat in our home games after these barnstorming away games-it can’t be just down to formations all the time as he went 4-3-3 last time and we looked even worse than 4-5-1.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Just watched the You Tube highlights. Bl00dy hell, another 5-2 wouldn’t have flattered us would it? In the last 2 away games, we’ve had 33 shots, 9 on target and scored one goal. Practice word for this week… Composure.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Let’s hope Cardiff get the backlash from all the chances we’ve missed in the last two games , Donaldson & cotterill will be welcome back with open arms . Kro

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    We had more come back off the woodwork than they had shots, looks to me like we are trying to hard to score and think the oppositions keepers are better than they really are, though Pickford for them did get his hands stung a couple of times. Looking forward to Cardiff, just a little more consistency away and belief at home will do it for me. Kro

  • Mitchell says:

    When Stan Cullis signed Jimmy Greenhoff he got him to do nothing in training except SHOOT . I can remember watching at Damson Lane one day and sure enough Jimmy was there practicing his shots. By Saturday those goalposts must have look 20 yards apart. I agree with you that shooting practice is vitally needed.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It’s just my opinion of course, but I think that players don’t tend to shoot with a straight foot anymore. It’s all bend it like Beckham these days. Players nearly always seem to hit the ball with the inside or outside of the boot. That’s ok in certain situations, like when you’re at an angle to goal, but the times I’ve seen shots curl wide of the goal for the sake of a straight shot is untrue. I don’t think the balloons they use today helps either… too much deviation in the air. As I said, just my opinion.

      • AdamTrueBlue says:

        Point taken but I do think players try for the perfect goal into the top corners which means they miss more than they score, when a lot of the time a good strike into the middle will do the job and has more room for deviation, I think they need to learn the basics of scoring before they look for the spectacular, I would rather see 10 shots and 10 on target with 3 scored, than 9 off target and 1 scored, but i do agree today’s ball does not help, Kro

  • Your right staffs blue I have also noticed it they tend to bend the ball the wrong way , 18 shots 6 on target and how many goals , teams usually average a goal every 3 1/2 shots on target per game ,sometimes less and sometimes more depending on whether the attempt is hit by a proven striker or a midfield player or defender , that is why in a 4+2+3+1 system I feel it best to play two proven strikers on the wings that can cross a ball than two wingers . kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      And there’s another case in point William. There are very few genuine wingers these days. Most are just midfielders shoved out there because there’s no one else. Genuine wingers attempt to take on the full backs/defenders and get behind the defence. Most ‘wingers’ today prefer to cut inside and shoot.. or stop and play the ball back to the full back.

      I did note that Gray did actually do that for the Maghoma header that hit the bar last night. I’ve been waiting so long for him to do that and enjoyed it. Well, he’s proved he can do it now… so let’s see if he can do it again.

  • KC says:

    If he only he could have scored we would be raving about Gray today. I know it’s about scoring goals and taking chances but he wasn’t the only one to miss a sitter or two. His pace for that last chance was fantastic. Still think Toral should have started or certainly a different option to the generally ineffective Shinne. If Toral was ok to start at half time then he was ok to start at the beginning. There’s no ifs and buts Gray,Toral, Morrison, Maghoma,Grounds and probably etc all missed relatively straight forward chances where some of them, not all, have to in to win games. Agree they should be ready to at Cardiff now and get a result.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      With Gray’s shots, it’s all about composure. He’ll learn that with experience. But he’s not a striker. What I want to see more, is him using his pace, taking on opponents and setting up chances… improving his decision making. That’s, of course, if he gets the time. Last night was the best I’ve seen him play this season.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Couldn’t create nothing at home to Huddersfield except a chance wasted by Brock… In two away games we’ve created more chances to win half a dozen games .. As I keep saying the home fans must be absolutely mortified and disappointed that there not seeing the attacking creative football we play away .. Bring away performances to stans and we’re get 20,000 plus every home game .. Tickets for away games sell out .. I wonder why ? Kro

  • Lichblue says:

    You are right Dave. I also do most of the away games (thank god) and if we could get anywhere near as creative at Stans more people would be coming through the turnstiles.

    • Dave Mann says:

      Lichblue, exactly , but there’s certain individuals on here who don’t go to away games and keep telling everyone who does to have a reality check and were not good enough and the squads light and we’ve got no money and the first eleven is not top six .. REALLY! .. It’s them who need the reality check and to keep it real .. Listen .. We are good enough for top six and that s the reality so stop the negativity and the let’s hope those that do turn up at stans Friday see the team that we know is capable of pushing up the table but our home form is worrying and I’ve said on msny occasions that if that changes Friday then the reality is we can push top six . Kro

      • BlackCountryBlue says:

        Agree. Teams defend deeper away from home and at Stans we seem to fall into playing in front of them without too much penetration. Away we tend to exploit the space in behind better. Sorry if this is stating the obvious but we need wingers taking full backs on and getting crosses in and midfield players running past the front man to turn the defenders towards their own goal, and we need to keep doing it.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    For the winning goal Gray should have paused and pass the ball inside for Halford to sidefoot in

    • StaffsBlue says:

      In my opinion, watching the chances back, I think the first chance was the easier of the two, he just needed to hit it right. I think their keeper was the most surprised person in the ground that he’d missed the chance. I wasn’t really surprised that he missed the second.. he had too much time to think about it.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yesterday’s gone ..it’s all about Friday , let’s refocus, bad misses but then we’ve all got them haven’t we !!!! Kro


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