Often Partisan

GAMEDAY – Rotherham away

Blues hope to bounce back today against a Rotherham side who are struggling at the bottom end of the Championship, and who have a new manager in Neil Warnock in the dugout.

Rotherham

Rotherham lie in 22nd place, 14 places and 22 points worse off than Blues. They have not won in four games and have conceded seven goals in their last two at the New York Stadium.

While Warnock takes charge it was former Blues player Nicky Eaden who prepared the squad this week prior to the former Sheffield United, QPR and Crystal Palace manager taking charge. Andy Shinnie is ineligible to face Blues but former Blues players Chris Burke and Matt Derbyshire could be in the team.

Blues

Stephen Gleeson and Jonathan Grounds are both doubts for this game which could make for an interesting selection at left-back. Mitch Hancox is the other recognised left-back in the team but it could be Paul Caddis, Paul Robinson or even Ryan Shotton is preferred there should Grounds not make it. David Davis could come in for Stephen Gleeson while Charlee Adams could find himself on the bench again.

This is a tough one in that it’s a game I’d really expect us to win; however as Blues play a counter attacking style they may struggle if Rotherham decide to shut up shop. It could be that the creativity of Jon Toral and Diego Fabbrini is key in this game.

Ref

Richard Clark will take charge of this game. He has refereed 17 games so far this season, producing a total of 47 yellow cards and one red. This will be the first time that he has refereed a Blues match.

Suspension Watch

One red card (three match suspension served): James Vaughan

8 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld
7 Yellow Cards: Stephen Gleeson
5 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Grounds
4 Yellow Cards: David Davis, Jon Toral, Paul Robinson and Paul Caddis
3 Yellow Cards: David Cotterill, Michael Morrison and James Vaughan
2 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Spector  and Neal Eardley
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak, and Clayton Donaldson

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

Fantasy football

Often Partisan has linked up with new BCFC sponsors Sportego to bring you weekly fantasy football competitions. Simply create an account atwww.bcfcfantasyfootball.com, pick who you think the best five players will be in today’s game – and the person with the best combination of five players wins. Can you beat my picks?

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139 Responses to “GAMEDAY – Rotherham away”

  • Womble Joe says:

    Gone for a cheeky fiver on Fabrini and 2-1 at 55-1

    Time to get back on track keep right on

  • Pods says:

    Good Morning All BLUES fans,
    Regardless that Neil Warnock has taken over at Rotherham, we must get back on track again and start to put together another winning sequence to keep in touch and actually sustain a top six place.
    There is possible changes i hear to the team, i would like to see Ryan Shotton given a starting shirt.
    2-0 win to Blues.
    Someone mentioned we are looking at Seb Larson before lone window closes??

    KRO

  • If omens are anything to go by it is Donaldson’s day ,the river Don is next door, so is DON St and there is a district of Clayton in New York , forget the lower team jynx the game is DON and dusted…

  • Lichblue says:

    Come on you Blue Boys. 0-1. Can go in off the Ref’s arse for all i care. Just want three points.

  • Dan Hickman says:

    1-2 tense hard fought game I think. Start with pace and intent I reckon, try and get the job done in the first half an hour. They won’t give up though, and will have the crowd behind them and Warnock. C’Mon the Blues!!!

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think if last season is anything to go by then it’s us who will have the crowd behind them , there fans have even come out and said we were the best away support they’ve ever seen at there new stadium , Warnock and Rotherham had better be ready for us but hopefully they won’t . KRO

  • nicko says:

    i reckon we will give them a good beating 3 or 4 we owe them one kro

  • Robin says:

    Gone for Blues to win & BTTS & hopefully it will go towards weekend in London v QPR

  • Pods says:

    Let’s hope so Nicko

  • StaffsBlue says:

    As I said yesterday, this is a hard one to pick. It could just as easily be 1-0 to them, as 4-0 to us. If we can get a good start, their heads will maybe drop and we can finish the job as they tire. I’m going for the famous ‘free-wun.’ To Blues of course.

  • Dave Mann says:

    It’s nice and mild here in Rotherham and with me being the optemistic type I will go 1-3 also . KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    1-2 Fabbrini 55/1 .

  • Spot on Dave ,we are 22 points better off , 27 goals to the good on difference , and better away than many are at home come on blues you owe us from the SW match .

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    An important afternoon with Wednesday and Derby both having winnable home games.A slip up and we could be 6 points adrift of the play-off zone.0-2 Blues.

  • swissjonny says:

    Lets just do the job today and stay in the hunt.I think this is a 0-1.They will be combatative and well set up by a wise old fox like Warnock. Come on you Blues.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Same team as last week.

  • Texas Pete says:

    We need to play Nolan Hale next time after his nine goals in two games, thats far more than anyone in the first team for the whole season. Seriously though it is that goal scorer that is needed. Let’s use him.

  • Goodie says:

    Carnt believe gr as put shot ton at full back he’s a centre back and why pay one and half mill and not play fab again !

  • Half way through not a shot on target , I think your right Texas Pete Time for GR to hail HALE , he’s scored more goals in the last two games than the first team has had shots on target ..

  • atko says:

    One word……Shambles!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Definite lack of quality up front. But, it’s another away point. Still only 3 points from the play-offs, but it’s looking a bit iffy now if we’ll make it. We need a run of 3 or 4 wins.

    • atko says:

      I usually back Gary Rowett 100% in all his decision making but it seems that the purchase of Fabbrini has completely disrupted the whole team. He should not have brought him on last week and this week his introduction led to players playing all over the place for the following 10 minutes and there was only a little more than 10 minutes when he came on! It was a nightmare!! I don’t think Viv is ready for the first team yet either….not at this stage in the season and the importance of games as they stand. I thought GR didn’t lead by example when he said we need to step up against these lower league teams. When they went down to 10 men he should have took the bull by the horns and maybe took a midfielder off and brought Fabb/Cotts on & really had a go at them. Instead he went like for like & brought Toral off which allowed Rotherham to raise their game. If we had took the game to them with additional attacking options they wouldn’t have had the balance of that last 10 minutes and we might have had a few more chances. It’s like GR won’t take a risk against a team that we should be hammering. We can put 3 past Derby & Ipswich but cannot score against the likes of Rotherham. The problem is it will be the same all over again against Bolton too! We have to ask ourselves before and after these games….how much do we REALLY want the playoffs?!

    • steve says:

      2 points lost,but luckily a few results went our way.

  • When ever we play teams in the lower half we have less shots on target , this is not exceptable , we had a 27 goal difference advantage before the game .so we should have had about 9 shots on target , as it was we ended up with 3 shots to Rotherham’s 2 on target , it was a welcome point , but really we have signed new players to improve this , we still need an out and out striker in this showing .,every scout should be out looking for one ,

  • Art says:

    As stated on numerous occasions top ten place at best.

    Can’t fault those with blind passion but the realty is we are not good enough.

    Next season could be our year though.

  • Dave Mann says:

    What can I say !… Nothing because for the point of arguing with the realists it’s really not worth it , have a good evening and talk to you in the morning .KRO

  • Perhaps your right Art , but we still need a target , and I don’t want to live without faith ,optimism ,and passion , and loyalty .

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Agree William.You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that Blues are going to struggle to compete for a playoff place with sides that can go out and spend millions.But it shouldn’t stop fans hopes and dreams that we could pull it off against all the odds.Thats what it’s all about isn’t it?
      An away point is always a good point and there’s a few twists and turns to go yet.

  • Mitchell says:

    Tactical know how again not good enough. Fabrini not trusted nor Vaughan. We are probably about right in the results and our points tally. whole system of team selection now a problem with possibly the acquisition of Fabbrini not helping to push forward towards that play off spot which has probably come down to 6th only.Whatever happens from here will be more than satisfactory but the golden chances we keep passing up is so frustrating. As Staffs always says we need to learn the art of shooting for big parts of the game. Get the strikers training their shots day in day out.

    • steve says:

      Vaughan was injured. Nothing has really changed due to other results. There have been worse results and still only 1 defeat since Christmas. When Vaughan is fit,i think it’s time he was given a run in the side.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Before the Bristol game I though we had a good chance of making playoff, but only if we maintained our away form by staying top or second in the away league; by winning all of our playoffs six-pointers and perhaps having to stay unbeaten. Its not just a question points but just how many teams are in the hunt. How many can we expect to fall away en route.We’ve missed my target in the last three games and a look at the league table does not make for good reading.

    This not a moan. Yes we are what we are for reasons we all know about. The realism is unless we can get into a winning streak now we are not going to have enough games left.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Just got back from Rotherham. Very poor performance. It’s all very well having two six footers in the full back positions (we were solid enough defensively) but neither gave us anything going forward which made us very predictable with no creativity from central midfield. Only two real chances – a Morrison header from a corner and a Donaldson shot. Probably not a bad point with Ipswich losing but we are going to have to put poor teams like Rotherham away to make the play-offs.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    They say it’s hard to compete with the big boys and the amount of money they can spend, but, not being able to beat the likes of Rotherham and Charlton, etc, has nothing to do with the amount of money we’ve spent. We’re creating plenty of chances, we just don’t have anyone up front who can score more than once every 3 or 4 games. But, this is Blues, when did we last have a player who troubled the leading goalscorer charts in the division? (King?)

    If we’re going to have a serious crack at the play-offs, we need to start winning consecutive games pretty quickly… or we’re going to be running out of matches soon. At this stage of the season, it’s time Mr Rowett came out of his shell and tried something a bit more adventurous. If we’re going to fail, I’d rather fail having a right good go at it.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      It was a defensive set up today. As I have already said having two full backs who are really more naturally suited to being centre defenders meant we looked solid but if the two central midfielders sit deep too then for me we were very predictable. Buckley certainly missed Caddis making forward runs. As soon as the ball went wide Buckley and Maghoma were doubled up on. Toral had an off day which meant the only outlet was long balls to Donaldson who more often than not got clattered. The two best performances recently we played three central midfielders against Derby and Ipswich which allowed at least one of them to get forward and score goals. A tactical dilemma for GR I would say.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        That is why I expected Rowett to switch back to the 4-3-3. Yes, it might appear a defensive system, but we were unbeaten in 4 games using it (8 points from 12.) Since we switched back to 4-2-3-1, we’ve lost one and drawn one and scored one goal. At this stage of the season, we have to go with what wins us 3 points not what looks pretty. We can assess the merits or otherwise at the end of the season. Once it looks unlikely that we’ll reach the play-offs, I fear our season will fizzle out. So why not have a real go at it while we can.

  • steve says:

    I think there is an over reaction here. 4 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat in our last 8 league games. I think the squad and staff should be applauded.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      It turned out to be a good result today but it wasn’t a good performance against a team that will probably be relegated. I am right behind the manager and the team but that’s how I saw it.

      • steve says:

        I’m not in disagreement about the performance SB. Yesterday we were all positive. Because of other results nothing has really changed but all of a sudden it’s doom and gloom.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          I’m not gloomy – we still have a great chance of getting 6th especially with Derby falling apart again. I was just disappointed with today’s performance against what was a really crap team IMO.

    • atko says:

      An over reaction on what, Steve? Rotherham are a team even our low cost squad should be hammering based on form, league position and supposed confidence! The problem is we just will not have a go and that is from the manager down to the last player. As Shirley Blue said that was a very defensive set up today. Why? We have many attacking options now allegedly. The bench was packed with midfielders. We played a very poor struggling team who had a player sent off leaving us plenty of time to put the game out of sight yet it was Rotherham who were the better organized team after the sending off. It was very pitiful!

      • steve says:

        Rotherham have beaten Hull and Brighton this year. That blows your ” we should be hammering them ” comment out of the water. Have a look at some of the results the bottom teams have pulled off.

  • It surprising what people can do hillfield blues when people have faith in them , look at the away form we produced , we are not punching above our weight we are at our best almost whilst other teams are despondent with their lot .,I believe that when blues fans are with them ,there is no better guru’s , their footballing life is short let’s get the best out of them ., for their sakes as well as ours ..

  • Texas Pete says:

    It is a good away point but an opportunity lost. Yes still needing that goalscorer you can count on to score with his knee, his arse, whatever. Just a natural scorer. What happened to the Don. Both he and Vaughan are both harassers like Jerome but they are not doing it.
    Lots of results would have been in our favour if we had that scorer because our defence is so tight. One little component to move us into the top 4.

    • steve says:

      Tbf Vaughan hasn’t been given a chance. Maybe now is the time.

    • atko says:

      To be fair to Vaughan AND the Don they are presented with how many clear cut chances in a game? If they are lucky….ONE! The way we are set up to play, normally defensively, gives us very little license to get up the other end of the pitch to create anything. We haven’t gotten any real creative players that will give our strikers a chance with the exception of Cotts who we are wrapping up in cotton wool right now despite him chomping on the bit to get on the pitch. He says he’s ready according to Rowett but GR doesn’t want to risk him. Well those are the gambles you are gonna have to take to get in the play offs. It’s all or bust sometimes!

  • Dave S says:

    Disappointed, yes, frustrated, yes, angry, no. It is what it is and so much better than it was.
    Just need tonight, everything will be ok tomorrow, onwards and upwards.
    KRO

  • The Don for me should stay in the penalty area , especially when cotts is back,

  • Tony says:

    Things need to be addressed Donaldson wants replacing , he’s our main striker and he does not score enough goals, Fabrini should never have been bought Toral does all the things he does and scores goals. Shotton is a big centre back not a full back. What’s happened to Vaughan? he’s another who works hard but does not score, we desperately need a goalscorer.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      i don’t think it would have mattered if we had got Messi up front today – we created virtually nothing. It doesn’t matter where the goals come from as long as they do. Blaming Donaldson for us not winning today is way off the mark. The full backs are definitely a problem from an attacking perspective and no-one making runs from midfield was too. We made it too easy for Rotherham through being too predictable,

    • atko says:

      Vaughan got injured in training yesterday. Likely to be out just for todays game I would think, especially as we now have 10 days until the next game. As I said earlier in the thread to be fair to Donaldson we don’t create enough chances for him. He is usually kicked and pushed all over the place. Doesn’t get the rub of the green at all. A deflection here or a wild shot there (like Maghoma’s today) he’s unlucky not to get on the end of and that’s about it. Remember the goals he scored last year were as a result of the outstanding supply from Cotts. We’re closing on half the season out without one or the other of them or both. We need Cotts back simple as and we need to damn well SHOOT as soon as we get the opportunity. Today’s pathetic effort of 3 shots on goal against a side down near the bottom is not going to get us anywhere and no matter which ‘goalscorer’ you want to bring in regardless of cost, they would not make a difference.

    • Fabbrini is Toral’s replacement for next season

      • atko says:

        God help us then because so far as I have seen he isn’t fit to fasten Torals boots up yet. He’s very light weight to say the least is all I can say about him so far.

    • steve says:

      Fabbrini should have been bought because Toral won’t be here next year. Shotton can play FB or CB

  • Texas Pete says:

    Another way of looking at it that Derby lost to a bottom club and so did ipswich, while we gained a point ours and against them in effect. We are doing some experimenting and we are right there with the top six. Brighton werent that solid against their bottom team at home and same goes for Burnley. We did ok against the Warnock bounce and have another clean sheet. Let’s keep right on. It is still a lonh long road.

  • Andrew says:

    Now the realism of what I’ve said all along is starting to settle in, we just aren’t good enough to gain promotion and even if we do we need 15 players to compete in a higher division. Everyone who thinks goalscoring strikers can be found simply like an apple plucked from a tree are sadly mistaken

    • atko says:

      That’s not true…..we proved we can beat teams up there, the Derby’s, Ipswich’s, hold Middlesboro even though we should have beaten them. It’s the same old story, we lack the consistency and worse still against the teams we should be beating!

    • Shirley Blue says:

      We are good enough to get into the play-offs. If we get promoted they give us lots of money to go and buy players so what the squad is like now is irrelevant. Regular goal scorers in this division can be obtained if you have £10m plus available to spend on them.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I agree. We’re only 3 points off a play-off place, all we need is another run of 3 or 4 wins and we’ll be right in there with about ten games to go. I don’t think that, at the start of the season, any of us could have asked, or expected more than that. My only wish, is that Rowett would loosen the reigns a bit and let’s see how much of an attacking force we can really be.

    • steve says:

      I may be wrong Andrew,but we’ve only lost twice to teams above us. That proves we’re good enough.

      • Andrew says:

        I would love it for them to prove me wrong and we have another Darren carter moment at Wembley n a few months but I just don’t think we are quite there. I’m not saying we have no chance but I think it’s a very slim one and no disrespect to the players because they’ve done excellent so far but a few are scrapping it even in this league. If we had won yesterday I might have a different outlook but I just don’t think we are good enough

  • swissjonny says:

    Agree Staffs.Much as I am a huge Don fan maybe Fab up front for a game or two? Secondly I would really like to see Davis start.

  • Dave Mann says:

    It was a poor performance yesterday but in saying that we were the better team over the 90 mins but as many have said on here we don’t shoot enough when in and around goal and try to pass it in and that was our problem at Rotherham ….I don’t agre that we should go to teams like Rotherham in the bottom three and expect to win , we ALL should know by now that in this league bottom beats top and money is not the be all and end all for a promotion push or being the best team as Leicester have proved this season , we actually gained a position yesterday but the way some fans think it’s a downward spirral and mid table mediocrity , for you realists out there let me tell you something , we can reach the playoffs because we are good enough , the players , the manager and the fans are all good enough so don’t tell me otherwise …we might not reach them but that is not because we are not capable , my take , my opinion and my stance ! KRO

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I agree we are good enough to make the play-offs but I stand by what I said last night. With two predominantly defensive minded full backs and Gleeson and Kieftenbeld sitting deep and not making runs forward we made it too easy for Rotherham to defend against us. We only created at best three chances in the whole match and that isn’t enough. With Derby and Ipswich both losing it turned out to be a good point but we cannot rely on that every week. One of them will turn it around at some point or someone below us will go on a run.

      • Dave Mann says:

        But we could also be that team that goes on a run and turns it round , let’s remenber we did not lose at Bristol , we did not lose at Rotherham , we lost to Wednesday and there 5th in the league and our only defeat in the league in nearly two months , worth remembering . KRO

        • Bluey says:

          If you think we`re anywhere near good enough for the play-offs then you`re watching a different team to me. Optimism is fine but i`m afraid it`s without foundation.Even yesterday i thought we`d fail to win (against Rotherham !!!!) and predictably that`s what happened. No blame attached to GR or the players but they are not good enough,plain and simple.Face facts…..until the ownership of the club is settled and we recieve meaningful investment,we are going nowhere.

          • Dave Mann says:

            As you rightly say Bluey it does look like we are watching two different teams , I prefer to watch my team to your team . KRO

          • Dave Mann says:

            My foundation is 7th in the league , 3 points off the playoffs , only a couple of defeats in the last couple of months to the same team and that’s plain and simple , face facts . KRO

        • Bluey says:

          Hey Dave if you`d like a wager regarding promotion this season i`ll gladly take it.But you won`t cos you know the truth.I`ve a grand waiting…….

    • atko says:

      I understand your comments Dave & largely agree especially with the point you make that nobody should expect to beat bottom of the table clubs but in Blues case our whole mindset changes against them…..and that goes from the Manager down to the last player! We had 3 shots against a side that was sure to collapse if we put them under any sustained amount of pressure but we didn’t do that! The only time we did they panicked and got carded resulting in one of them taking an early bath & still we didn’t pressurize them. Instead we allowed them to pressurize us & when that happens the manager has to take part of the blame for the changes he made at that point! I would be happy with a point yesterday if the effort was there. If we bombarded Rotherham & the ball just wouldn’t go in then that’s just unlucky but nothing was further from the truth and that’s why me & so many are frustrated & feel it was definitely 2 points lost.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        What really annoyed me was that even with 9 men on the pitch at the end they looked like the team most likely to score when they got a few corners. We should have been all over them at that point. They shouldn’t be getting anywhere near our goal with 9 men. Football is a pretty simple game. If you get the ball and sufficient men in and around the opponents goal at roughly the same time then you have got a chance of scoring goals but we just didn’t do that yesterday and the way the team was set up was the main cause of that. If Shotton is going to play it has to be as a central defender not full back because we then have the same problem on the right as we do on the left with Grounds.

        • atko says:

          Bolton will be interesting Shirley Blue, you may get your wish. I thought Robbo made a couple of errors yesterday that could have been costly against a better team. Thankfully Rotherham were poor! That’s not knocking Robbo, he has been as much a reason we have done so well as anyone else that’s played their part. I think he has surprised a lot of people to be honest but I do think a break is what is required ready for a busy run in. I think Rowett maybe thinking that too, he’s rested Caddis (who now get’s an extended one with no game for 10 days) so maybe he might think it’s time to rest Robbo for a game or two.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            I am not saying drop Robbo. Shotton and Grounds as full backs give us a solid and big back 4 but there is a downside in that neither of them will give us much going forward. Shotton has a great long throw in but it would help if we had enough players in the penalty area to capitalise on it. We didn’t take a risk and allow Morrison to go forward for them which I thought was odd.

          • BhamCityJulian says:

            If Shotton doesn’t give us Caddis’ attacking flair that’s a backwards step from an attacking viewpoint. It shows where’s Gary priority lies: clean sheets. We are setting up for a 1-0 run-in. Brave.

  • Dave Mann says:

    As I’ve said before atko you can’t lose what you don’t have in the first place , we stared with a point and ended it with a point , what you meant to say is that we didn’t gain the extra two points but I understand that we didn’t shoot enough and pressure them enough when down to ten men and I’ve already mentioned that but your find that when ten play eleven it doesent mean that the eleven will win , it doesent always work like that but yes we have to do more and let’s not forget there fighting for there lives and had Neil Warnock on debut so let’s not get to down about it . KRO

    • atko says:

      What will be key is how we respond against Bolton who are in the same position as Rotherham, Dave. This is a home game, the crowd behind the team (although you would have thought yesterday was a home game, particularly in the first half with the Blues fans), and a 10 day break. Maybe we should spend 10 days solid shooting, lol!

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I’ll second that. Shooting is our weakness.. and weaknesses should be worked on until you get it right.

  • steve says:

    We all know how this division works. Nobody runs away with it. Brighton were unbeaten for so many games at the start of the season and didn’t stay at the top.I think they were third when they suffered their first defeat. We’re not losing many games and whilst that continues we’ll be in with a shout.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Definitely good enough and our form going back through to last season confirms the point so why some people are saying it’s not realistic is beyond me.Consistency is our problem and we can’t just roll up at places and expect 3 points in this league.
    The difference at the moment is that when Sheff Wed have a problem with scoring goals they go out and splash 3 mill and pay Prem wages on a player like Gary Hooper.You only need to look at our last home game to see what an advantage that gives them.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Fair point but even Gary Hooper wouldn’t have scored for us yesterday because he wouldn’t have got the opportunity – we didn’t create anything.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Just one of those days by the sound of it.Games like that can be decided by a piece of individual brilliance and it seems that if Toral is off colour there isn’t anybody who can score a goal like Hoopers first last week.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        When chances are few and far between, you have to make sure you take the ones you do get. Hit the feckin’ thing instead of trying to walk it in. Shoot a fraction earlier to avoid the block. Shoot straight to avoid curling it wide. These are things that should be worked on, on the training ground.

    • .KC says:

      Agree consistency is key. We have shown we are capable of winning /losing against any team in this league. Without criticising individual players Inconsistency in individual and team performances is perhaps an indication of our playing budget. Also moving on from the brilliant Derby performance it appears that it is not proving easy at the moment to integrate the new players in to the same or a more potential creative style of play. Supporters are generally positive on this site. In the final run in now needs positivity and belief from the playing side in every game to support the great position GR has got us in to.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Fabrini has a big part to play but with our counter attacking style away from home it’s hard to integrate him effectively into that style of play.
        We had become a bit one dimensional at home and that’s where his creativity will come into play.

  • Jimbob says:

    Came away yesterday feeling disappointed with the performance/result/tactics & sub replacements.
    Not many times I have had that feeling this season unlike two seasons ago when that became the norm, so I think we can cut sir gary some slack.

    I said the start of the season that we would finish between 8-10 but hoped we could have a chance of sneaking into the playoffs with 10 games to go for that bit of excitement, well I think we’re going to get that!!

    On a side note, was it just me but did anyone else think the ref didn’t look fit, hardly moved out of the centre circle and was second guessing 50/50 tackles but because he was so far away from play he took the safe option and sided with the home team, very very poor ref IMO.

    Any way KRO

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Anyway it’s gone now. What we don’t need is the Vile beating Liverpool and only being 5 points off safety.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes away wins all round today in the cricket, the rugby and the three premiership games will do nicely thank you. KRO

  • steve says:

    Crickets looking a bit ropey atm Dave

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes but fingers crossed Steve we can still get 280 or so . KRO

  • steve says:

    Need Hales to go on and get a big score

  • Dave Mann says:

    We’re giving our wickets away . KRO

  • Well I am ready for Wembley again .

  • Art says:

    Being realistic and possibly being criticised for being a nonbeliever GR is a young manager learning his trade in a very difficult league.He had done a magnificent job with very little financial support but he’s still inexperienced.

    Top ten finish would be an excellent achievement and assuming he gets more money to improve the squad we will be pushing hard for promotion next season- not this season,

  • I don’t think any blues fan can moan about that art , and GazR is not perfect in that he is a might bit to defensive at times ,and we are still short of a proven striker ,still not got a fortress back four , but if other teams have a bad run we could have a shout from the GPO tower here’s hoping.

    • atko says:

      I would be interested to know if you think last season was a fluke William? Clayton Donaldson scored 16 goals last term so in my opinion we don’t need a proven striker….we have one. In fact we have TWO! Vaughan is a proven striker too!! The problem is if we are not creating chances for our strikers then they ain’t gonna score unless they can manage to create something for themselves. Given the way we play then teams know to double up & sit tight on the Don…albeit too close & tight at times so the chances of him actually creating anything for himself is very slim! I’m not overly interested where the goals come from as long as they come but the reality is as we have said before in this thread they are not going to come from anywhere if we don’t shoot more! Who is the Premier League’s top goalscorer? Is it Vardy? Even he couldn’t score in our team because of the way we are set up. You have to be prepared to shoot more from all around the 18 yard box the way we are set up & we are not prepared to do it!!

      On another note….talking of Vardy that was no way a penalty for Leicester! Look at the replay from behind him, he had lost full control of the ball and the contact was minimal from the defender.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        The trouble is, in our system, Donaldson is expected to do everything up front. Battle with centre backs for the usual long balls, run the channels and wings for balls played over the top and be in the six yard box to put away chances too. By the time he’s done all the chasing and battling, he’s too knackered to get on the end of chances. You notice he’s always just inches away from connecting. He’s not playing as a striker.. he’s a target man who holds the ball up… and as such, it’s the three behind him who need to capitalise on his work.

        • atko says:

          Exactly…spot on, Staff! Ironically I was reading that article the other day in one of the daily’s about him. He started off as a midfielder then moved out as a winger then finally became a striker. If we give him a stint in goal and in the back four then maybe we can expect him to play on his own in future, lol! I still go back to that game at the start of the season….Burnley away. We might not have won that game but we played some beautiful flowing passing, working the ball out from the back. We abandoned that not long after….not an instruction from the manager but just we seem to panic a bit more at the back so tend to pump the ball clear instead of having a little more composure. That’s what is missing for us to create chances for the forwards and other midfielders for that matter. Until we move the ball about better without pumping up to the Don we will always struggle to create clear chances.

          • Hillfield Blues says:

            Agree.This is why we have bought Fabrini to be more creative and put that spark into a defensive looking midfield.Different systems and formations are all very well but exactly how they are implemented is a different matter.Our away form and counter attacking style seems to be going a bit stagnant like our home form did earlier in the season and its down to GR to earn his corn and find the solution.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Our main threat in recent games, has been Maghoma. But, at times, he tends to over-egg the pudding a bit. He needs to either shoot, or pass a little bit earlier. Maybe he doesn’t trust Donalson to put the chances away and is trying to do it all himself. Who knows?

  • Art says:

    Proven strikers are like gold dust in this league and yes I agree the back four need strengthening.
    As for the play offs – it would be fantastic if we could make them but I can’t see it happening.Our home form and results against the lower teams has let us down this season.

    Living abroad I rarely get to see many games but the games I have seen, although a great improvement on the dark Clark days haven’t convinced me that we are a top 6 team.I’m sure given time GR will get it right.

  • Your right staffs blue with what you say , I to think the Don should spend more time in the box , I should have said another proven striker that scores a lot of goals for blues , I here Wenger wants his scouts to find another vardy from non league for arsenal.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Our foundation is that we are 7th in the league , 3 points off the playoffs and only 2 defeats in the last two months to the same team , that’s plain and simple so we should all face facts , is that true !! … Which means us believers are not being over optemistic thinking we can make the playoffs one thinks , just a thought . KRO

    • Shirley Blue says:

      One trick we definitely missed yesterday was not sending either Morrison or Grounds or both up for Shotton’s long throws. They were at least as good as corners and they go up for them. We only had Donaldsn competing for them and he had three men on him.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        To be able to reach Donaldson with a throw from the halfway line is a hell of a weapon. The one thing you do notice about us, is our p*ss poor movement at throw ins. All we seem to do is stand with our feet planted. Hardly surprising that defenders get the jump on us most of the time. The idea used to be that players would draw defenders out of position, creating spaces to run into.

        • atko says:

          Well there’s ya problem right away Shirley Blue & Staffs….Shotton is not a first team regular so unless he was then there is no point in getting the right movement for a long throw if he isn’t there to take a long throw. I guess GR has to decide whether he will be in the first team to start with then start to put the rest in to practice.

  • A right thought Dave m in my opinion , but it seems when positive meets negative sparks appear ,happen we should all come down to earth and and the positives send a wire to the positives and the negatives wire the negatives and then we might be a power to behold , sorry about that .

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    We want 7

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I was willing it to be 8. There was plenty of time left to get the other two.

      • atko says:

        Yeah they took their foot of the pedal there was a good 15 mins at least left. A bit more effort they probably could have reached 10 never mind 8, lol!

  • Dave Mann says:

    My comiserations to the vile on there pathetic embarrasing performance against a weak Liverpool team , it makes you think that poetic justice is about to happen , and we moan about our team , really !!! .. well done to vile for not conceding in the last 20 mins , a trully fantastic achievement . KRO

  • With Rory delap Shirley blue I would bet his throws were more accurate than many wingers corners ., I wonder if a 3+4+3 would be better for our squad to get passes and players forward

  • Dave Mann says:

    It was THE st Valentine’s Day massacre , trully inspiring , I will now sleep very well tonight . KRO

  • No true grit or passion there.no belief . perhaps we should swap ..

  • Careful where you flick your ash Mitchell.


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