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Rovers v Barrow FA Trophy

Boz

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With all the injury gloom, it's hard to get too excited about this game. Even before, with the effect progress will have on causing a fixture backlog, I was coming around to the view that going out of the Trophy wouldn't be a bad thing, particularly as we're unable to guarantee settling this game on the day. The counter argument is that winning is a habit and it's better if we keep on doing that regardless of the competition.

How to line up on Saturday? Micky has hopefully learnt from the Chelmsford away game that we don't have to start with the same line-up every game and it's possible to win using the full depth of the squad. Whatever the formation, we should rest some of the key players and those less fit so we can be sure they're available for the next league game.

As 442 with wide players has served us well, one option would be to keep that formation,deploying Kirby and one of Mekki/Dawson out wide. I'm unsure Micky will go with that and think reverting to a diamond is more likely. Allowing for resting, if this was the preferred formation, I'd go

Davies
Vaughan Sutton Ihiekwe Ridehalgh
Maynard
Jennings Harris
Kirby
Stockton Mangan

Prediction: Although Barrow may bring a few more than previous opponents, can't see the crowd being much bigger, maybe about 2.7k. While it's the worst result in many ways it wouldn't be a surprise if this game ended up level.
 

Sparky

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The question is: would you accept a defeat on Saturday to have 3 points on Tuesday?

I haven't been interested in the trophy at all but if we win this we're in the semis and a real chance of Wembley.
Is the semi final over 2 legs?

Just hope we don't get any more injuries. Dawson back in would be good but he can't be match fit surely.
 

Ian

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I haven't been interested in the trophy at all but if we win this we're in the semis and a real chance of Wembley
I've got no interest in going to Wembley for the FA Trophy. I'd much rather we concentrate on the real goal, promotion. Having said that, I'll be there on Saturday as it gets me out the house.
 

Boz

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Gut response to Sparky's question is yes.

FA Trophy semis are over 2 legs, so have to shunt two more games to midweek if we go through.

Mainly going as going to miss Forest Green game.
 

Sparky

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I've not been to a trophy match yet but may pop along if only to see what team MM plays and what the general feeling is like amongst the players after the bad news today.
 
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I think this game is actually pretty interesting as it will give us some idea of how Mellon intends to move forward without the injured pair. It also pits us against promotion rivals, and gives an indication of our strength relative to our competitors. Plus there is a Wembley appearance on the horizon, which I would get excited about regardless of the competition.

I won't hazard a guess what the system or starting line up will be. Hopefully the gate will be better than previous rounds, perhaps 3,500 plus.

If we do win, rearranging two Saturday games will be a pain but Lincoln will probably have the same problem. However, I certainly don't want a replay which would see the Forest Green game shunted down the line.

Prediction: no idea what the outcome will be, too many imponderables.
 

Cowshed Kid

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Even though I think top spot will be a hurdle too far, FGR on Tuesday is a massive game. Saturday is somewhat a bit of a blessing as it gives MM the chance to try systems out, even if not swapping too many personnel, and no points at stake.
I'm resigned to my mate Kirby starting and would like a shirt for Mekki or Dawson to see if we can still sustain 442.
Might see Cole starting instead of Cookie.
An aside, for all my incessant moans over Kirby, I'd have put my house on him converting the one on one that Nors missed near the end on Tuesday.
There my praise ends though!
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Micky's comments today are unusually upbeat and also hint at some squad members getting a chance. I know at least two changes are necessary, but maybe we will see more. I can see the case for resting Andy Cook, but I expect he's looking forward to playing against his old club. And his absence would be a huge psychological boost for the Cumbrians.
 

Boz

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His absence in our next league game having got injured in the game against his former club would give Forest Green or Chester more of a boost though. Andy has already scored against Barrow in the league game at PP, so made his point.
For this game, I hope Micky will be risk averse. Cook and Hughes are the remaining players we can least afford to be without for the league campaign. Don't even think I'd have them on the bench for this game.
 
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I agree with Boz on this one. We could take the Trophy reasonably seriously when we had a full complement, but it is down the list of priorities now.

As an aside, Tollitt's injury, and the timing of it, is almost identical to Ian Muir's in 1991. Hopefully history repeats itself and we win promotion this season too.
 

Cowshed Kid

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Muir was never the same player after that injury. Fingers crossed for Ben.
We've seen so many players wiped out in their prime, Steve Davies, Navarro and dare I say Wallace.
 
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Cook and norwood rested and it looks like we will play a 532, with Kirby behind the strikers.
 
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According to Tranmere Wall, it's 3-4-3, with Vaughan and Ridehalgh providing the width. Interesting experiment.
 

Boz

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Was Maynard playing central defence that game?

I'm a little apprehensive about starting with Hughes and hope he gets through the game uncarded and in one piece. Barrow look to have put out a strong xi
 

Ian

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Looking like a 3-5-2 here and it's not looking great. Hughes providing protection for the back three, Kirby and Maynard in the middle, Mangan and Stockton up front. Ridehalgh and Vaughan out wide.
 

Ian

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Aldo
From the sounds of that challenge it looks like Kirby is crocked now.
 

Ian

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Slowly got a grip on this game after a poor first 20 minutes.

Mangan and Stockton looking a bit isolated up front. Think we'll go on to win this one.
 

Boz

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Bad injury to Kirby(fracture?) stretchered off. Rovers a bit unlucky to go behind, but levelled with a scrappy Ihiekwe effort. We seem to be overrun in midfield at times and the defensive trio at the back doesn't seem to be working well. Agree with Ian re the forwards.
 
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