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Rovers v Oxford FA Cup 2nd round replay

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
The games are coming thick and fast at present. It will be interesting to see if Micky reverts to 3 up front (though it was more like 1 behind a front pair) like the first game or stays with the 532 option. Aside from Koumas and the long-term absentee Hill, it looks like a near full strength squad to choose from.

Despite the price reductions, I don't see a big turnout for this, about 3.5k. Hopefully we can win and even better if done in 90 minutes avoiding any suspensions and injuries.
 
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Jason Koumas
I think this is a tough game as Oxford are a decent attacking side. Fortunately, Barnett is not available to them but Hylton is also a dangerous player.

I think it is really important that we win after the disappointment of last Tuesday, but with confidence high I see no reason why we can't progress. I would imagine we will play 3-5-2, with Rowe replacing Laird the only likely change from Saturday.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
What particularly pleased me about Saturday's performance was that there was no hangover from the Walsall defeat. So confidence is good. We could - and arguably should - win tomorrow, although anything could happen. Even if we lose tomorrow, I don't expect it to affect our league form. We are now able to take every game as it comes. Moving out of the bottom two must have given them a massive lift.
 

Ian

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Aldo
Confidence is higher and the team are playing well together. At home, I can see us winning this.
 
M

Mal

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Well now that a Peterborough player is not available, it should reduce chances of Oxford scoring. Perhaps we should play Peterborough behind closed doors twice a month to help educate our defence. Their players seem able to score at will against us, no matter who they play for.
 
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Jason Koumas
Not a classic performance form Rovers, but we showed great character to stay in the game when we under pressure and we had the quality in the final third when it mattered. I thought tonight's win was testament to the defensive and organisational work Adams has done with the team: Oxford dominated possession for long periods, but created very little apart from the goal, and the back five / four did superbly to keep repelling their attacks.

Credit also to Micky for the tactical changes that helped seal the victory. After initially switching t0 4-3-3, he could see we were still failing to keep hold of the ball and made a further change, bringing Laird on and going to four in midfield. From this point on Fenelon started to link the play up front and Martin started to look dangerous out wide, and it was Shamir whose hold up play released Max for the winner.

I thought when Stockton and Odejayi were up front we lacked variety and movement and pumped too many long balls, but it was a great move for the first goal. Max goes from strength to strength and it is difficult to see us keeping hold of him in January now.

Roll on Swansea.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Thanks, RLC.

Can anyone remember the last time we won with so little possession, with the minority of the shots and the corners and with most of the fouls? I can't. The stats look awful, apart from the goals scored. It's nice to know that we can win without dominating the game. And it seems like we have a manager with not only a Plan B but a Plan C.

As RLC alludes, the only downside is that Max is playing so well we may lose him before the end of the season. He would take a lot of replacing, but every player has his price and if we get a decent fee, it would be better business than letting his contract end. He is still learning so I hope for his sake he doesn't sign for a club who use him as a squad player. He needs regular first-team football to continue his development. Best scenario would be for the buying club to loan him back for the rest of the season, but I admit that's wishful thinking.
 
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I see from the highlights on the BBC website there was a penalty claim for Rovers at 1-1 in the first half, which was rejected and apparently a free-kick given for a dive. Did anyone get a closer view of the incident? It looked like we were unlucky.
 

Ian

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I see from the highlights on the BBC website there was a penalty claim for Rovers at 1-1 in the first half, which was rejected and apparently a free-kick given for a dive. Did anyone get a closer view of the incident? It looked like we were unlucky.
From what I remember, there was a fair penalty shout however the linesman flagged for offside. I think that's the incident.

Not a vintage performance, but now we can score goals, we always have a chance. Going down 1-0, we would have been dead and buried, but now we are able get back into games. Oxford showed a lot of energy and movement and passed it around well but we limited them mainly to shots outside the area. Every win is important for confidence and we've had quite a decent December so far. Much improved and it's pleasing to see us being competitive again.

If we do lose Max, I have faith the current regime would invest wisely.
 
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