rovers v Southport

15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#61
Totally agree RLC. Buxton isn’t the fittest and struggled to get about he’s so cumbersome.

Think Harris showed again today that he’s clearly not good enough for the level we now require.
I think we badly need to strengthen in centre midfield in January, if we are going to have a reasonable season. Harris is nowhere near good enough and Gilmour is good enough, but is too inexperienced to play in a two-man midfield.

Without Banks and McCullough we have got nothing in there, and Luke is not even our own player and could go back to Donny in January.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#62
Seems a long time ago we were so good at home playing with Larnell Cole behind Nors - when has he gone?
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#63
I think Cole must be injured again. The injuries are certainly racking up, and you can see why Micky was concerned about squad depth in the summer.
 
4 Feb 2012
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aldo
#65
And so our run of poor performances continues, and I hate to say it, and no doubt will be castigated by some on here, but in my view Mellon is losing the plot. He seems totally incapable of identifying, and subsequently addressing the problems in our dire performances over the last few games. He says in his previous post-match interview that as manager he is ultimately responsible for team performance and was "looking for a response" in today's game after the Grimsby shambles. Well I'm afraid he failed to get that response and so game after game we are seeing a failure to redress the problems. Today, as in the first Oxford City game we were lucky to escape with a draw at home to a team 71 places below us in the pyramid. The result wasn't so much that Southport were a fantastic team it was more to do with the abysmal Tranmere performance. The injuries to DMH, Gilmour and, presumably, Mullin certainly had a negative impact but that in no way excuses the dire performance of the team. Time and again we were lumping the ball long to Norwood only to see it returned by their centre-backs with possession turned over every time. We could not keep control of the ball on the ground, failed to play any meaningful football resulting in Norwood having to try to feed off scraps, as evidenced by us having only 3 shots on target. As RLC says above, what on earth were Mellon and Jackson thinking bringing Buxton on on the hour mark when they had Stockton on the bench and Jennings available to slot into the midfield gap left by Gilmour's injury. Were they looking to shore up the defence/midfield who were badly missing McCullough's defensive influence and hang on to the slender 1-0 lead...if so it failed miserably when Southport equalised 10 minutes later. Despite goalmouth clearances at both ends late on it was amazing to think that we only avoided defeat thanks to Devarn Green, who could only make the Southport bench, missing a golden opportunity when running clear of our defence. People may talk of "blips" in performance levels but in my view something is fundamentally wrong with the managements ability to clearly address the team formation and strategy issues, and this has been the case for some time now, Next Saturday we entertain a Cambridge United side devoid of a manager and lying just above the relegation zone, a game you would expect us in normal circumstances to pick up 3 points but as things stand at the moment you would be very brave betting on us getting anything out of the game.
 
24 Jul 2017
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tollitt
#66
I know I probably ant to do with the poor run . But it has started since Nixon left . Just makes you wonder . I didn't go today due to work . But it's a worrying patern of play at the moment we just seem to have gone to s@#$%t . The back 4 can't defend away from home. And we just seem lacklustre all over the field . Not good viewing . But we might get another TV showing witch is more money again . We do need to strengthen the midfield. Has Williams left the club it's another stupid transfer and the Italian lad as well what's the point if there not gonna play .
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#67
And so our run of poor performances continues, and I hate to say it, and no doubt will be castigated by some on here, but in my view Mellon is losing the plot. .
Mellon has made some poor decisions in recent weeks, but this is over the top. I think a number of factors are counting against us - lack of squad depth, fatigue, injuries, and loss of confidence, as well as some poor managerial decisions.

It is always harder for a manager to make decisions with a struggling, depleted squad, low on confidence.

We are still eighth in the league, which is way beyond most people's reasonable expectations at the start of the season.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#68
Thought Caprice was poor again today. His control and first touch is pretty dire.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#69
I think the Oxford performance and result affected confidence more than we had realised. Ironically, the confidence we got from the Crawley and Exeter victories led to a complacency in that game and a sloppiness of performance, which we have not really recovered from.

In response to that poor performance we also ditched the 4231 and went to 442. That would be fine if we were still playing through midfield, but in recent games we have hit far too many long balls, trying to hit the strikers first time with no build up play.

We also have not worked as hard without the ball as we did earlier on in the season. There was virtually no pressure on the ball when we were out of possession today.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#70
One positive I thought was seeing Tollit being positive. running at people and whipping in a few crosses.

Don’t want to repeat myself but Nors was bang out of order. Ben is a young lad, clearly with confidence issues after his terrible injury problems. Yes he could have picked a man out once or twice but give the lad a break James, your not perfect yourself
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#71
I think that incident sums up where Ben is going wrong at the moment. He did the hard part and beat two Southport players with a great run. However, instead of squaring the ball to Norwood he tried to beat a third man and lost it on the edge of the eighteen yard box.

The natural ability is still there but his decision making is really poor at the moment. He is trying too hard to impress rather than doing the simple things.
 
24 Jul 2017
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tollitt
#72
ok lets look on the bright side . we have another go at them . we will prob be on tv . we wont be as bad again .and with a win on saturday if we get it we will have a good go at em. we will have 1500 -1700 fans there lets rock it and get through . . lets get as mutch money as poss so we can get a few players in jan who can help and move us forward
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
#73
It’s hard to gauge exactly why it’s going wrong at present. The long-ball approach where we know Astles gobbles them up shows a lack of intelligence from the players. We are very limited in terms of midfield options, presume Ryan Williams remains unfit or a punt on a player that didn’t come off? Read a suggestion Banks may not play again this year, while McCulloch and Gilmour might not be with us come January. After the disappointing result at Grimsby, MM made few changes and we performed little better. I don’t think either the next game or the replay will be easy and it will be interesting to see what options are tried.
 

Ian

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21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#74
Where has our passing game gone? We looked great in the first few weeks but recently it's gone out the window and we've resorted to aimless punts up field. I'm not getting too carried away re Mellon losing the plot but we have to go back to basics. I thought we were the second best team again today. The second half was worse than the first and I'm not sure we tested their keeper at all.

Tactically is was all wrong and what he was doing with Buxton, I'll never know.
That all said, we are still in a good position in the league and still in the FA Cup (miraculously). We need to get out of this mind set and style of play as we could do with a decent run over Xmas to bring us back flying into the new year.

Not sure we can blame a depleted squad either. We had two missing (Banks and McCullough) but really should have put these away, we have enough quality out there. I think it's a bit harsh singling out Harris today. He was no better or worse than the other ten players.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#75
I don't think it is a question of singling out Harris, it is just acknowledging that in the medium / long term he is not good enough and we need to strengthen the squad in that area. We need a deputy for Banks and McCullough who is a proven Football League standard player.
 
1 Oct 2005
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
#76
I've been trying to make sense of what has been happening at the club recently. Reading the above comments, here's my take.

For the difficult games against Lincoln, Crawley and Exeter, we raised our game and got three superb results. Against Crewe, Oldham and Grimsby, the same intensity was not there. In the three cup games against tier six opponents, we have coasted. My theory is that most of the team are knackered. There has been little scope for rotation because of the size of the squad and the injuries. This far into the season with playing twice a week at a higher level than last season, the strain is showing. The extra effort in the three great wins I mentioned may also have taken their toll. This means that the players may be holding back in games against lower ranked opponents in order to save their energy. Ironically, I reckon that if they had been playing a better team (like Sunderland) today, you would have seen them raise their game.

What does this mean and what can Micky do? I'm not sure I have an easy answer. Asking for "a reaction" didn't work. I think he may have to try to rotate a bit more to rest players and discourage complacency. He also needs to strengthen midfield in January, even if McCullough and Gilmour stay. Meanwhile, let us all pray that we get a plum draw which should motivate the team to perform. Filing that, just hope for wet or cold weather to cause a couple of postponements and a mid-season break.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#77
I don't think we raised our game for the specific matches you mention. It was more a case of building confidence and improving the quality of our play over several months. However, I do think mental and physical fatigue is playing a part at the moment.
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#78
The home game with Oxford was when things started to go wrong and a rare tactical error by Micky taking off Mullin at h/t in a game in a game where we seemed unprepared for the threat Oxford posed. Haven’t seen the last two home games, but v Oldham no subs until the dying minutes suggested we’d settled for a point, while the changes yesterday were enforced. I think there is some merit in the physical/mental fatigue argument, but apart from in midfield, there are options to change personnel, but Micky has opted largely not to do so. It sounds like there will be some absentees for the Cambridge game. Neither this nor the replay which follows will be easy games. To avoid what if moments, wouldn’t be too bothered if the third round draw was a non-event. Our record away at Southport is not good.
 
29 Jul 2009
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Ian Muir
#79
We played right into their hands by hoofing the ball upfield only for it to come straight back, we need to build attacks and pass from the back midfield and if Connor was in there instead of Buxton this would have helped.

I heard that Banks needs a hernia op, unsure if true but will be out for a while if it is true
 

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#80
Our record away at Southport is not good.
Very true. It won’t be an easy game especially if we continue to lump balls up front. If we opt into the passing game we can put them away and move onto the 3rd round. There may also be added momentum for both teams depending on how the draw goes tonight.

48 the magic number!