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I really don't see the point in Stevenage sacking their manager - they're on a bad run of form but they're not going to go down, or go up (and they beat Sheffield United 4-0 last week). Surely you should at least give the manager until the end of the season and then make a decision? Although he did pay money for Akins...
And yes it's on television.
I think we need to go back to basics this week and concentrate on what we are good at - fast, direct, attacking football with the crowd behind the team. I would go for this line up:
Kay Taylor Gibson Zoom
Bell-Baggie Palmer Power Kirby/O'Halloran (I don't rate the latter and have only heard about Kirby)
I think the important thing Ronnie needs to get right is to play Bell-Baggie on the right side as he always looks more dangerous going around a full back than cutting inside - he needs more composure to be effective at doing that.
Tend to agree with RTID re Smith's sacking. Given the number of players they lost in the summer, Stevenage have been punching above their weight in terms of league placings and a side who can thump the Blades 4-0 recently, can't be all bad. Will this mean the return of the odious Westley?
As for the game itself, Rovers are not very good on telly and with a potential new manager to impress, the visitors should be up for it, while Akins will doubtless be anxious to show us what we're missing. Ben Chorley also playing for our opponents.
Is OFW going to be unavailable through international duty for this and a debut for Mooney? I don't think it's time to be playing musical right-backs and would keep Holmes in. Agree with starting Bell-Baggie on the right, but I don't think Kirby is anywhere near a start, so O'Halloran on the other side. Unless we've another loan into the mix...
Prediction: With no financial incentives to attract a bigger crowd and current poor form, don't expect more than about 4.5k. This will be nowhere near as easy as last season's comfy 3-0, either a narrow win or a draw.
Agreed about the bad omens for the result. A couple of weeks ago I said I could not see us getting past 10 points from then to end of season - sadly it does seemto be falling away big time. Just hope with Gibbo back and that Ronnie develops a way of getting more bodies around Sidibe to get us back on the fron footwe can still finish with a run
With about four inches of snow outside this game looks certain to be off now. Other clubs (eg. Brentford in January) have a good record of protecting their pitches from snowfall by covering early and then getting volunteers in to clear the snow before kick off. However, we are not one of them and I am not generally impressed by the efforts of our groundstaff in getting matches on (Swindon in January being a case in point).
I think Smith's sacking is unsurprising as their recent record is dire - 14 defeats in 18 - and despite their poor gates, I believe their board have invested heavily in recent seasons: they would have expected at least a top ten finish.
If we win this game, despite all the recent negativity, we are still in the play off hunt. Sheffield United play Brentford tomorrow, so if we were to get three points, the match on Good Friday would become very interesting.
On the other hand, looking at the weather forecast, our next two home games could be postponed.
Results were not too bad for us today with only Donny and Bournemouth winning out of the top ten. Yeovil's concession of a two goal lead in stoppage time could have massive implications for them, and us, come 27th April.
Looking at the current points totals it could be 76-78 points which are needed for the play-offs, which will be a tough ask. It seems it might be a straight fight between Yeovil and ourselves for sixth place.
The pitch is clear, now we just need it to stop snowing........