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Rovers v Stevenage

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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4,861
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Iain Hume
Next up is a game against the side immediately above us in the table. It all seems a long time ago since our opener back at Stevenage, a fight-back with two Norwood goals and a promising cameo from Ben Tollitt, leading to hopes subsequently dashed that he might be back to form.

I don't know that much about the visitors. They have vetran striker Alex Revell and the volatile Kurtis Guthrie, who can be a handful up front. In goal is former Lincoln keeper Farman, who could teach Scott Davies a thing or two about time-wasting. Like Rovers, a mix of loans and one permanent signing around deadline day, but of the 5 recruited, only one went straight into the side for the home win v Yeovil. Their home form seems to be better than when they're on the road.

A lot of decisions for Micky to take over team selection. Does Banks walk straight back into the side? I'm not sure his recent form merits it and would be interested to see Pringle in the creative midfield role, given we've not got the strike-force to make full use of his crossing ability. Will a jaded Connor Jennings be given a rest? Can see the argument both ways on that. It wouldn't be a surprise to see MM pick an identical line-up to Tuesday, though I would hope he opts for Smith ahead of Morris.

Prediction: Stevenage had a poor travelling support, while Red Scouse are at home with a 3pm ko,so would expect a crowd of just over 5k. Think this will be a rot-stopping draw.
 
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ian goodison
hoping the new signings can benefit from another week together, I would bring buxton back in, keep nelson who I think showed a bit of promise, I would leave conor out but like steve seems to be a micky favourite, I,m going for a 2-0 loss only because I fear micky appears unable to show any flexibility would love to be surprised and see an Exeter style show,
 
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Jason Koumas
He showed plenty of flexibility on Tuesday because we played a different system and gave three players debuts !
 
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ian goodison
understand your reply but with only 2 central defenders (nelson & monthe) couldn,t plat anything other than 4-4-2 as for 3 debuts those plus his subs were like for like, why he persists with conor who looks like he,s struggling instead of starting with 2 strikers from the off puzzles me.
 

RLC

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Jason Koumas
understand your reply but with only 2 central defenders (nelson & monthe) couldn,t plat anything other than 4-4-2 as for 3 debuts those plus his subs were like for like, why he persists with conor who looks like he,s struggling instead of starting with 2 strikers from the off puzzles me.
We had Buxton and Ellis available so of course we could have played three centre backs, and stuck with 532. Mellon changed formation through choice, because we signed two wingers (Pringle and Morris). How can they possibly have been 'like for like' changes when we had not played with wingers in the previous half dozen games ?

Mellon is probably the most tactically flexible manager we have had in my supporting lifetime, certainly since King.
 

RLC

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Jason Koumas
Having log-in issues, hence the multiple identities.....

Stevenage looked a decent side on the opening day: big and strong but with several players with genuine skill, and it is not a surprise to see them in contention for the play offs.

As Boz says, Micky has several selection dilemmas. From his pre-match interview I think Banks will start, but with whom ? McCullough is the obvious partner but Perkins has good workrate and has probably been our best player in the last three games. I think Smith will start ahead of Morris and the centre back pairing will remain unchanged. I would be tempted to play Mullin alongside Norwood, as the Nors / Jennings combination has not really worked other than against a poor Macclesfield team. However, Connor is one of our best players and Micky will be reluctant to leave him out altogether.

I think we will see a better, more settled performance than on Tuesday but I am unsure whether it will be enough to win the game.

I think the gate will be 5,500 - 6,000, with less than 100 from Hertfordshire.
 

Cowshed Kid

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Bobby Hutchinson
Selection dilemna for tomorrow seems to be heightened given the new recruits and Tuesdays result.
I think Morris is at risk, looks a decent player but seemed reluctant to go near the touchline.
If we start with same team save Smith for Morris I'll see that as a good starting eleven.
If you think Banks should be back in, whose place will he take?
Tricky!
 
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ian goodison
smith only came on late on tues but too often chose to go inside when Buchanan was there for the taking, we need 2 strikers as for me conor plays behind rather than alongside Norwood, hoping for a win BUT don,t have a clue to the score, hoping the new lads can gel with another few days together
 

bigmart

bigmart
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Ian Muir
I cant see us getting anything out of the game think we will lose 2 1
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Micky made the mistake of making too many changes and bringing in too many unfamiliar faces on Tuesday. So maybe he should make no more than a couple of changes tomorrow and let the new players bed in. When I saw the away game, I thought Stevenage were a good side and rivals for promotion. Now it looks like they are midtable rivals. ;) Seriously, they are beatable and we should win. If we can just make absolutely sure of a decent final position, Micky can concentrate on planning for next season - who to keep, who to offload, who to recruit. Oh, and maybe we can take a look at one or two youngsters for the first time in a while.
 

RLC

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Jason Koumas
I would not say we 'should' win. Stevenage are higher in the table and in better form, and we are going through a major phase of transition. Of course we are capable of winning, but I am sure there will be more bumps in the road in the next few weeks.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
If you think Banks should be back in, whose place will he take?
Tricky!
I haven't seen MMs full pre-match interview, but RLC thought there were strong indications Banks would start. Personally I've reservations, but assuming we're playing 2 central midfielders then the options are limited.

Banks replaces McCulloch. While Monthe and Nelson might not need as much protection as McNulty, I don't think that Banks is disciplined enough to fill the role of protecting the back four, assuming it is that(as opposed to reverting to five at the back).

Banks replaces Perkins. That's closer to like-for-like change. However, David has probably been our most consistent player since joining from Rochdale and it would be harsh to drop him in my view.
 
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Jason Koumas
If I was forced to guess, I would say Banks and Perkins will start. Perkins is not a tackler like McCullough, but is experienced and disciplined enough to play a more defensive role.

Who knows though.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
One consolation, if us Rovers regulars don’t know how we’ll line up, Stevenage won’t have a clue either...
 
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tollitt
well im still in spain a couple more days . hope its a better showing today as we need to get back to winning ways . 442 no pissing around just get the job done
 

Sparky

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8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
Unchanged?? After Tuesday ? Not sure about that. Yes we played well first half at times but a bit suprising
 
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Boz

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Iain Hume
I’m surprised at the lack of change too, maybe a chance for the new players to bed in more.

Mullin not even on the bench, another player Micky’s fallen out with...?
 
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Jason Koumas
Maybe Mullin has been poor in training ? Not sure who Mellon has fallen out with recently.... I think MM wants to give the players time to settle, simple as that.
 

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