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Ian

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Well, this is it then. It all boils down to this game, and I think it's fair to say this really is a 'must win' game. Let's just concentrate on getting the three points and take it from there.

I wouldn't hold back here. Let's go for the jugular and make sure we have a lead at least at half time. With Jake returning to Wolves, I think Lowe needs a partner up front. I'd like to see Stockton but we all know that's not going to happen. Probably JLAA with a welcome return of Koumas in midfield.

Hoping for a good attendance and atmosphere and I think we can lift them if we get behind them from the off. SWA!!
 

bigmart

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Think we will win the game 2 1 and will manage to survive another season in league 1 (well hopefully)
 
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I've just checked our record against each of the other clubs on the division. It shows what a poor season it's been. We have just not been competitive. The only team we have beaten who are currently in the top half of the table are MK Dons. Apart from MK Dons, we have not won at home against another team outside the bottom eight. Bradford City are 13th! However, we did beat the Bantams away.
 

bigmart

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Well with Carlisle only drawing that realistically is 3 teams gone, so its down to us crewe & notts c then.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Well with Carlisle only drawing that realistically is 3 teams gone, so its down to us crewe & notts c then.
I never rated Carlisle's chances of avoiding the drop, but Crewe and Notts County are getting some decent results, so I think we'll be lucky to stay up.
 

Ian

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Well at least that rules them out. Putting a positive spin on things, assuming we walk away with three points, I think it's unlikely we'll all win, so as long as either Crewe fail to win or Notts County lose, we'll be OK.
 
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Simply a must win game, they need to go at it from the start and not allow Bradford any time to settle. Hopefully we will get a good, loud attendance - the fans need to get behind the team even if we concede. We've seen in the past what a difference a great atmosphere can make to the teams performance: 4-3 v Southampton always springs to mind, but other occassions such as the 2-0 win over Leicester on a friday night more recently also demonstrated this. In terms of team selection I wouldn't pick anyone who is not fit - so I wouldn't put Koumas in from the start if he's not ready: He'd probably have more impact coming on for the last 30 minutes when the game slows down a bit if he's not fit.

Team I would go for (assuming fitness):

OFW

Pennington Taylor Goodison Rideleigh

Power Koumas Jennings Brown

Lowe Stockton

I would like Stockton upfront as will give us some physical presence against quite a big Bradford defence and an outlet if we get caught under pressure for a while. For me it's 50/50 between Brown and JLAA - both seem capable of scoring and creating goals, but both are also capable of easily going missing and, especially in JLAA's case - terrible shooting. I'd go for Brown simply because he's a natural winger. I'd keep Power in the team at right midfield as he's got the drive to get up and down the pitch, and can tuck in if we're defending to support the midfield (in particular Koumas) - with Brown on the otherside the team should keep its width.

I'm not that hopeful, but I'll be there anyway - if we go down we deserve it and if we stay up we deserve it: the table doesn't lie come the end of the season! I just hope that blatant penalty at 3-2 against Port Vale doesn't come back to haunt us (not that giving Port Vale a 3 goal head start was a bright idea in the first place)...
 
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It's alright us all giving our theories but the buck lies with McMahon who, to me, has no nous and will probably botch it.
 

bigmart

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I cannot see Crewe beating Preston, Preston will be looking to win to get home advantage in the 2nd leg.
 
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It seems unlikely that Crewe will beat Preston, but one-off games like this have a habit of throwing up shock results. Who would have thought we would beat Millwall four years ago when we had to win to survive ?

We undoubtedly have the 'easier' of the two fixtures on paper, but Crewe are in better form than us and we have not scored for four games.

Obviously, I hope my pessismism is unfounded.
 

Sparky

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I don't have much faith in JMc but its all down to the players on the pitch.

I can't see notts and Crewe both winning but it is no certainty that we will win. We need to score at the very least!
 

Ian

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Fingers crossed Koumas is playing because at least he gives us bit more punch in the final third. How many games can a team go without scoring?! :confused:
 

Sparky

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All those recently stating Fonners should be dropped may get their wish as he is unlikely to play with a groin injury. Lets hope Mooney can do a job again.
 

Ian

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While not Fonners' biggest fan, it's not good timing to have to put someone in who's hardly played a game all season.
 
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I think Saturday's game is our biggest since Exeter in 1987 and certainly much more important than Stockport was four years ago: the repercussions of relegation in our current financial state would be huge and there is far more uncertainty off the pitch than there was in 2010.

We also appear far more likely to be relegated this time around. I was never in any doubt that we would beat Stockport, who were absolutely atrocious at the time, whereas Bradford will provide decent opposition. Added to which, more teams were in danger of relegation four years ago, while Saturday has the feel of a straight fight between ourselves and Crewe.

Selection wise, I hope Fonners is fit and I would like to see us play two up front in a game where we have to make the running; playing a lone striker could lead to trouble. I would also be reluctant to start Goody, as he would be a prime target for their players and supporters after events at Valley Parade earlier in the season, and we don't want to end up playing with ten men.
 

Boz

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If the financial implications of relegation are as dire as suggested, it is surprising that there hasn't been more effort by those running the club to keep us up. I feel things have been fairly shambolic this season and relegation seems almost inevitable. While the Stockport game was never a given, morale was so much higher given the impressive win v Millwall the previous week whereas 4 games 0 goals 1 point tell their own story. Crewe have a decent record v Preston and I'm doubtful we can better their result.

I agree that we need to have a 2 up front or given McMahon's antipathy towards Stockton a 4211 formation with someone like Rowe behind Lowe. Unless Koumas is fully fit, he shouldn't start as we need to go at Bradford full throttle rather like the Coventry game. Agree Goodison is too much of a magnet for trouble in this situation and shouldn't start.

Prediction: Should be a decent crowd with Bradford closing in on a sell-out and some of the stay-aways coming back to cheer Rovers on. My guess would be somewhere between 8-9k, viewing a 1-1 draw.
 

bigmart

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Boz, the financial implications of relegation are indeed dire the club is losing a lot of money the overdraft has increased by a large amount. Not sure why people are thinking Notts county are safe, there away record is appalling they could easily lose so could Crewe (though equally so could we).

I just think we will scrape safety by the skin of our teeth.
 

Ian

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Imagine winning on Saturday but then finding out Notts County and Crewe won too! Now that would be depressing.. I think someone said earlier in this thread, if we lose, we deserve to go down. RLC has got me thinking back to that Stockport game and he's quite right. I was quite confident going into that game and we were great on the day. We were never going to drop then. This has a horrible feeling about it though.
 

Boz

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Boz, the financial implications of relegation are indeed dire the club is losing a lot of money the overdraft has increased by a large amount. Not sure why people are thinking Notts county are safe, there away record is appalling they could easily lose so could Crewe (though equally so could we).

I just think we will scrape safety by the skin of our teeth.

Bigmart, I'm not disputing that we will be worse off as a consequence of relegation, but we don't know the extent. My point is that if it's going to mean a significant loss then there were things to do aiming to prevent the drop. Most obvious would be after Ronnie was sacked, to appoint an experienced manager on a short-term deal with the target of keeping us up.

All Notts need to do is draw and they will stay up. Realistically it's between us and Crewe.
 
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Bigmart, I'm not disputing that we will be worse off as a consequence of relegation, but we don't know the extent. My point is that if it's going to mean a significant loss then there were things to do aiming to prevent the drop.

The thing is, you could say the same about so many of Johnson's actions in the last five years. Why go in with one of the lowest budgets in the division season after season, perform poorly, make a loss and then be forced to bail the club out with massive loans, to the tune of £1,000,000 this season alone by all accounts. If some of that money had been invested previously, we may have performed better on the pitch, attendances would be higher and the finances would be healthier.

It seems perverse to me that Johnson is (thankfully) not willing to walk away from the club, has pumped money in to keep us afloat in the short term, but refuses to invest for the long term future of the club.
 
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