• Nigel Adkins has been given the Tranmere job on a permanent basis signing until the end of the 25/26 season. Continue the discussion here.

League Two Rovers (1) v MK Dons (2)

Match result

  • Tranmere

    Votes: 5 83.3%
  • Draw

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • MK Dons

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6
  • Poll closed .
Rovers (1) v MK Dons (2)
Posted by Ian
Prenton Park
Saturday, January 13, 2024 - 03:00 PM
Until: Saturday, January 13, 2024 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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Joined
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
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Can anyone explain the logic behind replacing half the back four with two minutes of stoppage time left?
No, although I thought the earlier tactical changes to strengthen the midfield were the right ones, and did improve us.

It seemed unnecessary to mess with the defence so late in proceedings.
 
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A cruel ending to the game when it seemed we would earn a battling point.

MK will obviously feel they deserved to win given the number of chances they created. You can't fault our effort and organisation and we dug in well in the periods of the game when we were under the cosh. However, we were not good enough on the ball today to retain possession and relive the pressure, and cause the opposition any problems. In many respects it was similar to the Notts County game, but with the crucial difference that our decision making was far poorer. The second or third pass went astray far too often.

I actually thought it was the right decision to replace the wingers with McAlear and Lewis to shore up the midfield. We looked more solid in the final thirty minutes, and did actually begin to create chances in the closing stages when Hawkes came on. However, I never like messing with the defence late in the game, and the changes at the back may have contributed to the concession of the late goal.

I thought both centre halves and McGee played well, and Hendry and Morris had decent games. However, Pike really struggled defensively and we missed O'Connor at right back.

We need to win one of the upcoming away games to get back on the bike.
 
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Ian Goodison
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Agree RLC, would have been delighted with a point the way the game panned out, but you could argue that justice prevailed in the end, however much the late changes may have contributed. Hard to begrudge MK the win in a game that they controlled the tempo for the most part; felt a bit like a cat playing with a mouse, we nearly escaped with our lives, but not quite!
 
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Boz

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Iain Hume
I didn’t understand the spells in the 2nd half when we allowed Milton Keynes to walk the ball to the half-way line putting no pressure on them at all. Morris was one of our better players and the first to be subbed, Walker far too casual should have been one of the first off to come. Pike was unnerved by the fluffed throw-in which led to their opener, think he had too much defensive work to link up with Apter much and that contributed to Rob being less effective than usual.

Think we need to try and mail the points to secure L2 safety as quickly as possible, then re-assess.
 

Sparky

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Agree Boz it was bizarre seeing them walk to the halfway line unopposed. You don’t often see that - I can understand some logic as we hoped to soak it up and hit them on the counter.
Second half we did have a few half chances but the made the wrong decision and couldn’t get a shot off
 
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We actually did pretty much the same against Notts. We allowed them to have possession in non-threatening areas and pressed when they reached our half.

The difference today was that we did not show enough quality on the ball when possession was won back. It was the execution of the plan, rather than the plan itself, that was the problem.

I think we made the right decision in subbing Morris, not because he was playing badly, but because MK were cutting through the centre of midfield far too easily. We needed to make the midfield narrower and close the space, which we did by bringing on Lewis and McAlear.
 

Ian

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I didn’t understand the spells in the 2nd half when we allowed Milton Keynes to walk the ball to the half-way line putting no pressure on them at all.
IMO, they had settled for a point at this stage as there was no pressing and desire to get forward. I think they were cautious of going forward and getting countered by Dons such as the game was going. We were playing really deep at this point.
 

Ian

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They also did a good job keeping Apter quiet and as such our threat was minimal. I didn't think players like Morris, Walker, Henry had a good game either. Defence had a lot to do and did it quite well for the most part.
 

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That was poor and i think we do need 1 more forward don't think jolley will be good enough to get a propper run in the team and score enough.
 

Sparky

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Didn’t think Jolley overly impressed either. And you wonder whether Jennings needs a break. Could do with a new front man this month with Norris and Saunders injured and Dennis only just back
 

Ian

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Not being funny but Dennis is not that good done jack for. usand yes he has not been th t fit but still just not good enough
 

dollar'sbloke

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It was indicative of the balance of play that Jenno, Jolley, Morris and Apter were very quiet all day, Saunders would have been a passenger. We were very lucky to be drawing at half time, Nigel responded. The results were mixed but his toolbox was limited. MK got frustrated and took some daft long shots. However they got some better openings. Letting them have possession until they brought to us was a clever ploy. In the last ten they ran out of ideas and we actually opened them up. Then a sucker punch although on boxing points it was a wide margin defeat.
 

Ian

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Ian

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Awful defending for their winner. What were they thinking?
 
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What a refreshing interview. A typically positive but honest explanation from Nigel. It's not often you hear a manager explain in so much detail what was happening and what he did to change the situation. He certainly convinced me he got his tactics spot on. A shame the players couldn't quite finish the job.
 

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He certainly convinced me he got his tactics spot on. A shame the players couldn't quite finish the job.
I'm not sure he did. Yet again, we have decided to surrender possession, stand off and hope to catch them on the break or via a mistake. It does not win you many matches. We lost last week and we lost today. Dons were a good team and we might have lost anyway but this standing off business is just not for me. At home especially, we should be attacking them, pressing them. When their defender had the ball on the halfway line, it was like the parting of the red sea. No-one closing him down and the entire team deep in defence. You are just inviting trouble. I'd rather go down fighting.
 

ONIGP

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I haven't read all the previous responses but think it was an unlucky defeat. Our defending was excellent but our short passing was atrocious at times. Connor played an exceptional role as a stand in target man but Aptor was double marked from the outset. We were really unfortunate not to take a point from a very good team. Disappointing as the result is I don't think we should be too downhearted since MK are one of the strongest teams in the division.
 
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I'm not sure he did. Yet again, we have decided to surrender possession, stand off and hope to catch them on the break or via a mistake. It does not win you many matches. We lost last week and we lost today. Dons were a good team and we might have lost anyway but this standing off business is just not for me. At home especially, we should be attacking them, pressing them. When their defender had the ball on the halfway line, it was like the parting of the red sea. No-one closing him down and the entire team deep in defence. You are just inviting trouble. I'd rather go down fighting.
In fairness, it is the same tactics that have just seen us go on a run of one defeat in ten games. We set up to be difficult to break down and hit on the counter, and I think that is the right approach with this group of players.

We comprehensively beat Notts County with similar tactics, but today we were missing a couple of key players and too many others simply did not perform. Plus, MK Dons are probably the best side we have faced, as strong defensively as they are good in possession.

We should not overreact to one defeat against a team that are simply better than us.
 
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