League Two Rovers v Bradford

Ian

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It’s been a poor second half. Not enough quality to really trouble them. Hope for a draw.
 

Sparky

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Very poor in the second period and Bradford ran out deserved winners. I wouldn’t have taken CBT off unless he wasn’t fit but in the final third despite a lot of the ball, we barely created anything of note. They were much stronger second half and that’s now 3 defeats in the last 4.

Back to the drawing board
 
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A hugely disappointing result.

In the first half we played a lot of good football, but for all of our possession we did not create enough clear chances and were not clinical enough when we did have opportunities. We started the second half really sluggishly and our play became totally disjointed. I did not really understand the substitutions: Ferrier made a decent impact when he came on, but Morris looked unfit and I thought Lloyd was having a good game and had been causing them problems. We seemed to lose shape even further after the changes.

There were some good individual displays in the first period, from Spearing, Lloyd, Feeney, MacDonald and others, but with such inconsistency between two halves of football, let alone from week to week, since Hill took over, we are not going to get anywhere this season. Promotion winning teams do not lose so limply at home to sides in the bottom half of the table.
 
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and it is two LG home losses since the poor fans came back. have reservations on things at the moment
 

Sparky

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We could have played all night and not scored. Bradford are decent up front but defensively they have been poor this season but they had a comfortable afternoon today.
 

ADD

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Thought it was an enjoyable game of football with Bradford generally playing in a good spirit. Bradford deserved victors on the balance of play with us again flattering to deceive.
First half we had 64% possession but something like 2 attempts to their 3 - says it all sadly.
I was also not sure what Hill was doing bringing on Morris for LLoyd - thought Lloyd was doing ok and Morris was awful when he came on. Ferier did ok.
We are also somewhat carrying CBT at the moment - couple of runs but really not contributing anywhere near enough - I would probably not have started him today.
I get all the focus on ball retention and some of our interplay was excellent but we are not doing anywhere near enough with it and after the substitutions Bradford were much the better side. Vaughan is battling gamely but when possession is slow and around the back line it just isn't going to work as they have masses of time to get their 2 banks of 4 in place and Vaughan has no chance pretty much alone.
We have gone backwards since Hill took over sadly and my optimism of automatics looks like a pipe dream now - 3 losses in the last 5 and back in bottom half..
 
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bigmart

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We seemed a bit flat to me at times with a spark missing, cbt back to his frustrating performances of late.

Sad to say we do not look like a promotion challenging team & think Hill has his work cut out to get us in the top 7 this season.
 
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I think regardless of the style of play, Vaughan needs more support in the eighteen yard box and we have to consider playing two conventional strikers. We actually put plenty of decent balls into the box in the first half but Vaughan was generally the only player in there.

Even when Ferrier came on he tended to drift wide, rather than supporting Vaughan.
 

Boz

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By comparison with say Orient or Morecambe, I didn't think it was a bad game or even a terrible performance by Rovers, though agree with ADD that we didn't make the most of our greater possession particularly in the first half after we'd survived a troubled opening. The second half started in similar vein, but this time we didn't really get back into the game after Bradford starting strongly and their goal, while preventable, was coming. Once we fell behind, Bradford looked more like extending their lead than Rovers getting an equaliser. Our dismal home form this season is troubling and the return of fans hasn't helped.

Where I did think Keith Hill went wrong was in his choices of substitutions. Danny Lloyd was playing reasonably, whereas Jack Young was being out-muscled and weak in the challenge, my first preference would be to replace him with Lewis and leave Lloyd on. Morris who came on instead had one of his worst performances in a Rovers shirt, don't know if there was an injury or fitness issue and it disrupted what flow we had at that stage..

Largely agree with RLC about the need for another conventional striker in the box. Ferrier, who did ok when he game on, despite some dubious refereeing decisions, isn't a conventional striker, so assuming Smith goes back, will we be able to get someone in that mould? However, Clarke, Nelson and Lloyd all had reasonable chances from set pieces, although our best effort of the half was MacDonald's shot from the edge of the box.
 
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drwhoman

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Thought it was an enjoyable game of football with Bradford generally playing in a good spirit. Bradford deserved victors on the balance of play with us again flattering to deceive.
First half we had 64% possession but something like 2 attempts to their 3 - says it all sadly.
I was also not sure what Hill was doing bringing on Morris for LLoyd - thought Lloyd was doing ok and Morris was awful when he came on. Ferier did ok.
We are also somewhat carrying CBT at the moment - couple of runs but really not contributing anywhere near enough - I would probably not have started him today.
I get all the focus on ball retention and some of our interplay was excellent but we are not doing anywhere near enough with it and after the substitutions Bradford were much the better side. Vaughan is battling gamely but when possession is slow and around the back line it just isn't going to work as they have masses of time to get their 2 banks of 4 in place and Vaughan has no chance pretty much alone.
We have gone backwards since Hill took over sadly and my optimism of automatics looks like a pipe dream now - 3 losses in the last 5 and back in bottom half..
Very disappointing. Much swearing at the result. I hope Hill proves me wrong but re your last para and his appointment - if it is not broke do not fix it!
 
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Yes, it was a bit depressing, but the saving grace is that despite our distinctly average form this season we are still only four points shy of the play-offs. League Two is wide open. But yes, our erratic form will have to improve if we are to make progress. In fairness to KH, this is MM/MJ's side. If the manager can tweak the squad next month with a couple of his favourite players, we might see an improvement
 

frenchrover

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Just watched Hill's post-match interview....what a load of piffle and waffle....not sure he was watching the same game as me. "Happy with the performance" he says...well if he was happy with that second half then we are going nowhere. "Controlled the game, controlled the opponents", sorry Keith ...we lost. "We got some momentum going again in the second half".....no we didn't, we became disorganised and disjointed, made worse by replacing Lloyd with Morris who "hadn't trained all week"......so that made sense Keith. "We could have got a positive point out of that game today, but for one moment"....so you would have been happy with a 0-0 draw at home hey, Keith. I'm sorry but if this is his style/view of management then we are heading for more disappointment. Hill wasn't my choice of manager, particularly given the success Dawes and Parky had made of the squad but I truly hoped Hill would succeed and maybe the play-offs might be achievable. Now I'm afraid mid-table mediocrity might be on the cards.
 

Sparky

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Yes I was the same Frenchrover. Performance wise it wasn’t great. First half I’d say 7/10. Second half no more than 5 with a mini flurry at the end. Bradford weren’t amazing but the best team won
 
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In fairness to Hill, I know where he is coming from. We played pretty well in the first half and deserved to be ahead, and as disappointing as the second half performance was, we had chances to equalise. We were not outplayed by Bradford at any stage, but they kept their focus and their game plan was ultimately more effective.

I am frustrated by the inconsistency since Hill took charge, but we still have no idea whether the form under Dawes was temporary or would have continued long term. We played a cavalier brand of football in that period, which the players enjoyed, but there were defensive issues as the Port Vale game demonstrated.

If we don't go up this season, it is the appointment of Jackson and the form in the first ten games that will ultimately cost us in my opinion. It is difficult for any manager to come in mid season and immediately find consistency with a group of players, a number of whom he probably would not choose to work with, however talented they are individually. Consider how many months it took Michael Appleton to turn things round at Lincoln, despite inheriting a successful team from a good manager.
 

ADD

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Bradford duo Trueman and Sellars placed in interim charge of first team duties this morning after taking 10 points from 12.... assume interim means till end of season as says they will be in charge of recruitment in the January window and have resources available according to the press release so they have taken the opposite approach to us......
Interesting to see who finishes above who this season.
We have 4 points and a game head start - wouldn't be betting my house on us however - I thought they were better than some of us made out after the game.
 
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I still think we were better in midfield and have a better overall squad, but yes, interesting that they have taken the opposite approach. It could be argued it is less of a gamble for them, as they are not realistic promotion candidates and almost certainly have not invested as heavily in the squad as we have.
 

Ian

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We seem to struggle when teams really knuckle down and work hard. Bradford, Walsall etc.. I don't think we have the players for that kind of fight so it will be interesting to see how we fair after the Xmas period.

MP has mentioned numerous times that the budget has been towards to the top end so the bar will be set quite high in terms of our expectations. I think we are below that, not by a massive amount but we are struggling for consistency.
 

Boz

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It’s hard to assess what other clubs expectations are for the season. I’d guess Bradford’s aim would have been at least top half/play-offs. Didn’t feel that there was a great deal to chose between the two sides and had the manager made a different choice of initial subs the outcome could have been different. I didn’t think Bradford looked as good a side as Walsall.
 
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