Rovers v Carlisle

Boz

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Iain Hume
Key match in our battle to stay up. Have to hope that we put on a more impressive performance than either the dismal 0-1 from last season when Akpa Akpro got sent off for retaliating or the 4-1 drubbing in Cumbria last December.

It's near certain that Wallace won't feature, with Koumas almost as doubtful, while Jennings and Arthurworrey are to be subject to last minute assessments. Pennington will replace Holmes, while I'm unsure Arthurworrey, if fit would depose Goodison. Up front it will be Lowe and Cassidy, though I do wish the assistant manager would at least give Stockton some match time from the bench. In midfield Power deserves to retain a place, but beyond that it all depends who's fit. However given our sluggish starts it may be worth starting with Ariyibi to un-nerve our opponents with his pace.

Carlisle have just loaned Gary Madine fresh from a stint in jail, but a decent footballer at this level. Amoo also still on their books and will have something to prove.

The referee is Stuart Atwell, promoted too early and having a short-lived spell in the top flight, a bit prolific with the cards.

Prediction: The crowd will be swelled by a few hundred Cumbrians, but not expecting us to top 5k. Anticipating a draw, which will suit neither side.
 
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bigmart

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Simply we have to win this game if we are to stay up, think we will win 2 1
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Nothing less than victory will be enough in this game, as has been stated above. Hopefully Madine's lack of fitness will count against him, although he could prove key for Carlisle in the run-in. Amoo is injured, so at least we don't have to worry about him scoring against us again.

It seems likely that the midfield duo will be Power and Jennings, which would worry me ordinarily. However, Max is playing very well at the moment and we may have just enough to win the game without two of The Three Amigos.

If we play as well as we did on Tuesday we will win. Scoring the first goal will be crucial in this one and we need to start the game as positively as we did against Swindon.
 
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Liam Palmer
Carlisle have netted three goals in the last seven league games, so no doubt they'll run riot against our defence tomorrow.

Must win for us. Given what I wrote above, it'll be 4-3 for us!
 

Ian

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Real six pointer this one. I want to see us start brightly, and not the usual 10-15 minute sluggish starts we are used to seeing. If we score first, we'll win. If they score first, it will be a draw. I wish Amoo was playing, he's rubbish.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Not a great display, but on chances created we should have won the game. Frustrating that our shooting boots have deserted us just as the back four has begun to look more solid again. On reflection, I think our opportunities fell to the wrong people and had Lowey had a clear sight of goal we would have won.

In the first twenty minutes we dominated, played well and should have been a couple of goals up. We then seemed to lose our way in the middle period of the game, with Carlisle on top in the rest of the first half and the opening period of the second, without really threatening our goal. Lifted by the crowd, Rovers rallied in the final half hour and spurned further opportunities, with Akpro and to a degree Cassidy, guilty in particular. Overall, I thought Carlisle came for a point, playing three at the back and never really committing numbers forward, but we still had enough chances to have finished them off.

Individually, I thought the two centre halves were very good, with Goodison in particular having a great game dealing with the awkward Madine. I thought Cassidy was unlucky with the effort off the post and the save from their keeper, while Jake Kirby looked completely lost for the majority of the game. A number of players, including Jennings and Ridehalgh, only really got going in the later stages. Akpro was his usual self, a lot of good movement and dribbling but failed to even hit the target with two good chances from fifteen yards.

Thanks to other results, which largely went well for us, we are still alive. However, our away from under McMahon has to improve dramatically if we are to survive, with four of the remaining seven games away from home.
 

frenchrover

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aldo
Another frustrating 90 minutes at Prenton Park after suffering through the Swindon game and getting nothing, we again had so many chances early on to take all 3 points this afternoon. As RLC says the chances fell to the wrong players. If Cassidy hadn't hit his shot so forcefully I'm sure when it hit the post it would have gone in but it was not to be. One cannot fault the players for effort because they ran their socks off in the cause (particularly Max Power who never stopped running for the full game) but unfortunately some of the decision making left a lot to be desired. So anxious were we to score, particularly in the latter stages, we could have done with a Wallace or a Koumas to put a foot on the ball and think before wastefully blazing shots from way outside the area. I am still wondering why on earth McMahon sent Ariyibi on to replace Kirby ( he was right to replace Kirby who was poor and yet again insisted on overplaying rather than playing others in). I can only assume that part of these loan arrangements is agreement that the loanee gets some game time, hence the decision to keep Cassidy as a regular starter and to bring Ariyibi on today. Ariyibi is so lightweight and raw it's unbelieveable that he would be chosen to give add firepower to a side desperately searching for that all important winner. I'm no particular fan of Cole Stockton but I cannot accept that he wouldn't have been a better option and have added some power up front.
The "fat lady" didn't sing today but I think I can hear her warming up in the wings!
 
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I doubt we are obliged to play Ariyibi. Kirby was having a really poor game and I would have made the same change to be honest.

I thought Cassidy was unlucky with the effort off the post, which was a brilliant bit of play, but he betrayed his lack of confidence with a much easier chance at the end of the first half which he back-passed to the keeper. However, over ninety minutes there is still no doubt in my mind that he offers much more in terms of workrate and hold-up play than Stockton. That said, Cole probably should be getting more time on the pitch in the later stages of games, as he is always liable to nick a goal coming off the bench.
 

Boz

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A game we had enough chances to win, denied by the woodwork, a header off the line or the Carlisle keeper, who had a good game. However Madine came close with an effort in added time, so a point better than none.

Defensively we did ok, Pennington looking comfortable on his return, also had one decent effort on goal. Midfield seemed to go missing on occasion though Jennings did well breaking up the play and distributing the ball. Akpa Akpro did quite well on his return. While I can understand Cassidy starting, McMahon's failure to give Cole Stockton any match time in a game we needed to win was beyond incomprehensible. Ariyibi was worth a punt, but didn't offer that much today. Might have looked at replacing JLAA with Rowe/Brown too.
 

Ian

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You can't really fault the team for effort, and opportunities are there but we have to be more composed in front of goal. Missed Koumas and Wallace today, midfield was a little lightweight but Jenno was solid. With the run in we have now, we need to be playing as many experienced players as possible. Kirby isn't ready yet, we should have seen Stockton feature at some point but it's great to see Goody controlling the back line again.

Going to the wire this one.
 
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bigmart

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game we should really have won against a very poor team. When we get chances we are trying to smash the back of the net most times rather than placing the ball in the corner (except when cass hit the post). How Cassidy continues to play every minute is beyond me he cannot score a goal Stockton has to be given a run out. Our Loan players on the whole have not been very good this season, Brown is clearly a bad move and not sure the Ariyibi is upto much. I cant now see us getting enough points to stay up and fear we are doomed to relegation.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
This result brings to a close an awful month of results with just 5 points from a possible 21. However, despite this, we are still out of the bottom four by the smallest of margins. It's been a strange month at the bottom with the Stevenage team that thrashed us now below us and the only team we beat (Notts Co) above us.

After all the injuries, the high turnover of loanees, Ronnie's suspension and the uncertainty over the future of the club, I'm amazed our fate is still in the balance. A bit of luck on the field and some good news off it might be what's needed to restore confidence and return things around.
 
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Liam Palmer
Apparently Andy Robinson's contract has been cancelled with immediate effect. He was having a negative impact on the squad. Anyone know if this is true....?

Real shame if it's true.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Apparently Andy Robinson's contract has been cancelled with immediate effect. He was having a negative impact on the squad. Anyone know if this is true....?

Real shame if it's true.
I'm really sorry to hear that. He was a good player and can still influence games, even if only as a sub. As an extrovert, his voice will be heard more than most. If he was going off message too often, I can understand the club's action. There needs to be unity. But in any case, it's bad news. At best it will be damage limitation.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
John McMahon confirmed that he had been left out of the squad on Saturday due to 'fitness issues' but gave no indication that he was leaving us permanently. In all honesty, he was not in a suitable condition to play and has had no positive influence on the pitch in recent weeks.

Nonetheless, it is sad for his career to end in this way, as he was a quality player who was always 100% committed to the cause.
 

drwhoman

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I agree with the comments regarding Andy Robinson. It may well be of course that his body has simply told him enough is enough. He has had his share of injuries over the years and things will not get better. I hope he has decent plans for life after football. On injuries, Wallace seems to have his share although he is probably not helped by the imperative for him to play even when he might benefit from a bit more recovery time.
 

bigmart

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robbo has been a very good player in his time and was very influential in our run of good form last season. However he clearly hasn't looked after himself and sadly is finished at this level now.
 

Boz

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The problem is that Robinson doesn't seem to have looked after himself in the way say Ryan Lowe, who is slightly older, has. It's a shame his career may be ending this way, but he is the main reason for that.
 
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Goodison
Robinson's attitude toward his fitness has always been appalling, it's the reason he was released in the first place at the start of his career. It's sad, but it's no loss - I don't think he's done anything since October 2012 after his blistering start last season.
 

Ian

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He's gone down hill rapidly since that superb hattrick (I am only joking!) o_O
 
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