Rovers v Cobblers

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Jason Koumas
The big thaw is well underway on the Wirral, so I expect this game will go ahead as planned.

Northampton have had a poor season. They played decent football when we visited in September but looked weak in both boxes. They have changed manager and had a few changes of personnel since that game, but after an initial upturn in form under Keith Curle have remained pretty inconsistent. They were thrashed at home yesterday, which might mean they come to PP to shut up shop and frustrate, similar to Newport earlier in the season. If so, the players and supporters will need to remain patient.

Micky has a number of new players to select from, but I would be wary of making wholesale changes as players need a bedding in period. I think we will start with a team something like this:

Davies
Caprice Macca / Nelson Monthe Ridehalgh
Morris / Smith McCullough Perkins Pringle
Norwood Jennings

I think we might see our lowest crowd of the season, but hopefully the gate will sneak above 5,000 with about 200 from Northants.

This is our game in hand, and we really have to win if we are to challenge for the top seven.
 
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ian goodison
just watched the goals on quest and hope the Northampton defence is as generous on tuesday
 
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ian goodison
looking forward to this game as I,ve no idea what team micky will pick. apart from scottie, monthe & Norwood it will be interesting to see which team/formation we will line up with
 

bigmart

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Anybody's guess on who will start but we should win against a fairly poor team, im going for 2 0
 
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ian goodison
rumour on the forum the other week suggested ash taylor may be in talks after watching yesterdays goals we may have had a lucky escape
 

Sparky

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As RLC says the cobblers will surely come and park the bus and would take a point. We need to be on the front foot and really go for it and if we get the first goal surely their heads will drop.

Micky has some real decisions to make especially in the wide attacking areas. In the last home game many felt 5-3-2 was negative against the standard of opposition and as we’re playing a team who have just been tonked at home, I really hope we play 4-4-2 and go for it. Really don’t want caprice as our main attacking threat when at home.

Will Big Steve keep his place with Nelson arrival and mannys overall decent form? Plenty for Micky to think about
 

Sparky

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With another home game on Friday albeit against a half decent Stevenage side it’s a great opportunity for 6 points
 
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lets hope mm goes for it . we need the win . no sitting back take the game to em . we had a day off so no excuses . play with two wide men with nors and daggers up front . get goals and get the whites moving . we need the points
 

Boz

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Three ex-Rovers in our opponents squad with Marvin Sordell joining on loan to add to Ash Taylor and David Buchanan. On Saturday the visitors had a hammering 0-4 at the hands of Colchester, but have generally stabilised since Keith Curle took over as manager.

I agree with RLC that it would be a mistake to make numerous changes for this game. Ditching the 5 at the back, would be a good start, given it has failed us in recent games against lower table sides. I wonder if Micky will be tempted to move Monthe to left back, with a McNulty Nelson central pairing, though my own preference would be to keep Manny in central defence. Disagree with AM, as I would not start Dagnall; Norwood and Jennings for me.

Prediction: Will be a sub 5k crowd (just) watching a narrow Rovers win.
 

Ian

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I agree guys. Let's not mess about. They've had plenty of rest. Get in their faces and let's see some positive attacking play. I think Dagnall will be on the bench, but it will be nice to see some new faces at PP. I'm also saying 2-0 to Rovers.
 
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Reading the Northampton forum, the majority of their supporters think Taylor is well past his best and several don't want him to appear for them again. So we might have dodged a bullet in January.

Sid Nelson seems a much better option, and not one most of us would have considered.
 
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Totally agree RLC. I am very positive about his arrival as he seems like he has a good future and sounds as like Milwall would not let him go on a permanent to Swindon. Will be interesting to see what formation we go with - I would prefer we go 442 myself and I wouldn't be completely surprised if Steve is left on the bench for this one with Manny and Nelson starting... then again that would probably be slightly out of character for MM and he may well go with 5 at the back again.
 
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ian goodison
whatever the team I,m a bit old school no need for many to go near the full back spot when we have caprice,rides,zoom & buxton all full backs
 
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whatever the team I,m a bit old school no need for many to go near the full back spot when we have caprice,rides,zoom & buxton all full backs
Yes, I agree. Monthe actually looks a bad player when he is at left back.

I think the biggest decision for Mellon is obviously whether to play Macca or Nelson. Steve has had a dip in form since Christmas which has coincided with an injury, but he was still our best defender in the first half of the season in my view, and I am not convinced he is ready for the knacker's yard yet. I think he deserves a bit more respect than he gets from certain supporters and I don't think Micky is ready to just throw him aside.

However, Nelson has surely come here to play games and there will be little chance of keeping him in the summer if he is not a regular starter. If we switch to a back four, as we need to, one of McNulty, Nelson and Monthe will have to miss out. It will be interesting to see who MM drops.
 
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McNulty has never had any pace, so for me that is not the issue. There have been signs of his decision making deteriorating recently, perhaps due to age, but I still would not write him off.
 
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ian goodison
they have signed marvin sordell who nan be quite handy so plenty for mickey to ponder
 

Boz

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Micky has been very loyal to McNulty and that's why I wondered if he'd shift Monthe to left-back to give Steve a try along a partner with a bit more pace. Agree that Manny is a better central defender than full-back and recently has been our best player in that position. I don't think that we'll bench Nelson after bringing him in, although whether Millwall will sell him or if we could secure his services by outbiding Swindon are debatable points.
 

Ian

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McNulty has never had any pace, so for me that is not the issue.
Yes, but he is more expsoed now than he was playing three years in the conference against big lumps who he was happy to kick two bells out of. Strikers in league two are generally faster and trickier and he struggles with it.
 
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