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Rovers v Colchester

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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
It is decision day for Rovers as we need a point to secure a play off place. I should be full of anticipation ahead of this game, but due to events in recent weeks I feel strangely flat.

My gut feeling is that we will make the top seven. As poor as we have been recently, this is as kind a fixture as we could have chosen for the final game, although Colchester's form has improved significantly in recent weeks under Hayden Mullins. I am also not convinced that Exeter and FGR will both win their games. However, whether we have any chance of progression if we do make the play offs, and whether we can even produce a performance to be proud of, is moot.

I was concerned by the manager's rather rambling pre-match interview. He seemed to imply that we will be setting up with a cautious mindset, happy to protect a point and then react to scorelines coming through from elsewhere. He even seemed to suggest he has specific changes in mind for this eventuality. That sounds to me like a potential recipe for disaster, and I would much rather we were positive and proactive from the first minute; go two goals up early on and other scores become irrelevant.

We played our only decent football in recent weeks in the second half against Barrow, with Nugent up front and Kahn wide on the right. However, we used similar tactics at Forest Green to no real effect, and if we do play that way Kahn has to be sufficiently high up the pitch to make an impact, and Nugent has to receive some decent service.

Hill said in his interview that Lewis will miss this game and will probably be out for the rest of the season, but Vaughan will probably feature in the play offs. I would replace Lewis with Morris, but I am unsure the manager will agree.
 
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bigmart

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What a awful interview from Hill rambling on with a lot of rubbish.

Agree with RLC that instead of going for it and putting the game to bed the tactics will be to play cautiously and only if other results are going against us will there be a change of emphasis.

No confidence we will get a positive result in this at all
 

Sparky

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Chris Greenacre
Like RLC my gut feeling is we’ll make the play offs but I’m not convinced we will win on Saturday. Also like RLC and Mart I found Keiths interview quite negative and it sounded like we may play quite cautiously which is a massive risk. The changes he alluded to made me think those inexperienced in this sort of fixture eg McDonald may not play despite having played all season. Perhaps Rides will come in at left back as an experienced play off campaigner but how Match fit is he? This is a massive game not just for us but for Hill as if we didn’t make the play offs the calls for his head would be substantial
 

Ian

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Not sure how he can say there has been massive successes. What have we succeeded in so far? Anyway, I really hope he does not play for a draw as that will only end one way. Get the lads playing positive from the start, don't stifle them with boring tactics. Let's get at them and put this game to bed so we can at least then look at the play-offs. I don't want to see any fannying around at the back. Get the ball wide, get crosses in and have players attacking the ball. Play football we will enjoy watching, do something other than what has been happening over the last few months!!! Rock 'n' roll football Keith!!
 

Sparky

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COLCHESTER United will once again be without skipper Harry Pell and winger Callum Harriott for their final game of the League Two season, this weekend.

The key duo both missed the U's vital 1-0 win over Salford City last weekend, due to personal reasons.
 
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aldo
mmmmm listing to Hill does he want to be with us next season imagine a crowd on the first game of next season watching shit and really giving it to him
 
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KH has given us plan A, plan B is to change personal on the pitch, to those not selected for starting line-up, I hope there is a plan C!

I believe the confidence of his approach to the game, is dependent on how the other teams are in contention of a playoff spot, is a bad idea, not only tactical but on the confidence of the players. Mistakes are inevitable, it just depends on how damaging they are. I still don't believe that he knows his best starting eleven with or without Vaughn. The negative approach will have an effect on the players confidence, we have seen this in the last few games since Wembley.

In other words, he would really prefer a boring score draw.
But this is Rovers, and we don't appreciate any players not playing for the shirt.
We have seen these horrible tactics too many times by too many managers.

Attack, attack, attack. Defend from the halfway line and play to get more players in the penalty area. Take the pressure off our defenders and give the forwards license to have a real go at one of the worst sides in. League t
 

Boz

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Keith Hill certainly didn't inspire confidence in that interview, while I've always held the view that if you've nothing to say at least get it over quickly. Agree that it would be a big mistake playing for the draw, although makes sense to be in tune with scores elsewhere.

Forest Green crock another Rovers player for the rest of the season, they've plenty of form for that. Lewis isn't an easy player to replace, gets some challenges in and provides height in the middle of the park along with his attacking threat. I'm not sure that I'd directly replace him with Morris, though Kieron should start. Maybe Crawford, if he's back from Siberia. Elsewhere, Rides replacing Macdonald would be very negative, Nugent showed nothing to replicate his Barrow 2nd half last weekend and my preference would be a Lloyd Woolery starting pairing, but doubtless Keith thinks otherwise. Colchester were quite a pacey side in the home game and will provide our defence with some testing.

I'm never confident about Rovers and even less so now. Given how strange things have been recently, it wouldn't be a surprise if Rovers lost but Forest Green or Exeter fail to pick up 3 points. However, if we're incapable of picking up the point required, then don't deserve to be in the play-offs.
 
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I thought Nugent did ok in the first half last week. In his defence, the service he received was abysmal so it was difficult to judge whether the Barrow performance was a one-off.

I agree about dropping MacDonald for Ridehalgh. There is no need to complicate things by making changes as random as that. Hill's comments about players with 'character' seemed to me to be a reaction to events in the dressing room last week, which should not necessarily be influencing his selections.
 
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Keith Hill will leave ..........

That’s what I read when I got the latest Twitter feed from the club. I then read on and it said “Keith Hill will leave 'nothing to chance' this weekend ahead of our fixture with Colchester.”

Personally, I think Keith will leave if we don’t reach at least the playoffs. However, I am really worried that he is setting the team up to lose on Saturday. The lack of confidence he is showing in individual players and the team as a whole is incredible for a manager of his experience.

In some ways the worst possible scenario is that we lose but scrape into the playoffs because of other results. That would be heralded by Keith and possibly Mark as an achievement. I would call it a failure. It would be a miracle if Keith could then prepare his squad well for the playoffs by changing their tactics and their mindset sufficiently to get through two legs and a final. As a true fan, I sincerely hope to be proved wrong but it would be more likely to see herds of swine floating over Prenton Park.
 

bigmart

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Why did he say the season has been a success, is he trying to convince himself the fans or the board as its clearly not been a success
 

frenchrover

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Well said Bigmart and Aldoes, what a dilemma we are in as supporters of the club we love.....fail to get through the playoffs and have another season in League 2 or gain promotion to League 1 the hard way and be faced with another season of "Rock 'n' Roll", "High Intensity" boring football under Hill. Of course the nucleur disaster would be... fail to get promotion and be faced with another season in League 2.... STILL UNDER HILL
 

ADD

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I had planned not to listen to the pre-match interview as Hill just annoys me now but there were so many comments I thought you must all be exaggerating - but no you weren't!
To say that after 5 months he hasn't had enough time to get to know the players simply beggars belief.... I could go on but I won't - I just want him gone....
As to the game I never want Tranmere to lose a game of football but this is probably as close as I could be to wanting that since like Frenchrover has just said the worst thing would be to get to the playoffs and lose (which we will) but to do well enough to persuade MP to keep Hill on.
 

Sparky

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Why did he say the season has been a success, is he trying to convince himself the fans or the board as its clearly not been a success

he has a point to a degree I.e a Wembley final, 3rd round of the FA cup and play offs (hopefully).

Like Hill or not I’m sure most of the SWA would have taken that when Jacko was sacked.

I’m not a fan at all of what I’ve seen in recent weeks and big questions need asking if we don’t go up
 
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he has a point to a degree I.e a Wembley final, 3rd round of the FA cup and play offs (hopefully).

Like Hill or not I’m sure most of the SWA would have taken that when Jacko was sacked.

I’m not a fan at all of what I’ve seen in recent weeks and big questions need asking if we don’t go up
The chief target this season was always promotion, and we assembled a squad that was capable of going up automatically. I don't think we can regard being effectively out of the automatic promotion race with several games to play as any kind of success.

The Pizza Trophy is not taken seriously by many, if any, of the teams that participate, and let's not forget that the most difficult FA Cup tie against Accrington was won by Dawes. Hill only had to beat Brackley at home, and made hard work of that.

In any event, managers don't generally talk about 'success' until something objective has been achieved at the end of a season.
 
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In fairness, we did have a strong period of form in January and February under Hill, but his overall performance, in terms of style of play as much as results, has not been good enough.
 

Ian

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I guess we all have a different meaning for the word success but for me, success is when you win something or achieve something. If we are saying success is reaching a final or a certain round in a competition, I think we are clutching at straws. I actually think he had some nerve saying we have has massive successes this season. If this is massive success, god help us..
 

Sparky

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As RLC hints it was probably too early for keith to be talking about a successful season, despite our cup exploits.

Promotion was and is the number one target and none of us know yet if we’ll achieve it. If we get it under keith then it’s fair to say it has been a successful season. If we don’t then arguably it hasn’t been as it’s clearly our main priority
 
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As poor as we have been in recent weeks, it is still perfectly possible that we will be promoted via the play offs. Even during this poor spell, the majority of games have been tight and we have beaten a couple of sides in the top half.

However, as harsh as it may sound, even if we are promoted I would still have serious reservations about Hill, particularly at a higher level. I am sure he would keep his job, but I would still be concerned about recruitment over the summer and his whole tactical approach.
 
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