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League Two Rovers v Harrogate

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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
The games come thick and fast with the cream tea specialists visiting Prenton Park on Tuesday night.

I think our biggest enemy in this fixture is fatigue. This will be our fourth game in eleven days which is a punishing schedule, particularly for the over thirties in the squad. Keith has said in the past that he does not like changing winning teams, but I think there might be some rotation on Tuesday night. I would say Clarke, Spearing and Vaughan are indispensable and have to start, but I think there might be changes elsewhere, perhaps with Kirby replacing Feeney or Lloyd, and Ferrier starting ahead of Woolery.

Harrogate looked a pretty average side in our previous meetings this season, but they do have one of the best away records in the division and earned a good point at Salford on Friday.

If we pick up three points, it will be the first time we have won three league games in a row since the Dawes caretaker period, and a victory would put us in the thick of the promotion race.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
I doubt Keith will make many changes. With having up to five substitutions available he can rest half the team at any stage if necessary. However, I think there are three or four players who are unlucky to be left out and we may see one or two changes to freshen things up and remove any complacency.
 

Sparky

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I agree Keith won’t want to make any changes but suspect with the busy schedule he may need to. Ironically the spine of the side which is the one part you wouldn’t want to adjust, contains some of the oldest players who may be flagging. However my guess is all the scouse veterans will play and any changes will be in wide areas.

Possibly Lewis or Woolery may step aside altho the former is a very fit lad. Kayne could make way for someone like CBT or Kirby, possibly Ferrier. Lloyd buzzing after his first league goal so can’t see him being rested.

slightly off topic but CBT not featuring at all at present, even off the bench. You wonder whether Hill is already sure Corey will be on his way and preparing for life without him
 
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You wonder whether Hill is already sure Corey will be on his way and preparing for life without him
Interesting that Banks was the first player under contract to depart and that CBT is in a similar mould - a matchwinner on his day but erratic and not one to put in a shift the way others do. I suspect CBT does not figure in Keith's plans and he could be the next to leave.

Looking at the rest of the squad, I don't see any other "luxury" players, so there are no obvious departures, unless Lee O'Connor is no longer required.
 
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I think Hill will be keen to keep hold of CBT if at all possible and he will only be allowed to leave if we receive a fee, which is far from certain in the current climate.

Unlike Banks he is a kid learning the game, so I am not sure the description above is completely fair.
 

Boz

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I can see the case for one or two changes to rest jaded players, perhaps giving Morris and Ferrier a start, but would not want to see wholesale alterations to the line-up and fitness permitting, would start with Danny Lloyd. Think it's too early to start Kirby and while he looked good in an attacking sense and did some tracking back, didn't see much evidence he could tackle during his cameo v notlob and having seen the home League Cup game, think we need to be able to break up their passing game.

Expecting a very tight game, with the odd goal in it or possibly a draw.
 
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Harrogate have also played twice in the last week, so fitness/freshness should not be an issue. They have had two good results (home draw with Exeter and away draw at Salford, where they twice came from behind), so are no pushovers.

This is a should win rather than a must win. While any win would do, I would like to see us win more convincingly than the last two nail-biters, say 2-0 or 3-0. We have been very good at managing games once in the lead (apart from Barrow away), but it would be a real bonus to keep a clean sheet.
 
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I think fatigue is a particular issue for us because of the age profile of the squad. As Sparky says above, the key members of the squad - Clarke, Spearing, Feeney, Vaughan - are thirty plus and the majority of them can't be rested, hence we probably need to freshen up elsewhere.

Kirby has not been signed for his tackling, and I don't see any reason why he could not start alongside Spearing and / or Lewis.
 

bigmart

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If Nelson is back he could start instead of Clarke, certainly Feeney could be rested but dont think there will be many changes.
 

Boz

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I think fatigue is a particular issue for us because of the age profile of the squad. As Sparky says above, the key members of the squad - Clarke, Spearing, Feeney, Vaughan - are thirty plus and the majority of them can't be rested, hence we probably need to freshen up elsewhere.

Kirby has not been signed for his tackling, and I don't see any reason why he could not start alongside Spearing and / or Lewis.
I agree with you that we can't rest all of our key men and Lewis doesn't seem to be lacking stamina, so unless your suggesting Spearing should be rested for this game, which was not the way I read your earlier post, then there isn't an obvious vacancy in central midfield.

There wasn't enough to go on Kirby's cameo, he may in a longer time on the pitch show he's an awesome tackler, genuinely have no idea. My view was that we have other players who haven't been starting recently and whose attributes we're surer about who could be introduced if players are to be rested, while giving Kirby some game time off the bench to show what he can do and where he will best fit in.
 
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We are currently playing a midfield three of Spearing, Lewis and Feeney, and Kirby would be a like for like replacement for Feeney if we want to use him.

Kirby has been brought here as a creative midfielder, not a ball winner. Whether he can tackle is largely irrelevant if he plays with Spearing and Lewis.
 

ONIGP

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With fixtures coming thick and fast (Tue/Sat until mid-March) you would expect Kirby to get a start sooner rather than later. Palace will want to see him continue to develop and I hope we haven't taken him for the fun of it. His bit of experience in L1 at the end of 18/19 with Blackpool is a plus.
 
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ian goodison
agree with onigp regarding Kirby remember the lad we had on loan from Chelsea who for whatever reason hardly figured
 
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Loanees are a real gamble. Some work really well like Ben Gibson and Liam Feeney but many are just squad fillers and budget drainers. Mind you, permanent signings are even more of a risk. ;)
 
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Boz

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Who was the last decent loan player we had from a Premier League side, who merited a regular start in our starting xi? Micky didn't think Maddox was good enough last season and sent him back with little game time, while Jack Young has gone back to Newcastle again without an extended run out at Rovers.

I think for the home games, we need Feeney's supply of ammunition and I'd like to see him stay in the starting xi for this game. Again, on the very limited evidence of Saturday's 25 minutes, didn't see Kirby showing aptitude in that area, though again would hesitate to say it's something he's not adept at without seeing more. My first impression from the weekend is that Nya might be best deployed as the apex of a diamond, if we were to use that formation again.
 
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Who was the last decent loan player we had from a Premier League side, who merited a regular start in our starting xi? Micky didn't think Maddox was good enough last season and sent him back with little game time, while Jack Young has gone back to Newcastle again without an extended run out at Rovers.

I think for the home games, we need Feeney's supply of ammunition and I'd like to see him stay in the starting xi for this game. Again, on the very limited evidence of Saturday's 25 minutes, didn't see Kirby showing aptitude in that area, though again would hesitate to say it's something he's not adept at without seeing more. My first impression from the weekend is that Nya might be best deployed as the apex of a diamond, if we were to use that formation again.
I don't see the point in writing a player off before he has even played ninety minutes for us. Young actually put in several good first team performances when he was here, including a man of the match display at Bolton.

If Kirby is not capable of playing in a midfield three with two more experienced players, there was no point in signing him. I would prefer Feeney to play every game, but that won't necessarily be possible if we want him to avoid fatigue or injury (the same goes for some of the other senior players).

Kirby played regularly for Blackpool in League One and received good reviews, so unless he has regressed massively in the last twelve months he should be capable of performing a division lower for us.
 
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Boz

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I don't see the point in writing a player off before he has even played ninety minutes for us. I thought you believed in giving youngsters a chance ? Young actually put in several good first team performances when he was here, including a man of the match display at Bolton.

If Kirby is not capable of playing in a midfield three with two more experienced players, there was no point in signing him. I would prefer Feeney to play every game, but that won't necessarily be possible if we want him to avoid fatigue or injury (the same goes for some of the other senior players).
I'm not writing anyone off, but don't think it does a young player any good to be pushed straight into the first team and into a role they may not be suited for. Our management decided Young wasn't the right fit for them and sent him back, are you saying that was a mistake? As you know, I've given up on ifollow for away games, so missed the MoM Bolton away game, but he disappointed in the game v Bradford which followed.

Equally, if Kirby's incapable as playing in a midfield three(and again not able to say either way) then his signing wouldn't be a waste if he was able to play in other formations. As he replaced Woolery on Saturday, was he playing as part of an attacking trio or did we switch formation then too? He seemed to be playing fairly centrally.

Accepting that Feeney and the other older players can't play every game, I would still prefer he played in this one.
 
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I'm not writing anyone off, but don't think it does a young player any good to be pushed straight into the first team and into a role they may not be suited for. Our management decided Young wasn't the right fit for them and sent him back, are you saying that was a mistake? As you know, I've given up on ifollow for away games, so missed the MoM Bolton away game, but he disappointed in the game v Bradford which followed.

Equally, if Kirby's incapable as playing in a midfield three(and again not able to say either way) then his signing wouldn't be a waste if he was able to play in other formations. As he replaced Woolery on Saturday, was he playing as part of an attacking trio or did we switch formation then too? He seemed to be playing fairly centrally.

Accepting that Feeney and the other older players can't play every game, I would still prefer he played in this one.
Kirby was signed as a midfielder, so if he is not capable of playing in a midfield three it would be very strange. What role would he be suited to, if he can't play in midfield ? I am confused.

If Kirby has been brought here to play games, he will have to be 'thrown in' at some stage, so why not Tuesday night when players are tired and we could do with freshening things up ?
 
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