Rovers v Ipswich

Boz

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Still feeling very disappointed after today's game. First half, we'd ridden the storm and taken the lead very much against the run of play, with a decent Monthe header and at that point, we had Ipswich rattled. Second half the visitors seemed to switch their attacking focus to building from out wide and we didn't react tactically. Both of their goals seemed preventable, but second half in particular, we were surrendering possession far too easily, with some sloppy passes not reaching intended targets. Towards the end it felt more likely that Ipswich would extend their lead than Rovers get back into the game.

I could understand the starting xi, though agree that it nullifies Morris' creativity to use him as wing-back. Danns was more energetic than Perkins so would have taken Dave off first change, but both of them were miles better than a totally ineffectual Banks, who showed nothing today to see why Micky would have started him in the postponed Watford replay. Didn't think CBT did that badly when he came on, a couple of good runs at their defence. Connor Jennings was one of the prime culprits in terms of passes going astray today and seemed to need to go deep to collect the ball, isolating Ferrier. Think I'd have tried another striker alongside Ferrier in the closing stages, probably Mullin.

I'd agree with Woodyard as MoM, very good first half, then required to do more defensive work in the second. Clarke was a bit of a mixed bag for me; some good distrubution out of defence and organisational skills, though need to fine tune the back line and got caught in possession on occasion.

There was a fair amount of negativity about today's performance fom talking and listening to other Rovers fans leaving the game. While a damage limitation approach against the top sides is understandable, playing a lone striker at home who is not in Norwood's league for creating their own chances, needs to be the exception rather than the rule. There was a good crowd today, but my impression is patience is starting to wear. If further recruitment is dependent on us beating Watford, then Micky will need to be more imaginative with the playing resources already at his disposal.
 
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If further recruitment is dependent on us beating Watford, then Micky will need to be more imaginative with the playing resources already at his disposal.
Or alternatively, perhaps he is already getting the maximum from a very limited group of players ? We have tried umpteen different selections and formations this season with limited success, because of the general lack of quality in the squad.
 
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First half, we'd ridden the storm and taken the lead very much against the run of play,
I thought we were the better side in the first half, and there was not really a storm to ride at that stage.
 

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What is clear is that’s we’re not scoring enough goals so Micky has a dilemma. Even if Palios gave him funds to bring in a decent striker, would he play 2 up front? He admitted he thinks Ferrier plays better on his own and playing 2 up top will mean one of his favourites Jennings having a place in doubt
 

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That wasn't my perception.
I think it’s a bit of both. I felt they had more possession and looked a better side than us, which they are, but Scottie wasn’t too busy 1st half
 

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A few over the top reactions about Scottie on social media. I couldn’t tell at the time from the kop but have watched the highlights and I can see why he came off his line for their second.
the damage was done with Nors picking up space and the defence losing Jackson
 
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What is clear is that’s we’re not scoring enough goals so Micky has a dilemma. Even if Palios gave him funds to bring in a decent striker, would he play 2 up front? He admitted he thinks Ferrier plays better on his own and playing 2 up top will mean one of his favourites Jennings having a place in doubt
Yes, he would. We have played two up front for the majority of the season. However, we were often ineffective as neither Payne or Mullin are good enough.

Jennings has been playing really well recently, scoring goals and providing assists, so it was logical to stick with him behind Ferrier. Today it did not work out, largely due to the strength of the opposition, but I don't believe dropping Jennings and playing Payne with Ferrier would have improved things. If anything, it would have left us more exposed defensively and the game would have run away from us sooner than it actually did.

In future, against lesser opposition, we might revert to two front men, but we will still have the problem that Payne and Mullin are very limited players. RHM might be a better option once he is fully fit. But what we really need is a better striker and another creative player with genuine quality.
 
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I don't know where this idea has come from that Mellon won't play two up front. We played that way for the entire time that we had Norwood and Cook, and if we had similar quality forwards now (for the current level) we would do the same again.

As I have said, even for the majority of this season we have played two strikers. It is only in the last few matches that we have tried Jennings just behind Ferrier.
 
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A few over the top reactions about Scottie on social media. I couldn’t tell at the time from the kop but have watched the highlights and I can see why he came off his line for their second.
the damage was done with Nors picking up space and the defence losing Jackson
I don't think Scott had any option but to come off his line. If he had stayed put, he would have been criticised even more.

It was a great finish by Jackson, the kind of quality that a £1 million transfer fee, plus God knows how much in signing on fees and wages, gets you...............
 

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I think if we are to persist with this formation and play Ferrier as the lone striker we are going to be in real trouble this season. I get that we don't have anyone decent to partner him but something different has to be tried as we simply won't score enough goals to keep us up. Quite what that change is I do not know.

I also thought we were pretty good defensively today with Clarke and Manny playing well along with Caprice and Ridehalgh but not as effective on the attack. Perkins gets too much negativity thrown at him. I like him, he battles hard, never stops running and is more of a leader than others out there and his attitude is spot on.

Jennings has to do more as the link up man. He's improved over the last few weeks but he was off the pace again today and we need more from him.

However, we are crying out for some real quality up front and the chances are we aren't going to get it.
It's going to be a right old slog from now until May.
 

Boz

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I have only seen Wycombe of the top seven, so can't really evaluate how good a side Ipswich were in L1 terms, but while they had a lot of talent at their disposal, didn't seem to me that impressive. Some of that may be down to the pitch acting as a leveller and the Rovers starting xi worked very hard, but I didn't leave PP feeling we'd been beaten by a much better team. However, pre Manny's goal, they had the bulk of the possession and a couple of chances, while Rovers were limited to a couple of corners, with our attacking moves mostly breaking down on the edge of their area. They were rattled by the goal and Clarke had an effort drifting past the post as we finished the half stronger. Agree there was more of a gulf between the teams second half, but some of that seemed to be down to their tactical switch to initiate their attacks from out wide, which we didn't respond to with adjustments of our own until it was too late.

I missed the Blackpool game, when Ferrier apparently played well as a lone striker, but here he was ineffectual. He can't be criticised for effort and got very little protection from the referee, but he's not able to create opportunities for himself in the way Norwood could and there was little in the way of through balls on the deck to run on to. While Morgan may prefer playing as a lone striker, it wasn't working here and Micky needed to recognise that and change things. Given Hepburn-Murphy is apparently fit now, was surprised at his absence from the bench. In this particular game, from the two available, would have gone for Mullin's work-rate and willingness to harry, as the pitch may have helped create problems for their defence. However, unsure why Payne is so out of favour, given his greater experience and scoring record at this level. I felt Jennings was unfairly slated as he took time to adapt to the higher level of this league, but in this game he made too many wrong calls and sloppy passes, his worst Rovers game in a while.

Don't think Scott Davies was to blame for their winner, a slick move and quality finish, after I think Perkins had been dispossed in the middle of the park. He had a jittery moment early on and agree that he must speed up his release of the ball when we are chasing the game. Having seen the equaliser on highlights, did wonder if Clarke could have done more to prevent it.

In midfield, thought Perkins was ok, but Danns seemed to have more energy and if Banks who's not a dynamo at the best of times was coming on, Perkins should have been the first to give way. Having seen how ineffectual Banks was, it would not make sense to start him for the Watford game.

I'm not confident we'll take anything from the next two scheduled league games or that the Blackpool match will get put back due to progress in the Cup. We'll have to hope February is a better month or Mark Palios finds a magic money tree from somewhere.
 

bigmart

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Some very valid points boz, Blackpool when they played us aren't very impressive and I thought we were the better team.

From what I have seen there is no stand out team so far in this league, it will be hugely disappointing if we go down as really since the first couple of months of the season we have only had to finish above 1 team in the league.

Whatever league we are in next season our recruitment has to be better.
 
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sorry to disagree lads but I only see 1 striker (ferrier) with others trying to assist conor, morris & CTB/ RM to me are not strikers mullin/payne may not be world beaters but would sooner see what they may offer rather than warm the bench game after game
 

Boz

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sorry to disagree lads but I only see 1 striker (ferrier) with others trying to assist conor, morris & CTB/ RM to me are not strikers mullin/payne may not be world beaters but would sooner see what they may offer rather than warm the bench game after game
Interested why you don't think Hepburn-Murphy is a striker KTF? The way he played in the Milton Keynes game suggests he's suited to that role, though Micky, like others before him with different players in that mould, has deployed RHM as a smaller player with pace out wide. Connor Jennings is best in the no 10 slot, but capable of playing as a forward and think would do quite well alongside a traditional target-man. Agree Morris and CBT aren't strikers.
 
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I have only seen Wycombe of the top seven, so can't really evaluate how good a side Ipswich were in L1 terms, but while they had a lot of talent at their disposal, didn't seem to me that impressive. Some of that may be down to the pitch acting as a leveller and the Rovers starting xi worked very hard, but I didn't leave PP feeling we'd been beaten by a much better team. However, pre Manny's goal, they had the bulk of the possession and a couple of chances, while Rovers were limited to a couple of corners, with our attacking moves mostly breaking down on the edge of their area. They were rattled by the goal and Clarke had an effort drifting past the post as we finished the half stronger. Agree there was more of a gulf between the teams second half, but some of that seemed to be down to their tactical switch to initiate their attacks from out wide, which we didn't respond to with adjustments of our own until it was too late.

I missed the Blackpool game, when Ferrier apparently played well as a lone striker, but here he was ineffectual. He can't be criticised for effort and got very little protection from the referee, but he's not able to create opportunities for himself in the way Norwood could and there was little in the way of through balls on the deck to run on to. While Morgan may prefer playing as a lone striker, it wasn't working here and Micky needed to recognise that and change things. Given Hepburn-Murphy is apparently fit now, was surprised at his absence from the bench. In this particular game, from the two available, would have gone for Mullin's work-rate and willingness to harry, as the pitch may have helped create problems for their defence. However, unsure why Payne is so out of favour, given his greater experience and scoring record at this level. I felt Jennings was unfairly slated as he took time to adapt to the higher level of this league, but in this game he made too many wrong calls and sloppy passes, his worst Rovers game in a while.

Don't think Scott Davies was to blame for their winner, a slick move and quality finish, after I think Perkins had been dispossed in the middle of the park. He had a jittery moment early on and agree that he must speed up his release of the ball when we are chasing the game. Having seen the equaliser on highlights, did wonder if Clarke could have done more to prevent it.

In midfield, thought Perkins was ok, but Danns seemed to have more energy and if Banks who's not a dynamo at the best of times was coming on, Perkins should have been the first to give way. Having seen how ineffectual Banks was, it would not make sense to start him for the Watford game.

I'm not confident we'll take anything from the next two scheduled league games or that the Blackpool match will get put back due to progress in the Cup. We'll have to hope February is a better month or Mark Palios finds a magic money tree from somewhere.
Ipswich still have vastly better players than us, even if they did not play particularly well in the first half. The fact that we were not completely outplayed is testament to our tactical set up and the workrate of the players. It does not imply the manager got the tactics wrong. I don't know how familiar you are with the Ipswich squad, but Norwood, Jackson, Garbutt, Judge atc. are light years away from any of our players.

We were right to set up with five in midfield, in this game. If we had not, Ipswich have the quality to have completely overrun us as Coventry did a few weeks ago, and Sunderland a few weeks before that.

The gulf between the two sides is more accurately reflected by the 4-1 scoreline in the reverse fixture. The fact that we stayed in the game for eighty minutes and were not battered tells us that the tactical approach was fundamentally correct. We did not create a great deal over ninety minutes, but then neither did Ipswich, despite their superiority.
 
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Some very valid points boz, Blackpool when they played us aren't very impressive and I thought we were the better team.

From what I have seen there is no stand out team so far in this league, it will be hugely disappointing if we go down as really since the first couple of months of the season we have only had to finish above 1 team in the league.

Whatever league we are in next season our recruitment has to be better.
Relegation will be disappointing, but not at all unexpected given the financial situation. I think Palios should communicate directly with supporters to make that clear, because some of the criticism of Mellon at the moment is unacceptable, in my view.

Recruitment needs to be better next season, but unfortunately if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, and that is the situation we have been in since promotion.

The fact there is no 'standout' team in the division is neither here nor there in terms of our situation. We are effectively competing with a tiny handful of clubs that are in the same position as us financially - Accy, Wimbledon, Rochdale - and that makes relegation very likely. Plus, those clubs did not have the disadvantage of jumping two divisions in two seasons, with all the obvious strain that puts on a squad.
 
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The armchair experts on here clearly believe they would recruit better than Mellon with a restricted budget, set up tactically better than Mellon, get more out of the centre forwards than Mellon. Guess what ? They would not.

Palios is not stupid and if Mellon was underperforming to the extent that some people imply he would either have been fired, or would be at serious risk of losing his job. The fact that he is not, tells you that he is performing within expectations and that Palios knew what a massive challenge this season would be.

We will probably be relegated, but that will not be a disaster for the club, nor does it imply that Mellon can't manage. What is crucial is that we have a stable club next season, for what is likely to be a mid-table season rather than a promotion challenge. We should be grateful that that is our 'worst case' scenario rather than ending up like Wrexham, which would be if it was not for the work Mellon (and Palios) have done at this club.
 

bigmart

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We clearly have one of the lower budgets but too much has been wasted, Payne and Ray are two of our highest earners and now rarely get any game time, we have a large squad in terms of numbers and have 6 centre midfielders on our books.

The messages coming from MM & MP appear very mixed to say the least, MM has let it be known we have to ship somebody out to get another player in yet MP says we are looking at further signings. If we win on thrusday then maybe the purse strings will be relaxed a bit to bring tin the quality going forward that we need.

I don't for one minute want to change the manager even if we go down but I really think it will b a missed opportunity if we do gown down due to the execptional circumstances in league 1 this season.
 
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We clearly have one of the lower budgets but too much has been wasted, Payne and Ray are two of our highest earners and now rarely get any game time, we have a large squad in terms of numbers and have 6 centre midfielders on our books.

The messages coming from MM & MP appear very mixed to say the least, MM has let it be known we have to ship somebody out to get another player in yet MP says we are looking at further signings. If we win on thrusday then maybe the purse strings will be relaxed a bit to bring tin the quality going forward that we need.

I don't for one minute want to change the manager even if we go down but I really think it will b a missed opportunity if we do gown down due to the execptional circumstances in league 1 this season.
I do not agree that the budget has been wasted. We have to take risks on players like Ray and Payne because we have limited resources and can't sign proven, established players in key areas. In any case, I would say only Ray has been an unequivocally 'bad' signing which is not a bad ratio considering the low wages we are paying. Even clubs with healthy budgets will make mistakes on certain individuals. Recruitment will never be 100 pet cent successful at any club. I also don't accept that the squad is large, once you subtract the loanees, youth players etc. And if we had not had reasonable numbers we would have been completely screwed with the injuries we have suffered this season.
 
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