League Two Rovers v Pool

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aldo
so we play Hartlepool, we have no goals in 4 games and lost the last two, we need to get something to build some confidence, I think Maynard will start with Macca And Walker on the flanks and hope Watson is pushed just behind the front players where he should be most dangerous, come on lads just a goal or a shot on target and a win not asking too much a rovers 2-1 with Maynard getting 1
 

ADD

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Norwood
Will Maynard be fit to start? Yes he has been training recently but did he have a full pre- season - I suspect not? Also he definitely hasn't had any actual game time in pre- season friendlies so there must be a doubt. Wonder if he will come off the bench with Walker starting up front who should be fully match fit.
Have to confess not feeling that positive despite the new signings and expect another difficult game as will take time for them to get used to how MM wants to play - and he will have in any event to change his tactics given the incomings. Would be tempted to start Duffy for his ability to unlock defences and for his set piece delivery which we have sorely lacked with Feeney so far this season.
They have won 3 with 1 loss so a good start. Would take a draw if I am honest but fear a defeat.
 

bigmart

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Ian Muir
I very much doubt Maynard will be fit enough to start
 
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ian goodison
would hope to see merrie in his preferred position but with so many to choose from who knows?
 

drwhoman

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It seems we have gone from famine to feast in terms of numbers so who knows who will play and what will happen! Let us hope for a better performance anyway!
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Hartlepool have had a strange summer and a surprising start to the season. They came into the transfer market late due to their involvement in the play offs, and lost a number of their best players, including Armstrong and Oates. However, Challinor has again shown his worth by putting together a competitive side: I am not familiar with most of their squad, but Millwall loanee Tyler Burey has been their star man to date and is among the goals. I think this is the first time Mellon and Challinor have faced each other since our 6-2 defeat at Fylde on New Year's Day 2018.

It is difficult to guess our starting line up. Mellon confirmed in his interview that Walker has had Covid and probably won't be fit to play, and interestingly also said that with the addition of Hawkes on the left wing he will probably use Glatzel more centrally in future.

I think we will line up something like this:

Murphy
Cogley Clarke NKP MacDonald
Spearing Merrie / Watson
Feeney / Watson
MacManaman Nevitt / Mani Hawkes

I would prefer Watson to start in the number ten position, with Merrie in midfield, but I think Micky might go with Feeney. Then again, it could be Duffy in the number ten role.

Prediction: another decent gate as Hartlepool are bringing at least 600 fans and, following the boost given to the club by this week's transfer business, a Rovers victory.
 
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drwhoman

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An interesting snippet. Hawkes started at Hartlepool apparently before joining the Black Cats.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
Our last home game v Pools was in 2018, final NL season game in which the visitors won 1-2, backed by fans dressed as clowns, with Jeff Hughes getting our consolation, although the season ended on a higher note for Rovers with the play-off final win.

Pools have done incredibly well given the NL season didn't finish until weeks after everyone else. Some of their better players have moved on, although they managed to hang on to quality right-back Jamie Sterry and as RLC highlights, loanee Burey has made a great start to his loan spell. Given the issues rumbling on in the background at Pools and the departure of backroom staff, Dave Challinor has done well to get them off to a good start. This won't be an easy game.

I wasn't aware of Walker's recent covid history, as he's a player I thought we might start. Hawkes possibly to start or come off the bench. Wonder if Maynard will be deemed fit enough for the bench, but guess probably not. Merrie to start in midfield for me. While it's good that we're likely to ditch the 5 at the back, feel Davis has been better than Knight-Percival thus far, but by playing NKP we get the left-footer/right-footer combination. I think Duffy might start, he's been training with us a while and played in behind closed doors games so should be ready, otherwise Watson in the Feeney position.

It doesn't seem like the new additions will get much of a role, but the mood around the club will be boosted by their arrival. The referee is Chris Sarginson, who gave Cambridge their debatable penalty against us last season, after Mr Kettle we could do without any more dodgy decisions going against us. Game could go anyway but think we'll end our scoring drought.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Maynard has been training at Crewe for the last couple of months, so could be fit enough to come off the bench at least.
 

Higgy

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Dave Higgins
Defo think Maynard will at least be on the bench. Big chance for Nevitt to keep a place near the top of the pecking order before Maynard gets the nod on a regular basis.
If MM doesn't have two up front I wonder who'll get the no. 10 role. I see Duffy and Glatzel as natural no. 10s with good technique who may provide chances. MM also sees Feeney as a candidate??
Q. Watson is a goal scoring midfielder, but is he the mercurial no. 10 pulling the strings? Genuinely not sure - more box to box + goals. Albeit would like to see him start for his goal potential. Also hope Merrie starts.
Hard to pick a team to get the quality players all starting, but I'm thinking 3-2 win.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
Higgy, I’m unsure that Watson could be the type of no 10 pulling the strings that you describe. Unsure we’ve got anyone of that ilk, certainly Feeney looks more comfortable out wide, possibly Glatzel or Duffy?

However, I find Micky’s handling of Watson puzzling. Given his attacking ability, why wasn’t he tried in the forward role during pre-season, feels like a wasted opportunity when we hadn’t got a proven striker in. Barely used v Port Vale, yet in the few minutes on the pitch gets into a decent scoring position. Finally pushed forward at Scunthorpe only to be replaced by Mani after a short spell. While he hasn’t broken his Rovers duck yet, Ryan does get into scoring positions, maybe more than the strikers so far. In the Walsall game, I was impressed by his defensive abilities. As one of the lads on a 2 year deal, we should be building a side with him at the heart of it. By how Micky’s treated him so far, get the impression that he’s not that keen.
 
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I don't think there is any evidence that Mellon is not keen on Watson. He has just used him defensively because we have adopted a cautious approach: he has rotated all the midfielders aside from Spearing.

He is not a creative number ten, but he needs to play as the most advanced of the midfielders simply to give him the opportunity to get into the box and score goals, as he did at Northampton.
 

Higgy

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Dave Higgins
I don't think there is any evidence either.
Just wondering if anyone shared my opinion that he's not a genuine no 10?
I was then alluding that the team might difficult to pick for me this week. Wondering how you incorporate his goal potential and play a no 10?
Personally I'd like to see him start as an attacking midfielder, but despite trying I struggled to fit him in. Mickey's job anyway.
 

Ian

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Aldo
With the new players, I guess there will be a bit more tinkering with the squad to find the best fit for most players. At least we have a few more going into this match to give us some options.
 

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Norwood
It is difficult to guess our starting line up. Mellon confirmed in his interview that Walker has had Covid and probably won't be fit to play, and interestingly also said that with the addition of Hawkes on the left wing he will probably use Glatzel more centrally in future.
Haven't watched the press conference yet but if MM does what he said re playing Glatzel more centrally then I think that would be great news. I hadn't seen Glatzel before he joined but to me he has all season looked uncomfiortable playing wide and has looked far more like it when drifting/ being moved inside. He might be the perfect foil for Maynard once Maynard is fit - I don't think MM will risk starting him as despite training with Crewe he hasn't played any competitive minutes and I feel he will be gradually brought in - likely off the bench if needed for 25 minutes on Saturday.
 

ONIGP

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Eddie Bishop
I think AM has worked out Micky's new strategy. It should guarantee goals. Assuming Agard signs, our line up on Saturday in 4-4-2 formation could be:

Dieseruvwe
McManaman Jolley Feeney Hawkes
Burton Nevitt Walker Glatzel
Agard Maynard
Good shout. I would have reservations about the front 2, though...
 
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