League Two Rovers v Pool

Boz

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Iain Hume
Merrie has looked promising but you wonder how much game time he’s going to get. Same for mcmanaman who has been a part time player so far which is how how career has generally gone. Suspect Micky knows this as he keeps saying he’ll use the whole squad when we need them. Early days though and plenty of games left
Merrie was probably our best player v Walsall until the sending off, although Feeney did well in that game too. He did pretty well as a makeshift left-back, given current circumstances that’s where I’d deploy him or as a wing-back if Micky sticks with 5 at the back. As someone who is going to be with us next season, there is an incentive to make him one of the cornerstones of the team. The same with Watson. I agree he was disappointing yesterday though did earn us the free-kick on the edge of their box leading to the best chance of the first half.

From the Bebington Paddock, I got a good view of the action on the left side of the pitch and our frailties in that area first half. If Duffy was meant to be playing behind the strikers he was actually closer to the midfield by intention or being forced deep. Yet he didn’t offer much to Morris in the way of an out ball and I can’t remember a significant challenge from him. It was his first proper game for us so will cut him some slack, but he needs to contribute more than set pieces to merit a regular start, hopefully this will come with more gametime with his new team-mates
 
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aldo
good seeing a corner get past the first man Hawkes can keep doing stuff like that be good to see him have a full game
 
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Ged Brennan, Big Steve McNulty,
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Mickey Mellon, Johnny King.
Playing wing backs, allows you the option to either play with two up front or one with a number 10 role. The 3, 5, 2 allows attacking options from wide and deep, this system it is more flexible and having two defensive midfielders in front of the back three, will deny space between the box and half way line. It will also give the third midfielder a bit more freedom to support the forward-looking players and the defence when required.
Wing backs is an incredibly hard position to play. If your wing backs are not good enough, your opponent will exploit the wide positions and it is crucial that the defence and midfield to support if he is out of position.

Particularly in the first half, it did seem that the first eleven were like strangers and didn't know where to be or support each other, the shape was all over the place, and too many were caught out having to defend from the wide, so many ducked out of responsibility for the team. There was a lack of cohesion and allowed them to dominate.
The subs changed the game.

If MM is going to get the best of the squad, he needs to find the right balance and a shape and tactics to suit the team.

The average age of our senior players, is something that concerns me greatly. Not only because of tiredness but of pace and willingness to work hard in closing down.
Could MM be under pressure to play the senior players?
A win is a win, is a win! Three points on the table.
But we did get away with that result! A more prolific team would have smashed us up!
 

bigmart

bigmart
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Ian Muir
Playing wing backs, allows you the option to either play with two up front or one with a number 10 role. The 3, 5, 2 allows attacking options from wide and deep, this system it is more flexible and having two defensive midfielders in front of the back three, will deny space between the box and half way line. It will also give the third midfielder a bit more freedom to support the forward-looking players and the defence when required.
Wing backs is an incredibly hard position to play. If your wing backs are not good enough, your opponent will exploit the wide positions and it is crucial that the defence and midfield to support if he is out of position.

Particularly in the first half, it did seem that the first eleven were like strangers and didn't know where to be or support each other, the shape was all over the place, and too many were caught out having to defend from the wide, so many ducked out of responsibility for the team. There was a lack of cohesion and allowed them to dominate.
The subs changed the game.

If MM is going to get the best of the squad, he needs to find the right balance and a shape and tactics to suit the team.

The average age of our senior players, is something that concerns me greatly. Not only because of tiredness but of pace and willingness to work hard in closing down.
Could MM be under pressure to play the senior players?
A win is a win, is a win! Three points on the table.
But we did get away with that result! A more prolific team would have smashed us up!
I don't believe Micky is forced to play anybody, we weren't cut open many times so I don't see how we would have been smashed up by any team
 

Ian

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Aldo
They had quite a few balls in the box from wide areas that just needed a tap in. Luckily they had no one to tap it in. We struggled to defend the wide areas in the first half as KH points out above.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Their right wing back, Sterry, got in behind Morris a few times and flashed a couple of good balls across the box, but I did not think we were in that much danger of conceding. We were generally solid and it was a tight game.

Their best chance was the effort off the post in the first half, which was followed by an unbelievable goalline block by Clarke.
 

Boz

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Will Goodwin their no 11 on loan from Stoke put us under pressure in the first half and shot wide from a decent position in the secons.
 
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I don't believe Micky is forced to play anybody, we weren't cut open many times so I don't see how we would have been smashed up by any team
I thought that the starting eleven was not young enough to cope with an in form team.
If I was Challinor, I would be very annoyed to lose the game.
If we played a team that was higher in championship or league one, I definitely think we would have been smashed up. The last two seasons in the fa cup, it was far too easy, and we got a drubbing.
I don't think that the quality of the squad is any better, in fact the balance especially in the first half was shocking.
But we won.
Can we improve even from the second half?
I also thought that the players were not as fit as I would expect.
 

bigmart

bigmart
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Ian Muir
I thought that the starting eleven was not young enough to cope with an in form team.
If I was Challinor, I would be very annoyed to lose the game.
If we played a team that was higher in championship or league one, I definitely think we would have been smashed up. The last two seasons in the fa cup, it was far too easy, and we got a drubbing.
I don't think that the quality of the squad is any better, in fact the balance especially in the first half was shocking.
But we won.
Can we improve even from the second half?
I also thought that the players were not as fit as I would expect.
We are in league 2 and the standard is not that hot, we will be more than a match for most teams
 

Higgy

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Dave Higgins
Their right wing back, Sterry, got in behind Morris a few times and flashed a couple of good balls across the box, but I did not think we were in that much danger of conceding. We were generally solid and it was a tight game.

Their best chance was the effort off the post in the first half, which was followed by an unbelievable goalline block by Clarke.
Could do without need for goal line blocks if possible. Might have needed more than one if they'd have had someone on the spot for a few decent balls into the box.
 
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Could do without need for goal line blocks if possible. Might have needed more than one if they'd have had someone on the spot for a few decent balls into the box.
Ifs, buts and maybes though is not it ? It was probably their only genuine chance of the game and we were relatively comfortable defensively.

We have got the best defensive record in the division, so we are doing something right at the back.
 

bigmart

bigmart
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Could do without need for goal line blocks if possible. Might have needed more than one if they'd have had someone on the spot for a few decent balls into the box.
No matter who we play they are bound to create something, it is totally unrealistic to think a team won't create anything during a game.
We have conceded 2 goals, 1 of which was a penalty that should not have been given that's a very Impressive record so far.
 
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Ian Goodison
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The vast majority of teams in this division are much of a muchness and most games will be tight; fine margins as they say. We need to get used to the idea that we won’t be dominating teams home or away. To our credit, we switched things second half and grew more into the game and were definitely the only team looking like they were going for the win as the half progressed; in direct contrast to the first half where we did look second best for most of it in terms of possession and intent. Their must have been huge pressure on the lads to break the scoring hoodoo and whichever way you want to dissect it, they did just that.
We’re not unique in bemoaning the lack of potency upfront, Port Vale, Swindon, Walsall, Hartlepool forums all echoing similar comments as no doubt some other forums will be; we are not alone, but admittedly it’s been particularly lean for us. Others have already pointed out that alongside the lean, we have the mean in our defensive record. Perhaps credit is due from our opponents for depriving them of goals rather than laying the blame on their own strike force.
Yesterday’s win has put us in a good position, hopefully the pressure is off a little and we can maintain some consistency to consolidate our position in challenging at the right end of the table. Plenty of twists and turns to come yet
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
I’m finding it hard to gauge the strength of opponents this season. Who’d have thought Harrogate would be up at the top? Pools were in the play-off places at the start of the game, so was Micky right to set up fairly defensively? The result will say he was, though you could argue that enabled Pools to come onto us more. Where do we think they’ll finish in the table? My initial thought was they might struggle due to their late start to team building, but Challinor seem’s to have built a competitive squad.

Tom Davies came across well in his post match interview. Liked it when he said (jokingly) his goal target was 25
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
The division has not settled down yet, but Harrogate could be up there this season. They have got two prolific strikers in Armstrong and Muldoon, with Diamond providing the ammunition.
 
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No matter who we play they are bound to create something, it is totally unrealistic to think a team won't create anything during a game.
We have conceded 2 goals, 1 of which was a penalty that should not have been given that's a very Impressive record so far.
Well, when you put it that way!

Other than that, it is totally unrealistic that we wont concede a few more this season.
I remember my early years and a coach said start at the back with reliable defenders and a good keeper, get your spine and shape right, add your creative midfielders and wide players and then a goalscorer!
I'm still not convinced about our balance of age and fitness.
Despite the points, it was on the whole, a poor performance,.
 
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We have got a reliable keeper and good defenders. Davies and NKP are much better than the centre halves they replaced.
 

Ian

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Aldo
I’m still not so sure about NKP. He seems a little flat footed and doesn’t have a great deal of pace. I think my memory of him is different to the reality though so I’m probably just getting used to him.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
We have the best defensive record in the league, despite a veteran stand-in goalie and an almost brand new back line. Although our results have still been disappointing, we all know why that was. Despite this, we are only one point off the playoffs, which demonstrates the general lack of quality in League Two. Having built the breadth and depth of the squad with five last gasp signings, they will take time to bed in. Give the manager and the squad time to work things out and I firmly believe that none of us will be disappointed at the end of the season.
 
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