League Two Rovers v Pool

Higgy

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Dave Higgins
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.
I think a coach at this level would seriously analyse the Ifs, buts and maybes. Next time a better striker might make more of them decent balls. Mickey will know.
As good as the numbers look, 6 games is a small sample to be extolling the virtues of the defence. Luck, bad finishing and GK in top form can skew that. I think Murphy has saved us a couple of times and been a MoTM contender.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I think a coach at this level would seriously analyse the Ifs, buts and maybes. Next time a better striker might make more of them decent balls. Mickey will know.
As good as the numbers look, 6 games is a small sample to be extolling the virtues of the defence. Luck, bad finishing and GK in top form can skew that. I think Murphy has saved us a couple of times and been a MoTM contender.
We have defended well this season so far, as evidenced on Saturday by the fact that Murphy did not have a serious save to make. He was only seriously exposed at Scunthorpe, and that was a collectively poor performance.

Murphy has made some good saves at vital moments, but that does not mean he has been peppered with shots every game.

We can only judge on the sample of games available, and we have the best defensive record in the division, so I am not sure what more we can expect.

The defence has not been the issue this season.
 
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Higgy

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We have defended well this season so far, as evidenced on Saturday by the fact that Murphy did not have a serious save to make. He was only seriously exposed at Scunthorpe, and that was a collectively poor performance.

We can only judge on the sample of games available, and we have the best defensive record in the division, so I am not sure what more you expect.

If you think the defence has been the issue this season, you have probably been looking in the wrong place.......
Never said it was a major issue. Just my opinion as well as others that they are not as comfortable as in your view......which we're all entitled to.
I disagree -- we can't only judge it on the games played. Not a big enough sample and not nuanced enough to account for some of the variables - including a keeper in excellent form who I'm sure has been mentioned in dispatchs in more than one game.
Newport could definitely have got more than one on another day.
Murphy may not have made a serious save, but we were saved by Clarke's clearance off the line and by a well positioned post. Further they did get balls into the box and with better strikers that could have been chances. NKP didn't look comfortable. As I said a coach at this level would analyse the root cause ie prevention of said balls into the box.
The defence have done ok, but not great. They have a good goal against record over a short sample of games that may flatter them. It may have been worse if not for some luck, poor finishing and good goal keeping.
Long may we keep the goals against numbers dow.
 
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Never said it was a major issue. Just my opinion as well as others that they are not as comfortable as in your view......which we're all entitled to.
I disagree -- we can't only judge it on the games played. Not a big enough sample and not nuanced enough to account for some of the variables - including a keeper in excellent form who I'm sure has been mentioned in dispatchs in more than one game.
Newport could definitely have got more than one on another day.
Murphy may not have made a serious save, but we were saved by Clarke's clearance off the line and by a well positioned post. Further they did get balls into the box and with better strikers that could have been chances. NKP didn't look comfortable. As I said a coach at this level would analyse the root cause ie prevention of said balls into the box.
The defence have done ok, but not great. They have a good goal against record over a short sample of games that may flatter them. It may have been worse if not for some luck, poor finishing and good goal keeping.
Long may we keep the goals against numbers dow.
Let's take the games individually.

Walsall - Murphy had nothing to do.
Port Vale - Murphy made one very good save in the 90th minute, but otherwise was not seriously tested.
Swindon - made a couple of very good saves away from home against a good side.
Newport - had very little to do aside from their goal.
Scunthorpe - made four or five good saves due to a seriously poor team performance.
Hartlepool - did not have a serious save to make all game.

I see no reason why our strong defensive record can't continue as Clarke and Davies are clearly very good centre halves at this level, and KP also has a great record in this division.

A serious question.

What will have kept Mellon awake at night this season, our creativity and goalscoring, or our defending ?
 
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As I said a coach at this level would analyse the root cause ie prevention of said balls into the box.
It was because our first choice left back is injured, and Morris is playing at wing back. If MacDonald had been fit and available on Saturday, a lot of the crosses from their right side would not have happened.
 

Ian

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Our defence has always generally been good and I’m sure it will be fine again this season. We all know goals win games but there has been some hairy moments at the back this season. It is early days though and we just need some consistency with results, goals and team selection.
 
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Lack of goals heaps pressure on your defenders. They’ve coped admirably in my eyes and a vast improvement on last seasons defending,
particularly on crosses which was a bit of an Achilles heel last season. Agreed, it is early days, but credit where credit’s due.
 

Boz

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There's probably a consensus that the main area of concern is up front. A number of options have been added to the squad at the deadline and it will be for Micky to work through them and come to a way of making best use of them. Without reiterating what I said after the game, at this stage it's like the song; more questions than answers.

My perception is the defence is a work in progress rather than the finished article. In central defence, Knight-Percival and Davies are an upgrade on their predecessors, Cogley adds a different dimension to the right-back role and we know already what O'Connor and a fully fit Macdonald can do. Maguire is a squad player, who the manager seemingly has reservations about. However relying on the fact we've only conceded twice in the league doesn't consider the full picture. Walsall couldn't hit the target for toffee, despite getting a number of shooting opportunities and Pools didn't attack some quality balls into the Rovers box, so the lack of goals conceded could reflect as much an opponent's failing to capitalise as the quality of defending. Not that there wasn't some high class defending, both Clarke's goal-line clearance and Cogley's dash back to rescue the situation after Duffy's misplaced free-kick in the Hartlepool game illustrate that. The fact that Joe Murphy has kept us in games or the score-line respectable particularly away, indicates there have been occasions where the defence have been unable to protect him. It's telling that the one game Murphy didn't feature in, the Cup loss at Oldham was the one where we conceded most.

We've a couple of what look like more testing games this month, hopefully things will still be looking as rosy in terms of goals conceded by the end of September.
 
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I must admit, I don't remember Walsall having many clear sights of goal. If the opposition get the ball into dangerous areas but can't get a shot away, let alone test the keeper, that is generally a sign of good defending.

Ultimately, the only statistic that matters is the number of goals conceded, and over a period of six matches our defensive record can't simply be put down to luck or feeble opposition. We have actually played opposition of varying styles and levels of ability.
 
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It's telling that the one game Murphy didn't feature in, the Cup loss at Oldham was the one where we conceded most.
Maguire's performance in the defence in that game was more significant. He has not been seen since.
 

Boz

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Maguire's performance in the defence in that game was more significant. He has not been seen since.
Scott Davies was doing the guest role in the commentary that game and wasn’t that complementary about his team-mate, though accepted with mitigating circumstances. However Doohan appeared to be at fault for the first goal which came down our right and the other was a Tom
Davies og, from a free-kick conceded by Cogley. Despite his weaknesses, Maguire didn’t seem to be to blame for either goal.
 
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Scott Davies was doing the guest role in the commentary that game and wasn’t that complementary about his team-mate, though accepted with mitigating circumstances. However Doohan appeared to be at fault for the first goal which came down our right and the other was a Tom
Davies og, from a free-kick conceded by Cogley. Despite his weaknesses, Maguire didn’t seem to be to blame for either goal.
That is all debatable and none of it changes my broader argument.

Murphy has played well but you can't put our strong defensive record entirely down to him.
 

drwhoman

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That is all debatable and none of it changes my broader argument.

Murphy has played well but you can't put our strong defensive record entirely down to him.
Two goals conceded in six games is very impressive and it cannot be put down to one man. It would be interesting to see some stats on the number of saves Joe has actually had to make over the six games. A dozen or less maybe over 540 minutes?
 
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Two goals conceded in six games is very impressive and it cannot be put down to one man. It would be interesting to see some stats on the number of saves Joe has actually had to make over the six games. A dozen or less maybe over 540 minutes?
There certainly have not been many shots on target for the opposition in several of the games.
 

drwhoman

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There certainly have not been many shots on target for the opposition in several of the games.
FBREF.COM reckons that there have been 24 shots on target against Rovers in the 6 games to date. However, this figure does not distinguish between daisy cutters straight at Joe and serious saves. On average this is one shot every 22.5 minutes. Not exactly under the cosh stuff.
 

Ian

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I think it is just down to his overall performances and the two games where he made a handful of really good saves in each. Of course the defence also play their part but Murphy has been solid this season. Put it this way, I’m certainly not missing Davies in goal!
 

tyke

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Rochdale have scored 10 and conceded 9 in six games. Could be a good test at both ends on Saturday.
 
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