Rovers v Swindon

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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
The biggest game of our season since the last one. Swindon are a decent footballing side who have won plaudits this season for their style of play. However, they come to Prenton Park in poor form and have a pretty wretched away record, although they did get an impressive win against Preston at the weekend.

Defensively we obviously have to improve massively on Saturday if we are to take anything from this game, but I think playing a more cultured side may actually suit us, as it is the physical teams like Vale and Stevenage who pump the ball in the box and are strong on set plays that we tend to struggle most against.

Injury wise, there is a long list of potential absentees, including Stephen Arthurworrey: whether he is available or not, I would like to see Goody return to the starting line up to stabilise the creaking back four. It is difficult to speculate on the starting line up or formation when Koumas, Holmes and Jennings are also major doubts.

I think a minimum of four points is required from the two home games this week and if we fall below that total I think we can start getting seriously worried. It would be fantastic to win tomorrow and lift at least some of the pressure form the Carlisle game.
 
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Liam Palmer
We never beat Swindon. Even when they were relegated they came to PP a couple of season ago and beat us.

Sooo.... it's about time we started beating them. I've given up predicting Rovers this season. We'll probably beat them and lose to Carlisle.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
As an afterthought, the attendance could plumb new depths tomorrow. A sub-4,000 crowd is probable.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
Agree with TT64 that Swindle appear to have put a hex on us; even when they're rubbish they still get a result out of us. The side that beat Preston was apparently a more physical one than some they'd put out previously and presumably they won't change a winning team.

One player who won't be in the mix is Evan Horwood, who's gone on loan to Northampton for the rest of the season. Defensively weak, though still better than Junior Brown by all accounts, but after Koumas probably the best at set pieces in the current squad and surprised he's been frozen out entirely. Wonder what area of the the assistant manager will try to strengthen with the wages freed up by this. Like RLC, I'm not going to hazard a guess on our starting xi and all of our current injury doubts would be a significant loss if declared unfit.

Prediction: I'd agree with RLC about crowd size, a few more home fans than Rotherham as no competition from over the water, but only around 100 from Wilts, so around 3.6k. Away win.
 

bigmart

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Ian Muir
With the injury doubts we have think we will do well to get a 1 1 draw in front of a very low crowd.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
A game we could and should have won: the final score is a travesty really. We were punished for not taking our chances, but these things happen when you are struggling and in poor form and I could not be too hard on the players tonight, as I thought they gave everything they had against a decent Swindon side. I have not felt so disappointed at the end of a game for a long time.

Other than the two goals I don't think they had a clear opportunity all game, and their second, a mishit cross, summed up our luck at the moment. Rovers by contrast, hit the bar twice with Foderingham pulling off two great saves from Lowe and Cassidy. We also had other good opportunities.

Individually, I thought most players did well. Max deserved his man of the match award, Kirby was very lively, Jenno worked hard but did not look fit to me, the two centre halves were solid and the whole back four did pretty well. I thought Cassidy had his best game for a while and was unlucky not to score. The new winger looked very raw: he got stuck in and made one really good run, but gave the ball away in bad areas on other occasions.

Generally, I thought the game ebbed and flowed with both sides playing decent football and having spells on top, but we were clearly ahead on chances. In the final fifteen minutes the injuries to Wallace and Holmes caught up with us and we began to look ragged.

Other results mean we are not dead and buried just yet, but we surely will be if we don't win on Saturday.
 

Ian

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Aldo
That was a real disappointment. Not because the lads didn't play well, I thought overall we were excellent, but how did we lose that? We had at least five great opportunities but good goalkeeping and Lady Luck was not on our side. When you're down there fighting for points it's a tough one to take.

I thought the game was a good one to watch. Had decent pace to it and both sides played well. Shame we started slowly and it took us a goal down to wake up. Goody slotted in as if he'd been playing all season (one of that man). Power was really good and Wallace was having a good game. We struggled a little in the centre when he went off and their second really took the wind out of our sails.

For all the effort we just couldn't seem to get a real grip of the ball in the final 15/20 mins.

Real six pointer on Saturday. Just got to roll up our sleeves and keep going.
 
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Backayogo
Very cruel result but the chances have to go in. This is how it is though when you are down there. If we can play like that though there is a slim chance to stay up.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
Napoleon made some remark about needing lucky generals. It seems our assistant manager lacks luck and even in games where we deserve something we end up with nowt.

Individually, I thought most players did well. Max deserved his man of the match award, Kirby was very lively, Jenno worked hard but did not look fit to me, the two centre halves were solid and the whole back four did pretty well. I thought Cassidy had his best game for a while and was unlucky not to score. The new winger looked very raw: he got stuck in and made one really good run, but gave the ball away in bad areas on other occasions.

I've only seen brief highlights of the game, but it seems that Kirby must take some blame for their winner, losing the ball and not tracking back. I've heard some positive comment about our new loanee winger from Leeds fans, but question whether another winger was a priority given injuries elsewhere.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Napoleon made some remark about needing lucky generals. It seems our assistant manager lacks luck and even in games where we deserve something we end up with nowt.

Yes, absolutely. In many ways McMahon's period in charge has been much more positive than what went before under Ronnie: we have generally played better football, been more energetic, set the tempo of games, been tactically more astute (eg. allowing to Kirby to roam in the first half of the game last night, switching to three at the back in the last two games).

And yet we can't get a result to save our lives. Four defeats in five now and our form has deserted us at the most crucial stage of the season.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I've heard some positive comment about our new loanee winger from Leeds fans, but question whether another winger was a priority given injuries elsewhere.

In fairness, before last night we probably did not think the injury to Wallace in particular was going to be long term, and midfield is our strongest area. I would think we are also trying to bring in another defender now that Horwood has gone out on loan.

Interestingly, Matthew Kennedy has gone to MK Dons until the end of the season. I would imagine we enquired about him but were unable to get him.
 

bigmart

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Ian Muir
For 60 minutes we were much the better side and should really have won the game but once we went 2 1 down we were poor we totally lost our way and our shape and the tactics for me were very poor.

Although Cassidy had a decent game for me he should be dropped and give Stockton a few games as he cant score any less goals .

I think if we don't win on Saturday we will go down.
 

Ian

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Aldo
I agree big mart, we just couldn't get hold of the ball after we conceded the second, not for lack of trying though. Kirby had a decent game but I thought at times his inexperience showed. Again he showed a great deal of effort.

I'm disappointed about the Kennedy situation. Just as he was really finding his feet they recall him and send him off to MK Dons.
 

drwhoman

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I am convinced that the managerial situation had something to do with Pennington and Kennedy being recalled by Everton. They may well take the view that the players are sent out to learn and to gain experience and that the absence of a manager adversely impacts upon this aim. Teams do not provide loanees only for our benefit and the fact that we are struggling will not have helped either.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I am convinced that the managerial situation had something to do with Pennington and Kennedy being recalled by Everton.

Apparently not, as Pennington has returned. MK Dons are higher in the table and play an attractive brand of football, so Everton probably thought a move there was the next step in Kennedy's development. Either that or he simply preferred the Dons to ourselves.

Given that Trust has funded the Pennington signing, there is the third possibility that we simply did not have the money this time round.
 
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