Tranmere Rovers vs Doncaster Rovers

Ian

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Micky quite clear pre match that we must play to cookies strengths. Andy certainly couldn’t play on his own so expecting two up top from now on with some width from either wingers or wing backs.
Sounds like a dream. A target man with wingers!
 

Ian

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you wonder if he thought sod this, Bolton was a nightmare with all those angry fans and that PP pitch is a joke so I’ll go back to the comfort of u23 football!
He certainly got chucked into the deep end. All good experience for him though, as that what he's here for. I thought he did OK to be fair once the first 10 minute flurry was out the way.
 

Higgy

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Micky quite clear pre match that we must play to cookies strengths. Andy certainly couldn’t play on his own so expecting two up top from now on with some width from either wingers or wing backs.
I'm hoping it's wing backs Sparky. If it's wingers and only two in centre midfield we could get over run. Granted Cookie and partner need a service for sure.
 

Boz

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Strange choices from MM, in particular starting with Ferrier who needs a rest and dropping Gilmour. Think we’d need to play with wing-backs as if the only creative route is through Morris, that can easily be blocked off.
 

Higgy

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I'm guessing it's 343
Back 3 Woods,Manny and Rides.
Wilson and Morris wing backs - McCulloch and Woodyard centre midfield and leave it to wing backs to create?
 

Sparky

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Yes 3-4-3 but more like a 5-2-3 at times. First half it didn’t seem to work. Wilson did well but Vaughan who is a front man stuck out on the right and Ferrier on the left
 
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I thought the first half was quite encouraging. With the new additions we looked pretty solid and we were better in our use of the ball than in a number of recent games. There were some decent individual performances, with Wilson doing well again, McCulloch very tidy in possession, Cook winning a lot in the air (not always anticipated by those around him), Vaughan looking sharp and Woodyard excellent when retrieving the ball and covering the defence.

We had pretty much contained Doncaster, who played some slick football at times and only really carved us open on one occasion, when we were saved by a last ditch block from Ridehalgh. However, the lack of creativity was an issue again, with our final ball into the box - generally an aerial ball for Cook - quite predictable at times.

We started the second half slowly and the first goal was always going to be crucial. It was an awful mistake from Manny - giving the ball away on the halfway line and losing his man - which led to the opener and at that point the roof fell in. Our confidence visibly drained away and we looked really disjointed for the rest of the half, with Manny having another horror show for the third goal. The cumulative effect of losing games all season means we don't seem to have the stomach for the fight once we concede.

The new players look decent individually, but we have applied sticking plasters to the squad mid season, and it looks like it won't be enough.

It seems we are going down.
 
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Yes 3-4-3 but more like a 5-2-3 at times. First half it didn’t seem to work. Wilson did well but Vaughan who is a front man stuck out on the right and Ferrier on the left
I think Cook and Vaughan could work well as a front two. Perhaps 532 would have been a better option than 343, as we lacked creativity with a front three. I think Mellon did not want to go 442 as the midfield would have been exposed.
 

Sparky

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Big questions tonight. Who was to blame? Are the players just not good enough or is it mickys Tactics and recruitment? For me it‘a a few things but one thing that can’t be denied is the imbalance of the squad. We have about 7 centre mids and only 1 proper winger in CBT. Cookie had no service at all apart from a bit from Wilson in first 15 minutes. We huffed and puffed but they ran out deserved winners.

We were always going to be near the bottom after 2 promotions but the manner of our performances is worrying. Bolton was awful. Sunderland at home and tonight we created zero. So it comes back to Micky some might say. Vaughan was 3rd top scorer in league 2 and he plays him wide tonight. Should have been 2 up front down the middle with say Wilson as a right winger and maybe Morris on the left wing. Palios has backed Mellon all season. Poor signings like Maddox, Ponticelli, Ray, Payne have wasted the wage bill and as a say, left us with an u balanced squad with a real lack of creativity. After tonight I’m certain we are down.
 
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We are going down, but I would still keep Micky and give him the chance to take us back up next season. He has earned the right to another season, in my view, assuming that he wants to stay.

I think the fundamental problem was the recruitment last summer, which was so poor we never had a chance at this level. I still think that was chiefly down to budget constraints, as none of the players we brought in were good enough for this division. We have added some decent individuals mid-season, but that is not enough at this level. Last January we added to a winning team with a reasonably strong core, with a prolific goalscorer in Norwood, but repeating the trick at this level with a team that has been losing games for months, was never going to be enough.

It is difficult to see how the season pans out though. The last two performances have been concerning, and we can't carry on with showings like the second half today and at Bolton for the remainder of the season.
 
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Big questions tonight. Who was to blame? Are the players just not good enough or is it mickys Tactics and recruitment? For me it‘a a few things but one thing that can’t be denied is the imbalance of the squad. We have about 7 centre mids and only 1 proper winger in CBT. Cookie had no service at all apart from a bit from Wilson in first 15 minutes. We huffed and puffed but they ran out deserved winners.

We were always going to be near the bottom after 2 promotions but the manner of our performances is worrying. Bolton was awful. Sunderland at home and tonight we created zero. So it comes back to Micky some might say. Vaughan was 3rd top scorer in league 2 and he plays him wide tonight. Should have been 2 up front down the middle with say Wilson as a right winger and maybe Morris on the left wing. Palios has backed Mellon all season. Poor signings like Maddox, Ponticelli, Ray, Payne have wasted the wage bill and as a say, left us with an u balanced squad with a real lack of creativity. After tonight I’m certain we are down.
Is it not just the case that we could address some of the problems in the January window - the absence of a decent defensive midfielder, the lack of goalscorers - but not all of them (ie. the lack of creativity) ? You can't build a whole team in the January transfer window, but that is what we needed to do because the existing quality in the squad was so poor.
 
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Sparky

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I agree we should keep Micky. But the tide is turning I think with the fans. The question is who would replace him? People keep saying Adkins but Micky has 2 promotions from league 2. Like u say RLC he deserves to stay (for 3 trips to Wembley in 3 years if nothing else).
But he just frustrates fans with certain decisions. Making Davies captain was a mistake - we needed someone out there today in the middle. McCullough did ok but tired and found it difficult at times in a 2 man midfield with Woodyard. Like I say the 3 up top just didn’t work and he is making these decisions
 

Ian

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Sad to say but after that, I think I have finally admitted defeat. There is pretty much zero creativity in this squad. I was quite pleased with the line up and I thought we did OK first half. We contained them but the warning signs were there. They had two great chances before they scored and whilst we coped in the first half it was only a matter of time before they scored. Sadly, we have no quality to recover from even a goal down and it just went from bad to worse. Manny is far too laid back for his own good. Excellent at times but he has moments that in this division will punish you.

Doncaster were a decent team. Solid at the back and dangerous on the attack. That is the level you need to be at to be competitive in this division.

I didn't quite understand the subs. Bringing Perkins on seemed wasteful when losing and then Caprice when we had Gilmour bench warming again.

Patience is running thin with supporters. Lots leaving early tonight. To be honest, I'm not particularly looking forward to the remainder of the season.

Their keeper was pretty much a spectator tonight and it's not great watching at the moment.

One positive however - I was pleased to see McCullough back on the pitch tonight. He does the basics but he does it well.
 
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