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p_mards last won the day on October 28

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  1. What sort of injury has McNair picked up? Hopefully it isn’t a long term one as he has been fantastic for us so far this season. Hall being back in training helps to mitigate the news though.
  2. This answers it: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article246989282.html
  3. Considering our players, injuries and financial resources, I can’t imagine any other manager that would have done a better job than what Warnock has done in his short time with us. Just because we’ve got within a sniffing distance of the play offs and automatic promotion spots, fans shouldn’t start to expect us to get there. We simply don’t have the individual quality that other teams up there have. Let’s not forget the fact that the vast majority of this team were scrapping in a relegation battle before Warnock arrived. We’re in the good position that we are because Warnock has drilled our team into a highly effective unit that can match teams with higher individual quality. We’re still clearly a work in progress as we lack in quite a few areas such as being able to start in a formation with two good quality wingers (Roberts plus a Bolasie or Grosicki) and a dominant CB who will get crucial set-piece goals in these tight 0-0 games. Warnock knows exactly what he is doing so we just need to let him complete his squad build.
  4. Warnock often mentions our lack of physicality from set pieces so I think he will want us to sign some players to help provide that. At the top of the January wish list has got to be a physical, towering CB given our lack of depth there. Plus, for all of McNair and Fry’s positive attributes, none of them are naturally suited to scoring a good few goals a season from set pieces in the way that Ayala was capable of in his prime. I suppose Grant Hall could be that sort of CB for us if we can keep him fit. If we can keep him fit and sign another CB in that style then I think Warnock would feel more comfortable about that weakness within our squad. It would also allow us to play with Warnock’s preferred formation of a back 4 more often. A target man striker would also be on our wish list in an ideal world, but I think Warnock knows he already has lots of good quality strikers - though not specialist target men like Kieffer Moore - so will probably be satisfied with Fletcher, Assombalonga and Akpom. If there is any budget to spend then I think Warnock would prefer spending it elsewhere. I’m sure behind the scenes we’ll be trying our very best to get Fletcher and Assombalonga to sign new contracts as they’ll both be able to leave on free transfers at the end of the season. Fletcher’s injury is probably a good thing for us in terms of lowering his wage demands to renew his contract. Warnock seems to have laid out the red carpet to try to convince Assombalonga to renew his deal here by giving him the captain’s armband and praising him at every opportunity. Hopefully Warnock’s man management can convince them two to sign new contracts here as we’ll be a far weaker team without them. I hope we reignite our interest in Bolasie, especially if we can get him in early so that we don’t take it down to the wire again. After four seasons of watching our recruitment team resembling headless chickens, I feel in a strange position to be content with how we will approach the January window as I have so much faith in Warnock to make the right transfer decisions, even on a tight budget.
  5. It would make most sense to start with Roberts on the bench for the Blackburn game, but bring him on for Assombalonga in the final 30 minutes. That would have the dual benefit of keeping Assombalonga fresh for Saturday’s game against Brentford and slowly edging Roberts closer to fitness. With us having both Assombalonga and Akpom fit now, we thankfully aren’t in a position that we’re going to have to take a risk with Roberts - who seems to be at a high risk of injury if he isn’t managed cautiously. In Assombalonga, Akpom and Roberts, we have 3 very good options for Warnock to balance winning games with their risk of injuries, so I think we’re in a relatively comfortable position to see us through to after this weekend.
  6. I'm absolutely delighted with the win. Warnock has worked absolute wonders here. It's staggering to think that this well drilled team is largely the same group of players that Woodgate had underperforming. Dijksteel, Wood, McNair, Bola, Howson, Saville, Tavernier, Coulson, Assombalonga, Spence and Johnson were all here under Woodgate. The only new players are Bettinelli, Morsy & Akpom. The improvements are largely a result of Warnock's tactics and man management. It reinforces what an absolute waste of time Woodgate's inept spell here was. We need to do everything we can to support Warnock in the January transfer window to strengthen the squad as he knows exactly how to get us promoted. If we give him the resources, he'll get us promoted.
  7. BBC Tees said that the touted McNair swap was with Stoke for Sam Clucas. McNair has been brilliant so far this season so it seems like it was the right decision to keep him.
  8. I'm delighted with the win. Warnock has worked absolute wonders with Fry, Dijksteel and McNair. This season I think we're going to be similar to our promotion winning team under Karanka, with the way that we'd do well against the better teams and struggle against the not as good teams. Finding a knack of winning them games like today is going to help us repeat them gritty wins against the lesser sides. Our style of football is going to be frustrating at times, sure, but I can easily accept it as we're going in the right direction after several years of drifting backwards in a seemingly unstoppable manner until Warnock came in. Considering the shambolic state that we were in last season, the incredibly tough opening fixture list and the disappointment in the transfer market, Warnock has done a fantastic job to turn us into such a highly effective team in such a short space of time. Some fans were similarly moaning about Karanka's style of play in our promotion season. However, he got us promoted in the end and even the most idealistic of us will have fantastic memories from his time here; certainly more good memories than the three and a half season since he left when we've had next to no good memories. If Gibson's track record is anything to go by then we're going downhill whenever Warnock leaves anyway so maybe we can stockpile the negativity to one side for then? We may as well try to enjoy these times of *fingers crossed* getting results ugly before Gibson plays “Teesside managerial roulette” again and appoints Roy Chubby Brown as our next manager after he convinces him through a Powerpoint presentation that he can get us playing football just like Liverpool. It's also worth noting how much our home record has improved. Even under Warnock’s games last season we really struggled at home. Last season overall we won 6, drew 8 and lost 9. So far this season we've won 2, drew 2 and lost 0. We're undefeated in 7 league games now too. Lets try to enjoy it.
  9. Akpom put a picture on his Instagram story immediately after Saturday’s game v Cardiff of him in a fancy car saying “London bound” so I’m imagining Warnock has always planned to give him a few days back home in London and not playing tonight. He has covered so much ground for us lately that he’ll have been at a very high risk of picking up a muscle injury if he played tonight. With Assombalonga and Roberts both now fit, this was probably the first time we could rest Akpom.
  10. Aye, paraphrasing keeps the same substance; You just express it in a more concise manner. You can even completely re-word it so long as the substance remains. I don’t think I’d have been within a single assignment word count limit at university without paraphrasing like a butcher 😂
  11. Cardiff have a brilliant squad for the Championship with threats from all areas so we done really well to get a draw with them. They have far better individual quality than us. However, as a team we shown we can be a match for them. In recent years we wouldn’t have been able to cope with such a direct and physical team so that’s a clear sign of progression. I’m imagining Warnock was looking enviously at Cardiff’s team wishing he had the individual quality such as several proper wingers such as Murphy, Ojo & Hoillet, a set piece and long shot specialist in Wilson, a proper old fashioned target man in Moore and a long throw specialist in Vaulks. I think in an ideal world, Warnock will build our squad to have them extra threats that Cardiff possess which we currently lack, so I see them as a pretty good template of what direction we’ll being aiming for.
  12. Dijksteel reminds me of Omeruo during his incredible first spell here. His mobility and strength is a class above the vast majority of defenders in this division. If he keeps it up then we’ve got an excellent player.
  13. With Joe Bennett and Greg Cunningham both injured, Cardiff are down to their third choice LB, Joel Bagan, who is only 19 year old and has played two games for them, so I'm sure Warnock will have us well prepared to target him as a potential area of weakness. That's why I'm confident that Spence will play at RWB and Roberts will start up top with Akpom so that them two can combine down our right flank to target Bagan. It's going to be a really tough game so I'd be satisfied with a draw and no key injuries.
  14. I’m still baffled why Gibson thought it was sensible to spend so much money on Assombalonga, Braithwaite & Fletcher when we already had Bamford & Gestede (less said about him the better) here after relegation. Instead of building a creative team around Bamford, Gibson wasted £30 million+ in transfer fees plus god knows what on wages - £4.5 million a season for 4 years? - on them inferior players which created the financial pressure to sell Bamford for a knock down price just a season later. That debacle sums up Gibson’s terrible, naive decision-making. It makes me want to bang my head against a wall in frustration.
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