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Blackburn v Middlesbrough 1-0


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3 hours ago, Redcar Rioja said:

I don't see how we can drop Crooks, he's probably along with Jones our Player of the season. Having said that I struggle to see how we are relying on a Midfielder to be the big lad in the box. Wilder doesn't admire hoof ball but there does seem a tendency to lump it to Crooks on many occasions. I don't have a problem with that in itself but struggle to grasp why we then seem to play that way when our Strikers are low centre of gravity ball to feet types?

Sporar seems competent at this level so long as he is given the correct type of service which is far too rare over the last few games hence the last five minutes of siege, hoof and charge football desperately throwing tactics and game plans out of the window. How does Wilder repeatedly find his side in that scenario yet keep repeating it?

Previous to the window Watmore was lively and ran defences (and himself) ragged for 60 odd minutes creating and causing problems in a high tempo,high energy game. Connolly certainly doesn't offer that and whilst I suspect he is just at a similar level to Lewis Wing with the odd Worldie in him there doesn't so far appear much that he offers different to Sporar only seemingly at a lower level.

Connolly may improve but it's costing us in the meantime. To me it's either Sporar or Connolly, not both. If Wilder insists on the pair then he needs to change tactics to adapt and play to their strengths. I'm struggling at the minute to see what Connolly offers us over Coburn, granted entirely different styles but if we bring Players in they should be an improvement and upgrade on what we already have and so far I'd prefer Watmore, Coburn, Balogun (or even Hernandez) which begs the question as to why we signed him and then fail to accommodate him in a style of play that looks alien to him. Last night I was looking at the subs bench thinking this is when we needed Ikpeazu (which begs a few questions in itself) over what we had out there and how ineffective the front pairing was and I suspect will be going forward. A bit like Morecambe and Dec or Ant and Wise, something just isn't fitting together.

To play with Sporar and Connolly we need creativity and clever intelligent players supporting and building behind them feeding them the type of balls that they will thrive on. Crooks isn't that sort of player but is undroppable. Howson and Tav are full of running but inconsistent in terms of adding a bit of spark. Our left flank is sterile apart from the well intentioned charges up the pitch from Taylor who shows willing in a mid table scrappy sort of way. Payero has shown in small cameos that he can find passes and can't be any worse on set pieces than either Tav of McNair but clearly Wilder feels that he is lacking elsewhere. 

These last few frantic late winning games along with tonight is more about desperation tactics than a game plan that is being executed. It's not working and that means either the personnel is wrong or tactics or from what I can see both. It's far better than Warnock and light years from Pulis but I'm struggling to see the point in getting loans in that doesn't improve the shape, balance and methodology of the team. Two unserviced identikit Strikers doesn't add up, no left footed CB (MacNair's swing last night) was glaring, no threat or creativity down the left hand side of the pitch (Balogun, McGree perhaps?) and no cunning or guile from midfield will see us struggle to make the Play Offs. Wilder has done brilliantly and over achieved but I'm seeing signs of self inflicted regression not progress in January.

Good post 👍

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Definitely felt the loss coming, there's only so long you can mount late comebacks, although I think the game deserved to be a draw as neither team did enough to win it. The good news is we're currently on 2 points per game since Wilder came in which is still far and above what we require to finish the season in the play offs from this position.

We still struggle immensely against teams that gift us possession and say "come break us down", don't think we quite have the personnel yet as Taylor and Connoly (looks bereft of confidence) were passengers going forward. Crooks and Jones yet again seemed to be our only route to creating chances. The decision making of the whole team when we were in and around the box was awful, so many shots going high and wide of the keepers near post. Special words for Tav who threaded a few balls nice balls into congested areas last night.

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Yeah I have some sympathy with wilder on the payero situation, I don't think it's an option to move crooks from where he is - his link up with Jones is too good and he's too important at set plays. 

However, surely payero should be able to get some minutes somewhere when we play a midfield 3. Especially when we were going for it so much and discarded howson last night. Doesn't make much sense to me.

Would try balogan and watmore up front next game, sporar is a tidy footballer but I think you have a bit more spark and unpredictability with the other two. 

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Firstly credit due to Blackburn. They were well drilled, organised, a little more tenacious and they had our card marked from the off. They stopped us playing and carrying out from the back, they knew Taylor is a limited threat on the ball and they were really good at narrowing down our passing lanes.

I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water. I give more credit to Blackburn than i have criticism for us although we did have a couple of under par performances. We looked scared to take the initiative at times in the first half which was partly because we were there not to lose the game. 

I said that the first mistake would more than likely lose the game as it was such a tight affair and ultimately it was McNair that cost us the game with his mistake. Van Hecke and Wharton were impressive for them at the back. Connolly is still getting up to speed and snatched at the ball a lot. He's clearly got talent but he hasn't shown it yet.

As has been said Taylor is solid enough but we're very unbalanced. It's something i'd be looking to address sooner rather than later. I'm hoping McGree can come in and provide a better option in that role.

Good atmosphere but couldn't get a pint anywhere 😑

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Who on earth is taking about dropping Crooks?! Give your head a shake.

Without Crooks’ link up play you don’t get half the performance out of Jones.

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32 minutes ago, TeaCider24 said:

I'd be moving Tavernier to LWB, bringing in Payero and starting Balogun over Connolly on Saturday.

But I do think changes are needed whatever he decides.

Do your own homework, Copycat 😁😉

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11 minutes ago, Humpty said:

Firstly credit due to Blackburn. They were well drilled, organised, a little more tenacious and they had our card marked from the off. They stopped us playing and carrying out from the back, they knew Taylor is a limited threat on the ball and they were really good at narrowing down our passing lanes.

I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water. I give more credit to Blackburn than i have criticism for us although we did have a couple of under par performances. We looked scared to take the initiative at times in the first half which was partly because we were there not to lose the game. 

I said that the first mistake would more than likely lose the game as it was such a tight affair and ultimately it was McNair that cost us the game with his mistake. Van Hecke and Wharton were impressive for them at the back. Connolly is still getting up to speed and snatched at the ball a lot. He's clearly got talent but he hasn't shown it yet.

As has been said Taylor is solid enough but we're very unbalanced. It's something i'd be looking to address sooner rather than later. I'm hoping McGree can come in and provide a better option in that role.

Good atmosphere but couldn't get a pint anywhere 😑

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Good summary. 👍 That was my feeling overall that we didn't play well simply because Blackburn didn't let us. Mogga clearly had a game plan for us and they executed it well.

I thought we competed well in terms of energy and effort, but the overall result was a scrappy, disjointed game because players rarely got any time on the ball.

 

8 minutes ago, Humpty said:

Who on earth is taking about dropping Crooks?! Give your head a shake.

Without Crooks’ link up play you don’t get half the performance out of Jones.

Agree again. I thought Crooks and Jones were our standout players. Just about everything positive that we did came from them.

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11 minutes ago, Humpty said:

Who on earth is taking about dropping Crooks?! Give your head a shake.

Without Crooks’ link up play you don’t get half the performance out of Jones.

There's not a chance he's getting dropped.

He's comfortably our most important midfielder.

But Payero may get an opportunity when he inevitably gets his 10th yellow card.

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Wilder was not happy at all. Basically said it took a bollocking at half time for us to perform at an acceptable level. 

Our left hand side badly needs a revamp. Was only a matter of time before a team figured us out. Having said that, we still got Jones in enough times to score a couple last night. But how good would it be to have that threat on both sides...  

I'd like to see Balogun start next game. I've been impressed by how good he looks on the ball- could be our missing link. I know McGree isn't available but when he's back he should get a game at LWB. Can't be any worse can he? 

Payero needs a chance. He was pretty incisive even in a poor Warnock side and he is the best crosser we have.

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It's Payero and Crooks competing for the same position and McGree and Tav on their side by all accounts, so like @TeaCider24 says i don't see Payero getting an opportunity unless Crooks picks up a suspension or injury. 

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Glad to hear the fan who collapsed during the game is okay.

Do think that happened at a time when we were in the ascendency though. Connolly and Crooks both had great chances to score prevented by good Blackburn defending and that wasn't long before that incident occurred.

Still not all that fussed about that one performance though. My only concern really is, whilst celebrating a late win is class, you don't want that to be a habit. Last night, our luck ran out on that front and we certainly had a couple of chances to come back into it. Crooks will be fuming he's missed the last one.

I see Wilder blew his top a bit with it last night and I can understand why on the first half performance, despite the fact Blackburn played their game really well. It's all good when things are going well but will be interesting to see how we react to a losing performance.

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Difficult to disagree with much that Humpty has said but I do think the last time we went up we had Leadbitter.

His like is not in this team.  I always remember his attack on Barton at Burnley.  Barton looked - nothing much said.  It was a "are we playing or are we fighting ?" discussion without the words

Add his tactical naus and "backbone" and will to win.  He's not with us anymore nor do we have an adequate replacement.  It should be Howson of maybe McNair.

When its not going well maybe its get Sol on and move McNair into the midfield.  Sol has some of  Leadbitters qualities but not his athleticism any longer.

Maybe Wilder has to rectify this mental toughness/ leader/will to win "gap".  Once one leads others will follow

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Crooks definitely has moments of pure sloppiness tbf, sometimes his passing is pretty woeful. But he clearly has many good qualities & has definitely been one of our best players this season

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30 minutes ago, Humpty said:

It's Payero and Crooks competing for the same position and McGree and Tav on their side by all accounts, so like @TeaCider24 says i don't see Payero getting an opportunity unless Crooks picks up a suspension or injury. 

True, I guess there's always a balance between getting your best players on the pitch while not playing people out of position where you can help it. The old Gerrard/Lampard conundrum... 

Wish there was a way to fit him in though as I think he has the eye for a killer pass and a wicked dead ball.

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