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Boro v Barnsley 3-1 (Ayala,Traore,Bamford)

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Bamford hasn't trained since the Birmingham match with a hamstring problem Pulis hopeful he'll be ok for tomorrow

 

Not a hamstring but that sounds all too familiar to nearly 3 years ago.

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Bamford hasn't trained since the Birmingham match with a hamstring problem Pulis hopeful he'll be ok for tomorrow

 

Jesus Christ...

 

he didn't train before Birmingham either, still played, what, 80 mins?

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Bamford hasn't trained since the Birmingham match with a hamstring problem Pulis hopeful he'll be ok for tomorrow

 

Jesus Christ...

 

he didn't train before Birmingham either, still played, what, 80 mins?

 

Yeah, I was just going to say the same thing. 

It's actually a lot more common than people realise for players not to train and still play.

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Bamford hasn't trained since the Birmingham match with a hamstring problem Pulis hopeful he'll be ok for tomorrow

 

Jesus Christ...

 

he didn't train before Birmingham either, still played, what, 80 mins?

 

I know he didn't train the day before Birmingham. Believe he trained over the weekend though? Either way, not/hardly training for a whole week with 3 games in 8 days is far from ideal - makes it harder as the games go on.

I'd be semi-tempted to start with Britt if this is the case... despite his form and how out-of-sorts he looked when he came on at St. Andrews. Though that would also mean we'd be better off playing with a No. 10 on the pitch to support him, thus changing the current system...

 

Tomorrow is starting to look more and more concerning, at home against Barnsley or not.

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Put it this way, I'd be shocked if Bamford doesn't start.

Besic would be a miss, but it sounds as though his is the least concerning of the injuries.

Friend is obviously the biggest miss, with Fabio still not back to match fitness.

I wonder if Pulis would be tempted to play

 

Shotton - Ayala - Cranie - Gibson

 

...keeping a left footer at left back. I think that would be more likely than Marvin Johnson playing there anyway.

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Put it this way, I'd be shocked if Bamford doesn't start.

Besic would be a miss, but it sounds as though his is the least concerning of the injuries.

Friend is obviously the biggest miss, with Fabio still not back to match fitness.

I wonder if Pulis would be tempted to play

 

Shotton - Ayala - Cranie - Gibson

 

...keeping a left footer at left back. I think that would be more likely than Marvin Johnson playing there anyway.

 

Cranie has played LB at both Barnsley & Huddersfield; rarely started a game from there, but remember him swapping sides when subs happened. Aye, on his weaker foot, but I reckon TP might prefer than than breaking up the Ayala/Gibson partnership in the middle.

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Put it this way, I'd be shocked if Bamford doesn't start.

Besic would be a miss, but it sounds as though his is the least concerning of the injuries.

Friend is obviously the biggest miss, with Fabio still not back to match fitness.

I wonder if Pulis would be tempted to play

 

Shotton - Ayala - Cranie - Gibson

 

...keeping a left footer at left back. I think that would be more likely than Marvin Johnson playing there anyway.

 

Cranie has played LB at both Barnsley & Huddersfield; rarely started a game from there, but remember him swapping sides when subs happened. Aye, on his weaker foot, but I reckon TP might prefer than than breaking up the Ayala/Gibson partnership in the middle.

 

That's good to know. It will probably be him then, if Friend is out.

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Apart from when he replaced Shotton at Brum, hasn't he always come on on the left-side?

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Put it this way, I'd be shocked if Bamford doesn't start.

Besic would be a miss, but it sounds as though his is the least concerning of the injuries.

Friend is obviously the biggest miss, with Fabio still not back to match fitness.

I wonder if Pulis would be tempted to play

 

Shotton - Ayala - Cranie - Gibson

 

...keeping a left footer at left back. I think that would be more likely than Marvin Johnson playing there anyway.

 

I got this wrong.

I just watched the actual interview with Pulis, and he actually says they have small problems with Friend and Bamford but hope both will be okay, and that Besic is struggling as the games have caught up with him.

I wonder if that means Baker might even get a start?

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Put it this way, I'd be shocked if Bamford doesn't start.

Besic would be a miss, but it sounds as though his is the least concerning of the injuries.

Friend is obviously the biggest miss, with Fabio still not back to match fitness.

I wonder if Pulis would be tempted to play

 

Shotton - Ayala - Cranie - Gibson

 

...keeping a left footer at left back. I think that would be more likely than Marvin Johnson playing there anyway.

 

I got this wrong.

I just watched the actual interview with Pulis, and he actually says they have small problems with Friend and Bamford but hope both will be okay, and that Besic is struggling as the games have caught up with him.

I wonder if that means Baker might even get a start?

 

It does sound like Besic won't be risked. In all respect to Barnsley we have some upcoming games that look tougher, so might be wise to rest those that are touch and go. I hope Bamford is fit to continue his fine form, but I wouldn't be overly concerned with Britt starting this and Bamford on the bench. It would be great to see Britt returning to action with a goal for the run in. Also I think I'd prefer Harrison on the left and Downing centrally over starting Baker central and Downing left.

 

Regardless we should have enough to beat Barnsley if the players are 100% focussed and fired up.

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From what I can remember Barnsley are quite a big and physical team. Especially now they've got McBurnie (who's on fire at the moment) and Kieffer Moore up top. Besic could be a big miss as I think his pace and combativeness would be good for this one.

 

But if Besic is injured maybe Baker could step in, he might be more capable of unlocking their defence. Either that or start Harrison on the left and Downing through the middle if Harrison is fit.

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Potentilly losing Bamford and Besic is a set back, but let us not risk playing them if they are carrying knocks, we need them fit for the final run in. Assombalonga and Baker are pretty good substitutes so just slide them in and keep the same formation. Harrison needs to get a run out as Traore keeps looking knackered in the second half and we could do with his fresh legs. If we stay on the front foot and stop giving up possession by the midfield retreating, we should win by two clear goals, well heres hoping anyway.

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I think when you consider the impact Besic has made since he came in, losing him would be quite a loss for any game. I don't think it's as simple as just swap him with someone else in the squad and get a similar performance overall.

 

Same goes for Bamford and Friend. Bamford has made the biggest impact of any of our strikers since he's gone up front. Friend has provided balance going forward and, eventually, some stability at the back. Swapping them for Britt and Cranie would be a problem for us.

 

We need them to be fit for the run-in though. One game more risking potentially longer term injury is too big a risk. What might change a good result into a bad one tomorrow might make the rest of our results much better.

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We simply can not afford a bad result tomorrow and certainly I do not want Barnsley doing the double over us.

 

If Assombalonga plays tomorrow I fully expect to see him try like no other game before to ensure he puts himself well and truly in the mind of the Manager and if chances come along to take them.

 

If he has a poor game shows no effort or desire then he has no future with our club

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