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Boro V Hull City 2-2 (Tavernier, Fletcher)

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Fry with a towering header and McNair just beasted through with a driving run before he pulled it back that was a good goal.

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    • What a great result and I loved the lineup! Amazing how we didn’t crumble and let in loads of goals with Roberts in the team. Hopefully he gets more involvement going forward.    nice to see Spence and Johnson doing well and getting some credit too as that hasn’t happened much so far this season. Bringing them on when we are ahead may be a useful tactic given they will be more likely to have space to run into which suits them.    I know Watmore was a bit rusty as we’d expect but I think if he stays fit he could be a real bonus for us this season. 
    • Interesting question really, to which there is no easy answer. I guess it’s probably one of the essential questions of football strategy. Perhaps one of the reasons behind our excellent defensive record (so far) is that we do press, thus containing the opposition in their own half. Although playing the ball around in midfield might open up more options, it does give the other team more time to organise their defence. There is a lot to be said for counter-attacking football – basically the element of surprise – but it is risky because you are playing too much in your own half and over-relying on your defenders. I’m not a great fan of that, however good they are. To be honest, I’m quite happy with the way things are at present. Effectively we scored twice tonight (I don’t count own goals) and we were pretty clinical, which is a welcome change.  
    • Second the counter attacking style, fortunes have changed once I tried to use a high press as opposed to dominating the game with possession on Football Manager 21 haha!
    • I'd agree, with the squad available to us I don't think a full team high press quite works for us. I think sitting deeper, not pressing  as high up and letting the opposition push forwards to open up space behind their defence suits us best, with team in it's current form. Combine this with situational high presses like the first part I mentioned and as you say an emphasis on making the most from set pieces too could well be a real good tactic for us. I do think we have these basics in place already, but as you say a bit more adventure in certain areas could make all these little parts a really effective whole.
    • I'm not a massive fan of the second way and it is the way we've set up more often than not this season. But even with that general tactic I feel like there's better ways of exploiting it and we actually managed it in parts tonight - to me the key is set pieces. It we get the ball up early, do our high press then give the ball asap to Roberts, spence and tav in particular then they will draw fouls and corners. We just need to then be better at capitalising on these opportunities when we get them. It's not pretty but I do think with a couple of tweeks, the major one being more adventurous wing play, we can score a lot more goals in this system than we are.
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