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  1. Wonderful run so far and long may it continue but I worry at times that we don’t perform to our high standards in the first halves of games and rely on “hanging in there” and overrunning teams in the last half an hour due to our fitness levels and strength in depth. This is great provided that our defence is solid and can get to half time at either 0-0 or at worst 1-0 down, which we have done consistently in the last few months, however I do wonder whether this will continue as we play the better teams in the league over the course of the next few games. Yesterday showed that whilst we can dominate a good premier league side, if you’re only allowing yourself half the game to do so you do run the risk of simply running out of time to get the equaliser or score the winner. So, is there anything we can be doing to score more goals in the first halves of games, either in the line up or tactically, or is it inherent in the way we play that we start the game more conservatively and hit teams with the knockout blow in the second half?
  2. Looking at some of the results this weekend with Everton and West Ham going out to lower league sides, Leicester going out to Newport in the 3rd round, us beating Huddersfield and four premier league teams last season - is there really that great of a difference between our squad and the bottom half of the premier league? I’m aware that the premier league sides play weakened teams in the FA cup so these results aren’t the best arbiters of the quality of the club’s first team - it’s also notable that Cardiff and Fulham are struggling in circumstances where they beat us in the race to promotion last season. But I genuinely look at some of those bottom half teams and think we could beat them relatively comfortably, especially with the defence being as effective as it is at the moment. The gulf in class between the top six and the rest of the league has never been wider in my opinion, and I’d go as far as to say the bottom half of the league are closer to good championship standard than the top six. So am I getting carried away with our current run or would we have a shot at staying up if we were to get there?
  3. We all know what happened last year - we played brilliant football until January but our squad was too fragile, our January signings were duds and the wheels came off. The old cliche of “it’s a marathon not a sprint” applied heavily and whilst we all remember fondly the football from the first half of last season, it’s interesting to see how we are only four points off of where we were this time last year, which is impressive given that we were 2nd at Xmas in 2017. We finished that season in 11th with 67 points which amounts to an additional 23 points from the last 18 games, a return of 1.28 per game. We have a current points return of 1.57 so if we kept up our form for the rest of the season (which I am optimistic more likely with our current depth of squad with the right additions) we would finish on 72 points, a healthy increase on last year’s total. That isn’t to say that the wheels can’t and won’t fall off again this year, however our defence is the 2nd best in the league and we are building momentum and confidence so fingers crossed it’s a solid platform on which to build the rest of the campaign. In other words, likely another season of tangible progress - come on you reds!
  4. Agreed - we aren’t good enough to get to the Premier League this season so let’s start developing next season’s team and see where that takes us. I’d settle for a finish between 13th and 7th if it means our younger players can get much needed competitive championship experience and enhance our prospects of a playoff push next season.
  5. pl00peh91


    Wholeheartedly agree with this. Kate out.
  6. We've just come off the back of another impressive 1-0 away win, the third in addition to Brentford away and Swansea away. In fact five of our eight wins have been 1-0 when you factor in Sheff Utd and Hull at home. We've lost a lot of goal scoring threat and creativity over the summer but arguably our defence hasn't weakened, granted we have lost eight games but let's face it the defence was shocking in the second half of last season. It may not necessarily be popular but when we made the playoffs in 2008 it was built on a campaign of 1-0 wins - resilient at the back and nicking a goal when it mattered most. I think we're all grieving the loss of the expansive team that was so good up to Xmas last year, however our personnel has changed significantly since then. We are better suited this season to a defensive style of play. I'll bet my hat that this is the reason our home form has been terrible so far this season, the players know the fans want to see expansive football and they try their best but it leaves them exposed at the back and, frankly, it doesn't even work as we've only scored more than one goal at home once this season. Therefore, I'd like to see us adopt a more conservative style of play at home, akin to the way we play away, to get us through the Xmas period and January - then let's see who they bring in to add some attacking threat. I actually don't think we are a bad team, eight wins in the championship by December cannot be a fluke, but as Johnson likes to put it we've been "prisoners of our past" in trying to re-create last season's magic with a team who simply isn't suited to that way of playing.
  7. Didn't he mention in a recent presser that the ref apologised for the Sheff Weds offside goal? I also think we got an apology for our disallowed goal against Rotherham at home in the 2016/17 season.
  8. Interestingly on the post-match presser on the OS they edited the comments about the song out, but the paragraph below about running stayed in.
  9. His form is surely an issue worthy of debate is it not.
  10. pl00peh91


    Was visibly frustrated today, saw him in his subs bench after he left the pitch and he did not look happy at all. Think we need to try Mo Eisa up front when he's fully fit as none of our strikers are firing at the moment. He's inexperienced but can't be much worse than what we have at the moment.
  11. Are you waging war on hypothetical discussions?
  12. I have a home shirt signed by the whole 14/15 double winning squad, got it framed for my birthday this year. Often wonder how much it would be worth, not that I'd ever sell it for sentimental reasons.
  13. pl00peh91

    Ryan Kent

    Bit of a chicken and egg situation that one though isn't it? Do you fully back the player and hope he repays you with performances or do you make the player earn your backing and if he doesn't perform drop him accordingly? I didn't think his performances were particularly strong (thought Cotterill's efforts in the same position as a loan signing the season before were much more effective) so why should the manager back him in the circumstances? I think he needs to take a bit more self responsibility to be honest.
  14. pl00peh91


    Would like to try Mo Eisa once he's fit as an alternative option.
  15. Nobody can guarantee anything obviously but the fact that we've only conceded 6 goals in 7 games with an entirely different back 4 and goalkeeper has to be the most re-assuring factor. Our losing streaks in the past have usually been built defensive errors rather than the inability to score goals. Hence why LJ didn't look for a replacement for Djuric and focused on getting Kalas in the door. Also worth nothing that Kalas has two promotions to the PL in the last two years on his CV which indicates that he isn't the type of player to suffer from substantial dips in form. Compare to, say, Baker who was culpable during our bad run last year and LJ didn't try to hide it either.
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