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old_eastender

Now or never for LJ

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59 minutes ago, spudski said:

Finish top 6, then lose in the play offs?

Still be happy?

Really can't stand the play offs...it gives false hope. Ok only 1 in 4 can go up. Odds more likely to damage the Club.

Gotta aim top 2 imo.

I'll chime in... I'd be gutted if we lost in the play offs but I'd later reflect on a great end to the season. 

45 minutes ago, spudski said:

I may add...just because we've made quality signings, they would have to hit the ground running.

Football is not about individuals. It's a team strategy game. And these players will need time to integrate. Individual brilliance or mistakes will happen.

It's not a case of we've brought quality so we will automatically improve.

Not every player fits a club...regardless of talent.

It's a lottery...it's a short term strategy that we hope will work. No pre season... absolutely nothing. Purely learning on the job so to speak.

We also have to play against teams who have also 'strengthened'...so it in theory equals out.

Agree, but football is also a momentum game and we've got it swinging back in our favour. Football is generally easier when you're buzzing.

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2 minutes ago, marmite said:

I have. Awful stuff. 🤢

I agree. I bought 6 jars of marmite back with from my last visit in December.

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The most open championship I can remember for a long time. I like the sound of the players we’ve brought in, strengthening the spine of the team. 
 

If we can build on the three clean sheets and wins of the last few matches then we have a real chance of being in the mix come end of season. Automatics have to be the aim, but realistically I think we’re a fair way off that. I’d be very happy with play offs and it would again represent improvement under LJ. 
 

Steady progress is good for me. Consider how far we’ve come in 5 years for a moment. Stadium, facilities, calibre of player we are attracting and the standard of teams that we are beating to sign them. A great deal of that credit needs to go to LJ. 

I have a really good feeling about this.

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29 minutes ago, Lanterne Rouge said:

I do think this window has signalled a bit of a step change in our owner`s outlook and we can now realistically be seen as `going for it`. Top six shouldn`t be beyond us now but I won`t be painting up any bedsheets if we finish 7th or 8th.

I’ll be wetting bedsheets if we do 😎

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29 minutes ago, RedDave said:

Exactly.  My concern is we lose 2-3 and half the fans turn again. If we are all united till June it will give us a better chance of finishing top six.  The home atmosphere has to improve in my opinion 

Mate, not everyone turns on a bad result or two - certainly not half the fanbase. I suppose it might seem like that becasue it is so quiet at the Gate! There are far too many people who treat football as a spectator rather than participation sport. You can't really blame the youngsters who weren't around back in the days when an aggressive (in a positive way) crowd could really inspire the boys. They just need to learn to react more, more of the time. C'MON.

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3 minutes ago, RedDave said:

We can’t keep everyone happy and nor should we bend over backwards to do so. If you get your chance make sure you take it. Palmer and COD are probably annoyed they aren’t in but when they’ve played they have generally been lacking.  Up to them as far as I’m concerned.  

Don't disagree with you regarding these two but Diédhiou &/or Weimann ?

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13 minutes ago, Red Grovesy said:

My only concern is how does he keep everybody happy?

Only 14 get a game (assuming we use all three subs). We still have a large squad (in my opinion). Some won't make the bench. Weimann for example. Joint top scorer. Will he get much game time?

Let's not forget Marley as well 😦

I guess winning is the key.

(Taken from the "Squad Updates" thread).

Goalkeepers

 Niki Maenpaa (2020) Daniel Bentley (2023) 

Rene Gilmartin (2021) Jojo Wollacott (2021)

(4)

Full Backs

Jack Hunt (2021) Jay Dasilva (2023) Pedro Pereira (season long loan from Benfica)

(3)

Central Defenders

Nathan Baker (2021)  Tomas Kalas (2023) Ashley Williams (2020). Filip Benkovic (loan from Leicester City)

Zak Vyner - (Contracted until 2021 with option of another year).

(5)

Central Midfielders

Korey Smith (2020)   Tommy Rowe (2021) 

 Kasey Palmer (2023) Han-Noah Massengo (2023) Adam Nagy (2022 - option of a further year) Markus Henriksen (on loan from Hull City)

(6)

Wide Midfielders/Wingers/Attacking Midfielders

Callum O'Dowda (2022 with option of another year) Marley Watkins (2021) Niclas Eliasson (2020) Jamie Paterson (2021)

 

(4)

Strikers

 Famara Diedhiou (2021) Andreas Weimann (2021 - Option of further year) 

Saikou Janneh (2023 with option of a further year)  Benik Afobe (loan) Nahki Wells (2023)

I'd imagine most players have a healthy promotion bonus in their contracts, I also think there will be a collective squad promotion bonus. I'm sure if we push ourselves up the league and get promotion, those bonuses will keep them happy.

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2 minutes ago, mozo said:

I'll chime in... I'd be gutted if we lost in the play offs but I'd later reflect on a great end to the season. 

Agree, but football is also a momentum game and we've got it swinging back in our favour. Football is generally easier when you're buzzing.

I totally agree.

I just feel failing in the play offs is more detrimental to a Club.

Firstly the disappointment and getting back up to being positive again.

Secondly the extra pressure it creates the next season with expectations.

My personal preference is to either finish top 2 or 7th :laugh:

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4 minutes ago, RedLionLad said:

I’ll be wetting bedsheets if we do 😎

If we finish 7th or 8th then the dog as the latest city shirt in his basket. It’s got to be top six. 

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3 minutes ago, Up The City! said:

I'd imagine most players have a healthy promotion bonus in their contracts, I also think there will be a collective squad promotion bonus. I'm sure if we push ourselves up the league and get promotion, those bonuses will keep them happy.

Hence, "I guess winning is key". What happens if we drop away? Can Lee keep everyone happy? I guess time will tell (hypothetical question really as we will keep winning) ☺

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9 minutes ago, Red Grovesy said:

Don't disagree with you regarding these two but Diédhiou &/or Weimann ?

Agree on Weimann recently. Can’t remember his last good game. Fam has been good I reckon 

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1 hour ago, class not gas said:

Spot on Eastender, no excuses now, he has all the tools at his disposal 

Agreed. Everything is now in place. Over to you management team to get the job done..

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8 minutes ago, spudski said:

I totally agree.

I just feel failing in the play offs is more detrimental to a Club.

Firstly the disappointment and getting back up to being positive again.

Secondly the extra pressure it creates the next season with expectations.

My personal preference is to either finish top 2 or 7th :laugh:

You have to be in it to win it as they say 

Out of all of this i hope once and for all it will stop that bloody line ‘SL is more interested in the rugby now’ 😂😂

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1 hour ago, spudski said:

Finish top 6, then lose in the play offs?

Still be happy?

Really can't stand the play offs...it gives false hope. Ok only 1 in 4 can go up. Odds more likely to damage the Club.

Gotta aim top 2 imo.

Finishing in the play-offs gives us a better chance of going up than finishing 7th, and would be our best finish in 12 years, so that’d be progress for me.

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1 hour ago, Fuzz The Dog said:

Agree with this. He needs to get the fans back on board as well. If he can realise the potential of this squad and rekindle our enthusiasm then really there’s no excuse. 

Sorry, which fans are these? The ones that actually go to games or the ones who sit at home, phones poised with a negative comment to post on here?

Most fans are still on board, still singing bounce around.

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3 minutes ago, RonWalker said:

Finishing in the play-offs gives us a better chance of going up than finishing 7th, and would be our best finish in 12 years, so that’d be progress for me.

Long term or short term?

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4 minutes ago, spudski said:

Long term or short term?

Both. Short term we have a 1/4 chance of going up, long term we continue our gradual progression, can exercise our option on Afobe in the summer if fit and sign Henriksen, if he wants to come, plus a CB. Providing we don’t lose any major assets things would be looking pretty good.

Edited by RonWalker
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1 hour ago, old_eastender said:

Best Jan transfer window dealings I can recall; goal scorer with nearly a 1 in 2 ratio this season, international seasoned power play midfielder, much vaunted ball playing strong centre back, even with Josh gone we are considerably stronger overall.

SL has done his bit, MA too, time for LJ. We sit in 6th, and for my money it would be abject failure on his part if we now don't finish in the top 6. If he can't achieve that this season, with the squad at his disposal I don't believe he ever will.

 

I bet you couldn’t wait to lump the pressure on LJ, as soon as these signings were announced..!

I bet you’ve already got your “well, so he should - he’s not really proved anything” posts ready, incase he does get is in the play offs/promoted..! 
 

Out of interest, and a genuine question.. (because I hadn’t, in all honesty) what do you actually know of the 2 loan signings..? Seen them play and noted their strengths & weaknesses specifically..?

 

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I'm more interested I finding out whether he can get this lot playing cohesive, intelligent football. 

If he can't, whether 6th or 9th in the table, he should go. 

The word "identity" may well be his downfall after all this recruitment.

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Good window with good players in. Think we give ourselves a better chance to reach top six. But its no garanti with 3 players in we will make it. Our defence have been solid lately and thats the mainthing. Wells is a good goalscorer hope he can continue with that in City. Our squad  is strong and we have chance to be in top six. COYR

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10 minutes ago, spudski said:

Long term or short term?

@spudski - I can kind of see where you're coming from on this top 6 argument, but for me i've got to disagree with you.

Yes, I can see that the devastation of a play-off loss is massive and yes, it would add pressure the following season.

But all of a sudden, you are a club that have the real potential to go up. Transfer dealings will change, players will look differently at us. 

It is confirmation that the club are 'doing the right things', an endorsement to all involved which raises the profile of the club. 

And for me, ultimately it is also all experience. It prepares the players for those occasions and games - only look at Aston Villa who lost to Fulham in the play-off final only to go and win it the next year.

 

Edited by Alessandro
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24 minutes ago, RedDave said:

We can’t keep everyone happy and nor should we bend over backwards to do so. If you get your chance make sure you take it. Palmer and COD are probably annoyed they aren’t in but when they’ve played they have generally been lacking.  Up to them as far as I’m concerned.  

I think Palmer suffered more than most as a result of Afobe's injury. He, Afobe and Weimann were just starting to gel when Afobe was crocked and I don't think the way we have played since has really suited Palmer's style, and visa versa.

Wells appears to be the type of front man that should bring out the best of Palmer, but the acid test is whether Palmer can make the opportunity tell, if he gets his chance with Wells up front.

 

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I think that there is now definitely some added pressure on LJ to get top 6.

These look good signings...spine strengthened it seems- loaning out Moore was a bit surprising but if he comes back further battle hardened along with Morrell, Walsh and Semenyo next year that has to be a good prospect!

Vyner, if we take up the option on Afobe if fitness etc allow it, all good stuff.

I still think it's a two year window for promotion, that we are building towards. This season it'd be brilliant but the financial foundations were put in place with all the player trading, plus off the field revenue growth, all the injuries were a big setback and all the trading takes time to gel. 

Perhaps playoffs this season, fine tune things, work out a way to reduce the medium to long term injuries then the expectation might well be promotion next season.

There will this season though, definitely be an expectation of top 6 IMO. 

MA, SL, JL and LJ. Well done on a productive January window!

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30 minutes ago, Up The City! said:

I'd imagine most players have a healthy promotion bonus in their contracts, I also think there will be a collective squad promotion bonus. I'm sure if we push ourselves up the league and get promotion, those bonuses will keep them happy.

I was at the Madjeski on Tuesday and the subs were amongst the first to run over and celebrate with Pato when he scored. This is a very ‘together’ team. 

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It's interesting how few comments there are about the impact of losing Josh Brownhill. I wonder whether he will be one of those players that is only appreciated when you see the difference without him. We have swapped one of the steadiest players for a midfielder who hasn't played a game for Hull this season.

Hopefully he'll get off to a flyer but worth noting that there is still a bit of a risk in selling Josh at this point in the season. I do think it was right to trade though as we needed a striker. 

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Ok, here’s where I’m at.

We are 6th, theoretically we’ve improved not just the squad (our usual modus operandi), but the first team.  Of course there will need to be some integration, some fine tuning, but the main thing is we’ve set ourselves up for a proper tilt at the top 6....from a starting position of 6th....not chasing from 8th/9th/10th with points to make up and teams to overtake.

I don’t honestly believe we will get top two...but it’s not beyond us.

But I really feel that top 6 is the expectation.  I don’t believe that’s us as fans having a wrong expectation.  If LJ is over-exceeding and raising our expectations with the pre-window squad, why should we now lower those expectations.  Surely, it’s a positive sign of his abilities, and lowering the expectations is giving him a get-out.  He should be able to carry on those expectations.  It’s LJ’s “new norm” (hate that phrase).

Regarding the players I feel there will be an added “thrust”, wanting to improve to show the new boys that they are as good.  Similar bounce with Tammy in that some players raised their games because they felt they were part of something special with him.  They didn’t want to let him down.

I think we’ve added steel / edge.  Not just Henriksen and Benkovic, but Wells, has that winners mentality.  We’ve been a bit soft, I see that as being addressed.  We’ve lost Josh, and that will be a hit, but in some ways it could simplify the midfield too.  I can’t judge this truly until I start to see how we play with the new guys, and whether we lose Josh’s drive through the lines, although this had diminished over the last couple of months.

Finishing outside top 6 would be under-par from me, from where we are.  Does that mean ‘LJ Out”?  No, and I think that’s where some people mis-judge posters thoughts.

Today’s game will be interesting.  They’ve lost their top scorer, we’ve gained it.  The two other guys are unlikely to have been registered in time (but don’t rule it out, especially Henriksen).  The start of 17 remaining league games.  Gonna be a ride.

The bit I forgot to add was:

1. If we fail to get promoted, whether that be losing finalist, losing semi-finalist, or below 6th, we should really understand what our strengths and weaknesses are within the squad, and what needs addressing in the summer

2. With Josh’s Transfer, we have positioned ourselves well for 20/21 financially.  We lose the £25.2m loss from 17/18 from the 3 year cycle and have a really strong starting point to recruit in the summer.

Edited by Davefevs
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7 minutes ago, robin_unreliant said:

It's interesting how few comments there are about the impact of losing Josh Brownhill. I wonder whether he will be one of those players that is only appreciated when you see the difference without him. We have swapped one of the steadiest players for a midfielder who hasn't played a game for Hull this season.

Hopefully he'll get off to a flyer but worth noting that there is still a bit of a risk in selling Josh at this point in the season. I do think it was right to trade though as we needed a striker. 

There's no denying that Brownhill is a good player, but I've seen us lose the midfield in so many games this season, can if get much worse? 😅

Edited by Seneca the Younger

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1 hour ago, Abingdon Red said:

one of the worse things about the playoffs is that it gives you a month less than everyone else to plan properly for next season.  If you go up a vast amount of higher quality players suddenly become realistic targets but you can't go for them until you are up, by which time a lot of deals will have already been sorted by the clubs you'll be competing against.

Let's face it, City don't go up through the play offs.

We might well have a memorable win in the SF, get all excited, then lose in the final as per usual, perhaps after another inexplicable poor performance.

Then, as you say, start next season less refreshed than our Championship competitors after a much reduced break.

Most of us know deep down the play offs are no good for Bristol City.

We need to go all out to get promoted out of this division automatically, and by the looks of these signings those at the club know that too.

We're 6 points off 2nd place as things stand, if these signings click quickly we can give it a bloody good go.

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Tomorrow will be too late

It's now or never

The prem won't wait

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1 hour ago, spudski said:

I may add...just because we've made quality signings, they would have to hit the ground running.

Football is not about individuals. It's a team strategy game. And these players will need time to integrate. Individual brilliance or mistakes will happen.

It's not a case of we've brought quality so we will automatically improve.

Not every player fits a club...regardless of talent.

It's a lottery...it's a short term strategy that we hope will work. No pre season... absolutely nothing. Purely learning on the job so to speak.

We also have to play against teams who have also 'strengthened'...so it in theory equals out.

Henriksen for one will need a mini pre season. He hasn’t played for months 

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I would just be happy to see us play some decent, attacking football, take the game to teams and be in the mix come the last 2 or 3 games of the season.

No expectation from me to make top 6 and I’m not even a LJ fan!! 😄

 

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3 minutes ago, steviestevieneville said:

Henriksen for one will need a mini pre season. He hasn’t played for months 

Neither had Dasilva, and he'd been injured so not able to train, but has "hit the ground running" on his return.

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1 minute ago, downendcity said:

Neither had Dasilva, and he'd been injured so not able to train, but has "hit the ground running" on his return.

He had his mini preseason during his rehab and it’s completely different as he was already part of the squad. These players have to integrate, it’s not a computer game. 

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Got to admit eating humble pie at the moment LJ seems to have turned a corner. 

Strange it coincided with playing a different system and players the fans have been crying out for.

Let's keep the momentum going COYR.

 

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20 minutes ago, Alessandro said:

@spudski - I can kind of see where you're coming from on this top 6 argument, but for me i've got to disagree with you.

Yes, I can see that the devastation of a play-off loss is massive and yes, it would add pressure the following season.

But all of a sudden, you are a club that have the real potential to go up. Transfer dealings will change, players will look differently at us. 

It is confirmation that the club are 'doing the right things', an endorsement to all involved which raises the profile of the club. 

And for me, ultimately it is also all experience. It prepares the players for those occasions and games - only look at Aston Villa who lost to Fulham in the play-off final only to go and win it the next year.

 

I'm really not so sure bud.

For me the negatives of not going up far outway the positives.

Can't see us finishing 6th as an example, and losing, to being any different in the eyes of a potential signing to finishing say 7th.

Players will see our continual process. They will see the development. They will see the opportunities we provide to a player. The chance to develop, improve, earn good money and even be rewarded to Prem if they work hard.

They will see the stability and loyalty.

As a Club we are more desirable every season.

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12 minutes ago, steviestevieneville said:

Henriksen for one will need a mini pre season. He hasn’t played for months 

18th November was his last game, not dissimilar length of time gap to when Williams joined us.

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39 minutes ago, Galley is our king said:

Sorry, which fans are these? The ones that actually go to games or the ones who sit at home, phones poised with a negative comment to post on here?

Most fans are still on board, still singing bounce around.

Im not questioning That - you’re right. But I think it’s fair enough to say that better quality football will inspire better quality support. You have to admit that in general the football has been pretty painful and the support pretty flat.

and I am a season ticket holder. 

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1 hour ago, RedDave said:

LJ has made all this possible by improving the likes of Bryan, Reid, Brownhill and Kelly which has meant we can bring in money to make signings that we have in the last 48 hours. If we just miss out on play offs then keep with the plan. 

Give it a break Gary its a bit ott. Your boy is doing ok at present in a competitive league. Yet again he has been supported in the market and has an excellent chance of making the playoffs.

If he doesn't then some fans will be mighty unhappy, but as others have said, if the team plays well and just misses out then its still progress and no need for change.

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35 minutes ago, downendcity said:

I think Palmer suffered more than most as a result of Afobe's injury. He, Afobe and Weimann were just starting to gel when Afobe was crocked and I don't think the way we have played since has really suited Palmer's style, and visa versa.

Wells appears to be the type of front man that should bring out the best of Palmer, but the acid test is whether Palmer can make the opportunity tell, if he gets his chance with Wells up front.

 

I always say don’t sign a player that can only play in one style and cannot adapt. Palmer is too one dimensional 

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11 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

18th November was his last game, not dissimilar length of time gap to when Williams joined us.

Has been training with Rosenberg, not injured so I'd hope that he is ready to drop straight in.

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2 hours ago, RedDave said:

The aim will be top 2. But if we don’t finish top 2 it would be nonsense to call that a failure (I appreciate you haven’t done that).

Top six would be a very good achievement so I cannot see how finishing 7th would be a failure.  A lot of football is about fine margins 

Id consider anything outside playoffs a failure now Dave.

We must be paying top 10 wages now, between the likes Afobe still on the wage bill - I also doubt Blackpool will cover TM full wages, same for Taylor at Oxford, as well as others out on loan. Then you have the academy running costs.

Wells must be on a decent wedge, same for Henrikson being a Norweigen international, add Benkovic - then you have the likes of DaSilva, Palmer, Pereira, Bentley. It all eventually adds up, and we havent cut the squad down much.

The issue for me is that will this mean more shuffling and tinkering on LJs part just when we found a rythm? Either way trimming will be needed end of the season if we sign Henrikson. Can see someone like Walsh or Nagy having to leave, possibly Diedhiou, then you have Taylor, Wright, Smudge, all OoC.

Im a bit worried of the impact of this season on our FFP turnover in regards to wages, even with the incoming funds from transfers, to be honest.

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12 minutes ago, Fuber said:

Id consider anything outside playoffs a failure now Dave.

We must be paying top 10 wages now, between the likes Afobe still on the wage bill - I also doubt Blackpool will cover TM full wages, same for Taylor at Oxford, as well as others out on loan. Then you have the academy running costs.

Wells must be on a decent wedge, same for Henrikson being a Norweigen international, add Benkovic - then you have the likes of DaSilva, Palmer, Pereira, Bentley. It all eventually adds up, and we havent cut the squad down much.

The issue for me is that will this mean more shuffling and tinkering on LJs part just when we found a rythm? Either way trimming will be needed end of the season if we sign Henrikson. Can see someone like Walsh or Nagy having to leave, possibly Diedhiou, then you have Taylor, Wright, Smudge, all OoC.

Im a bit worried of the impact of this season on our FFP turnover in regards to wages, even with the incoming funds from transfers, to be honest.

All you can do is trust Mark Ashton on FFP. He firmly stated there is no issue. 

Hopefully if we finish 7th or 8th the fans won’t turn. 

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41 minutes ago, steviestevieneville said:

Henriksen for one will need a mini pre season. He hasn’t played for months 

Agreed

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1 hour ago, downendcity said:

When LJ's critics were out in force before Christmas, this was a factor many overlooked.

Many suggested that LJ did not know his best 11, but I think the problem was that he did know his best 11 but many of them spent most/all of the first half of the season in the treatment room. 

Very good point.  I admit to leaning towards LJ tenure coming to an end,  But this has been (on the face of it) a fine transfer window.  And at the end of the day I just want City to win.  So come on Little Lee, get us into the top 6!  

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Steve Lansdown has a record of backing mangers as long as the there is progress on the pitch. Last year we finished just outside the playoffs and as success in football is ultimately determined by results and league positions then I'd assume that he'd now expect us to finish a little higher.   

Earlier in the season we had the caveat of losing Webster and the injuries to key players however, despite that, the team got through that and currently lie in sixth - that's to the credit of LJ and the players.  As a squad we're in a stronger position than several months ago though, especially in the much needed forward area and we've also added to our defence  So I think playoffs will now be the genuine expectation and anything less would be looked on badly and we'd almost certainly be looking for someone else to take us to the next level if that happened.

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1 hour ago, downendcity said:

When LJ's critics were out in force before Christmas, this was a factor many overlooked.

Many suggested that LJ did not know his best 11, but I think the problem was that he did know his best 11 but many of them spent most/all of the first half of the season in the treatment room. 

Factors don't count when you have an agenda.

Losing the dressing room was bad though....😯

Can I just ask (just for once) we try and do what supporters are supposed to do and SUPPORT. 

PLEASE cut down on the negativity at least until it's mathematically impossible to make the playoffs.

Let's get behind the boys, you never know......

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3 hours ago, marmite said:

I have. Awful stuff. 🤢

I'm indifferent to Marmite. I can take it or leave it, neither like nor dislike it. 

3 hours ago, marmite said:

I have. Awful stuff. 🤢

I'm indifferent to Marmite. I can take it or leave it, neither like nor dislike it. 

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5 hours ago, old_eastender said:

Best Jan transfer window dealings I can recall; goal scorer with nearly a 1 in 2 ratio this season, international seasoned power play midfielder, much vaunted ball playing strong centre back, even with Josh gone we are considerably stronger overall.

SL has done his bit, MA too, time for LJ. We sit in 6th, and for my money it would be abject failure on his part if we now don't finish in the top 6. If he can't achieve that this season, with the squad at his disposal I don't believe he ever will.

 

I suspect the other teams around us will have a big say in whether we make top 6 or not. 

WBA, Leeds, Brentford, and Fulham all better teams than us imo despite the new additions.

We are fighting for 2 places imo with quite a few others.

 

 

 

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