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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Rotherham

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After another tedious International break and a pleasant week on the Dorset coast, I was fully expecting a dominant and convincing display at CR this afternoon. I was not surprised to see Brady missing from the line up, you can''t be too careful with head injuries, but it was a definite plus point to see Tim Klose back in the middle. Johnny Howson was an unexpected absentee from the line up so he must have picked up a knock somewhere along the way.There was little to comment upon during the opening exchanges with both sides looking a bit rusty with passes going astray, but City, with Wes pulling the strings, should really have gone ahead around the ten minute mark. In a sweeping move the lively Pritchard picked out Wes in the box but somehow, with the goal apparently at his mercy a defender got in an excellent block. From the corner Rotherham couldn''t clear and a floated ball in found Jerome unmarked only for the big striker to miss the target with the goal gaping.It had taken awhile but City got into their stride and chances came and went with a frustrating regularity. Jerome was far too hesitant with a side foot effort when a bit of power might have done the trick. In the 17th minute the deserved goal finally came. Again it was Pritchard who picked out Wes in the box. As defenders converged upon the little Irish man the chance appeared to be gone only for a quick turn that wrong footed two defenders and the keeper before rolling the ball into the net.The flood gates should have opened, but didn''t. Rotherham at last came forward and earned a few corners and City were fortunate to survive with some uncertain defending. Thankfully the one way traffic resumed for a while but despite some good openings there was some pretty average finishing from the City strike force. Jerome again delayed too long when handily placed  and Murphy  was often not strong enough on the ball in the face of a determined defender.With half time approaching it was Tim Klose to the rescue as Rotherham peppered the City area with high crosses and long throws. So a satisfactory scoreline at the whistle but it could and should have been much more.When things settled after the break City set about making another hatfull of chances. In no particular order, Tetty blazed over, Dorrans and Pritchard shot wide, Wes had a close range header well saved and Tim Klose did everything but score with a powerful header from 8 yards. You could feel that the crowd were nervous and that they knew one goal wouldn''t be enough and when McGovern had to pull off a good diving save only for the rebound to be wrapped into the net there was a stunned silence until an offside flag released the tension.Thankfully City got back on the front foot with renewed intensity and a couple of great interceptions by Martin and then Pinto enable Wes to clip the ball into the six yard box for Jerome to tuck the ball past Camp for number two. The Murphy''s were then swapped and in truth City looked a lot better balanced when Josh came on. Jacob wasn''t really at it at all today.No home match would be complete without giving the opposition a needless toe hold however, and that arrived with fifteen minutes left when a Rotherhan player skipped past a couple of ineffectual challenges and there was substitute Blackstock to bundle the ball in from close range. Hugely frustrating again and from looking like three or four nil we were left contemplating the possible loss of points.There were one or two nervous moments at the back as time ran down but with Klose looking strong Rotherhams high ball attack was generally well held. City were still making chances and as time ticked up to 90 minutes Naismith was perfectly placed at the far post when Josh Murphy''s low cross came in. Relief at last but this game should have been won long before with only a modicum of decent finishing.I must confess I moaned a bit on the way home and perhaps I''m being a bit picky but despite the results and the points I shouldn''t really be feeling this unsatisfied after a 3-1 victory. I still don''t feel that we have seen a really convincing performance that denotes a prospective promotion favourite.Tim Klose my MOM.

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Thanks Ricardo.  Can understand about not being totally satisfied while we let in these odd soft goals.  Teams must view us as a good team but one that will give you chances.  Until we get a clean sheet or two, that niggle will remain, but at least we are scoring enough goals to win matches. 

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Thanks Ricardo - I couldn''t get there today - family illness - I prefer your reports to anything in the press. Radio Norfolk seemed very impressed with Pritchard - did he look anything like the player who played against us when he was at Brentford?

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Highlight of the game was Pritchard working with Wes. Been really looking forward to Pritchard getting a start and he didn''t disappoint. They''re on the same wavelength and a couple of steps ahead of most other players in the Championship. A beam of sunlight on what was otherwise a training ground kick about.

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Another report of very good quality, thanks R. I was so pleased that Pritchard and Wes got to play from the start today because it makes us far more offensive. We could really hammer a team one day soon if these two play. But I also understand the frustration at not putting the game to bed. But we are still only in 3rd gear it seems.

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Fair assessment of the match Ricardo, although I never felt the win was much in doubt. I thought Pritchard was very good today, and was difficult choose a MoM, as there were 3-4 in with a good shout. Ultimately though, it was Wes for me.

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Obviously it''s not Ricardo''s opinion, but for what it''s worth I think Pritchard looked a class above and a real footballer today. Brilliant vision, excellent technique, good decision making, and the ability to pick a quality pass. Also that Wes-like knack of always seeming to find a bit of space and time between the lines.

Combined superbly with the aforementioned Hoolahan today, and for parts of the game they put on an absolute masterclass of vision, movement, and one-touch passing that Rotherham couldn''t handle. Will be very interesting to see him against a "better" opposition.

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[quote user=" Badger"]Thanks Ricardo - I couldn''t get there today - family illness - I prefer your reports to anything in the press. Radio Norfolk seemed very impressed with Pritchard - did he look anything like the player who played against us when he was at Brentford?[/quote]Yes Badger, he worked well with Hoolahan. Lacks a bit of physical presence but a very tricky player and has great awareness, can only get better IMO.

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I thought Pritchard was a cut above today. Looks so comfortable with the ball and his pass for the first goal was lovely. The combo of him, Jerome and Wes worked perfectly and I was also really impressed by Dorrans and his range of passing.

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Pritchard looked classy. But Rotherham were a poor side.

Thought Jerome was an easy MOTM. Though others played well.

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Great report again Ricardo......Scary to see Pritchard with Wes, then you look at young Murphy his ball across for the third goal! Superb.

We should be getting pretty excited about our midfield, with Maddison to come back in, jeeps we have on paper some potential.

Thought Klose & Dorrans were outstanding today.

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A good report Ricardo. I think that the ref definitely needs a mention though. He was pretty woeful and I don''t think he would know a shove in the back if he was shoved in the back. There was even one point where he gave a free kick against Cam for getting shoved in the back.

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A good read as always Ricardo, thank you. I must admit conceding another sloppy goal really rubbed salt into the wounds but it does give a reminder of needing to up our level. We got away, again, with a couple of poor patches largely thankfully due to Rotherham being a poor side, but teams like Newcastle will take advantage of those poor patches. The positives are there''s still better to come, we haven''t seen much of Oliveira yet, Brady still hasn''t been back to his best, Jarvis is yet to come back from injury and of course Naismith... I think AN summed it up well after the game really, the important thing is we''re winning these kind of games. 3 points are all that matter and so far, sitting top right now, we''ve navigated it okay. We just need to maintain our level, and raise the bar if we can.

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Good report Ricardo. It does feel that we do just enough to win these games and have a lot more in us. One day we will truly wallop one of these teams instead of giving the fans those last ten minute nerves.Hooli MOM. Dorrans, Pritchard and Jerome with special mentions. Disappointed with Jacob today. Seemed unsure of himself, rather nervous.

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Totally agree with that Herman, with the added plus point, that Klose was very good also.

I really hoped that, after what AN said about resting Jacob, over the international break, that he would come back refreshed, but it certainly didn''t look like that, with their left back, getting the better of him, a few times. I really want him to play wide, as when he plays narrower, he does seem to get muscled off, easily by the opposition.

Sounds like I am nitpicking, but he has played far better than that this season. Comfortable win, good performance

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Lots of people highlighting Klose (who was excellent) but I think Martin was just as good. Several good headers and interceptions to break up play and used the ball well.

Also re Jacob- he''s a young player and will naturally have inconsistent weeks. Stick with him.

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Someone said earlier that we havent got out of 3rd gear yet, well , top of the league with fourth gear and overdrive still to go, that''s ok.

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Two things struck me watching the highlights. One was that the Rotherham players were standing off us too much, giving us more time on the ball. The other was the laziness seen in defending our goal.  The disallowed goal was lucky for us imo, because it looked to me as if he was just onside as the ball was originally hit from outside the area.  The actual goal just looked awful. Martin was stuck in no mans land and Klose had two players to mark/cover.  Too many players semed out of position, right up to the half way line.  Discipline in midfield seems to go missing on these occasions. Is that fair comment?

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There was an element of bad luck in the goal- the player in-front of Klose gets a touch that takes it perfectly through to Blackstock. It was pretty poor down the flank though, Pinto and Murphy were beaten to easily which dragged Martin out a bit.

You are right Rotherham stood off us- they set up to play 2 banks of 4 and asked us to play through them. However Dorrans was able to control it from deep with no real pressure and Wes and Pritchard picked them apart.

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I think we looked a lot more "up for it" than they did. They never really attacked us with pace and determination and gave us a lot of space in front of their goal which Hoolahan in particular could exploit. The vibe that they didn''t feel they could win got through to our players I think and made that period in the first half after our goal pretty tepid all round. I never felt we were in any real danger of not winning that to be honest, even when they got one back. Klose should have nailed his header and CJ, Dorrans and Hoolahan all had other very good chances so I think 3-1 flattered them.

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[quote user="Indy_Bones"][quote user="Donkey dangler"]Martin was in the wrong place AGAIN![/quote]So was Dorrans if you believe LDC''s tactical aptitude...[/quote][:|] Dorrans had a good game by all accounts, in his best position.   That said, if he was ever required to play out left....... 

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