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morty

So.....

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Where does this leave people?Some maybe expected a different outcome, against a resurgent team, with a manager they maybe wanted.Has the performance raised a few eyebrows, changed a few opinions perhaps?Or just a flash in the pan?

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I''ll tell you on Friday.

To be fair, I think the team selection today was spot on. You can always make a case for Klose, but today we defended well and that could be due to the help from Mulumbu. Will we see an unchanged team vs Huddersfield? Arguably some of the players might fatigue from a busy schedule however it would take a brave tinkerman to tinker with that starting 11.

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It''s 3 points, a clean sheet against a strong championship side. What is there to be negative about. It also seemed that the players are fighting for the manager and the club despite all the negative, possibly / probably uninformed b*llsh*t from the binners and nappy crappers that pontificate on here. Yes, Inwill be called a happy clapper but no, I am realistic, take the 3 points, enjoy it and bring on Huddersfield.

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It was a much more disciplined performance for me; olsson and pinto sat deeper than normal and took kodija and ayew out of the game and the cbs had agbonlahor in control.

mulumbu and dorrans dictated the show in midfield, dorrans using the ball excellently and mulumbu and then tettey breaking the game up well.

Bruce was disappointed with Villa, but we should take some credit for this by controlling the game, a different situation from the Brentford match.

Nelson provided great movement and has blossomed since his brentford goal, we now have a striking option!

The only disappointment was how slow were were on the ball from brady, howson and murphy. Brady i thought was the best of an average bunch creative wise, although i didnt think their endeavour could be faulted

As others have indicated Friday is the challenge. Villa are the highest placed team we have beaten, we have not won a single game from the top half teams, with just 2 draws from 9 games, 2 from 27 points, with just Reading and Huddersfield to play.

Beating 4th placed Huddersfield on friday should provide a massive confidence boost and change the dynamic of the season.

The same application and discipline from the villa game, play to their ability and add some creative ability (perhaps use murphy from the bench and put either wes or naismith central) and things will look much healthier come boxing day.

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A 1-0 City win is such a rare phenomenon these days that I''m pretty sure someone casehd in big time on betting on that....

Hopefully it is a sign of some tactical/defensive penny being dropped...

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Don''t get me wrong I am delighted we won, I really am, and will continue to give my support to the team inside the game. BUT it''s going to take a lengthy unbeaten run, hopefully mostly wins, before my opinion of Neil changes.Villa were very poor and offered nothing up front. On the basis of that performance I''m relieved we haven''t got Bruce in charge!OTBC

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I have to agree with Pants, I am not convinced that Neil will bring us the run we need to get back challenging again. But I am thrilled with the win! Mostly because I feared the worst after the Barnsley game...I was thinking we were off on another bad run again as the defending was terrible and we didn''t compete.

Oliveira definitely is showing his class and I thought Mulumbu played a good game, let''s hope we can keep it going now...but I can''t say I am confident...yet...

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As others have said we won''t know for a couple of weeks. This win feels bigger than Brentford as we put away a team in good form who will be challenging for the Play-Offs. However if we turn around and no-show on Friday then it feels pretty meaningless.

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If we stay in the now then we have to be pleased with the second half.

First half, Howson was off the pace and Mulumbu wasn''t quite sure whether to stick or twist or go with Grealish. And it wasn''t entertaining or rewarding. Villa appeared to be hoping rather than planning. I agree they weren''t a threat but what they offered we dealt with.

Second half was all us and Mulumbu looked strong until he went off and for once we looked ready to intercept passes and press rather than wait for the opposition to control it.

Basil was tremendous up front and once Bennett stopped hacking it up to him and he had the ball on the deck, he turned his man all night.

Please, please, please AN, don''t tinker. We do look a bit more potent and skillful up front when we keep it on the floor. Friday is now something to look forward to as a spectacle rather than just a game we are hoping to win.

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Pretty much agree with ZLF, although I thought, overall, Howson had a good game, especially pressing the Villa midfield, and even back 4.

I don''t agree with people (e.g. Bruce) that Villa were awful, they were ok, but like has been said, we did a job on them, and they couldn''t respond. I certainly have seen poorer teams here this season.

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Also, Huddersfield will have had 3 games in 6 days, so fatigue shouldn''t be the deciding factor with ourselves. We do have a bigger (overall better) squad, and we are at home. Could be a game of attrition, and our rewards may not come until late on.

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Delighted with win. Doesn''t change my view of AN though. One game will make little difference to me on that score. I''d like to see a sustained period of improvement and maybe some clearer indications of his man management which seem a bit well, old school, to me. When we look to be getting the most of the squad on a regular basis it may be time to re-evaluate.

I think our league position is pretty accurate at the mo. We are better than and have usually beaten the teams below us but have difficulty against the better ones. Nice to beat Villa, really don''t like them so many thanks to AN for delivering that!

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Tactically AN got this one right and another clean sheet which is a big plus. I hope Mulumbu isn''t out for long as he did really well. AN really doesn''t have a lot of luck in this position with Thompson out aswell.

Same again against Huddersfield and Reading and we will be back on track and then we have the January transfer window to look forward to.

Oliviera has magic in his boots :)

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As I remarked on a previous thread, our form was due for a reversion to the mean. This will be enough to see him safe until the New Year and as long as the Playoffs look possible he won''t be shifted.

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Bagster wrote the following post at 14/12/2016 8:44 AM:

Tactically AN got this one right and another clean sheet which is a big plus. I hope Mulumbu isn''t out for long as he did really well. AN really doesn''t have a lot of luck in this position with Thompson out aswell.

Same again against Huddersfield and Reading and we will be back on track and then we have the January transfer window to look forward to.

Oliviera has magic in his boots :)

I assumed Milumbu had cramp from the way he behaved on the pitch, is it something more serious?

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It raised a few eyebrows in some ways.

Villa were terrible and had nothing up front, that was certainly a factor. We dealt with any pressure by doing basics, but that was all they had to do. There was no sustained pressure to worry the cbs

But we dug in and did the hard work, Pinto was immense and the midfield looked more solid with Howson at 10

You certainly can''t accuse the players of not playing for Neil, but it needs to become the norm - having 1 good followed by 1 bad performance will see us stagnate

Special mentions to Olsson, Pinto & Oliviera for there performances

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To be fair the team wasn''t far off what I wanted and we were a lot more solid - and still had enough to get the important goal.

The key point was we battled - and rightly so with the players on the pitch.

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I''ve not changed my view and in the absence of a prolonged period of good performances I won''t do. I think we could even get promoted under Neil and I would still advocate replacing him in the summer because I think it will be down to the fact that we have a lot of good quality players at this level rather than good management.

That said, if they won''t get rid of him (as appears the case) then to turn this around and give us a chance of salvaging something from this season (which we are still well capable of doing) we need him to get it together and to manage vaguely competently and I think that''s what we saw last night. He essentially went back to basics in the same way a new manager often has to when they come into a club and we saw a more solid performance as a consequence. Ultimately I don''t think the balance of that side is right in the long term but perhaps we need to get a few wins under our belt and the midfield back up to full fitness before we re-introduce a bit more quality in the form of Wes or Pritchard.

Villa we poor, surprisingly poor. I expected them to run at us at pace and cause our defence problems on the counter and that just never really happened. Hard to tell how much of that was down to them and how much down to us. I was surprised he went with Agbonlahor because knowing our defence I think various of their other striker options would have caused us a lot more trouble. That helped us out a bit I think. Hudds will be interesting because they have a lot of pace going forward and I suspect will play more like I expected Villa to last night.

All in all some signs of encouragement, particularly from the second half.

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Very pleased with the result, but much more so with the commitment and the emphasis on being difficult to beat. That for me is the foundation that we need to build on and I''m hoping for a sea change away from the gun-ho attitude. Friday will tell us a lot if this is the way we intend to go in future or if it was a tactic for just one game.

I came to my view that AN should go over many months, not just these last few results and it will probably take as long to change it back again. Good start though and here''s hoping we gradually manage to regain a bit of confidence to add to this more realistic, less expansive approach.

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Thought we were adequate but nothing more. Villa were poor but we deserved the win.Good performances from Oliveira, Mulumbu and Pinto.Thought Ruddy played well bar a couple of iffy clearances but probably no coincidence that we''ve had 2 clean sheets in the last 3 games whereas we had none with McGovern between the sticks.Also thought Murphy looked a threat with his pace and the defence looked solid.No complaints about the other players either.

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It has made me think Morty, I am genuinely hoping that a good performance and a win against a form side with an experienced manager will give the team a boost and they will kick on from here. Alex Neil has come under a lot of criticism, but credit where credit is due he got everything spot on last night so heres hoping........

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Hope that brings some confidence to Neil''s team selection and decision making process for Friday. After Barnsley he looked like a man on the edge.

I''m sat firmly on the fence, yes that''s a safe place to be, hedging bets and all but if Neil can take heart in his selections, get back to the basics so to speak, get the players confident in him again (subject to the rumours about him having lost the dressing room?), then I hope we can push for play offs.

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A few players I labelled "overpaid morons" made a start on proving me wrong, it''s just that though, a start. where has this Mulumbu been for the last year? same with bassong. both were great yesterday but I am going to need more than 1 win in a division we are clear 2nd favourites for on paper to be truly happy with this season.

I fear auto may be a lost cause now and the playoffs are a tough gig. If we can at least get some real momentum this season like brighton and Boro did the last 2 then perhaps we can have a proper good go for it next season if we fall short this time round. the quality is never in question, just everything else.

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Tettey''s Jig agree with your last paragraph. Plus I think we''ll have blooded some decent Champ young ''uns. If Neil can show us the grit and considered tactics he did when he first came even if we fall short then great. I think we need another coach like Gary Holt though, Irvine seems like too much of a wilting wallflower to me. I don''t know him personally though so could be wrong

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Credit where credits due, good solid performance in a match where I really couldn''t see us getting anything. Thought Mulumbu had a good game, however if he''s injured I''d like to see Howson drop back and Pritchard brought back in.

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plus Newcastle won''t be around either with their £100m budget. looking like the likes of Sunderland, Burnley, Hull will be here on a more even level imo. we picked a terrible year to get relegated.

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It was a nervy-afraid-not-to-lose first half, possibly ideal for Pritchard or Hoolahan. Second half a dominant performance with belief and steel. Loved the last 15 minutes as players upped their tempo and pressing. They did not want to draw that game. Positive signs. I expected we would lose have to admit prior to the match.

It doesn''t change my view of the management but then I have never wanted him to fail, far from it.. 3 points any day rather than a loss to speed up his exit. I guess it depends on how we fare against the higher placed teams now. It was convincing for 45 minutes against a strangely lacklustre Villa. But that was because we dominated through Mulumbu and Dorrans. Brady stepped up a bit too. Oliveira gives more in my opinion than Jerome, as he seems to have more composure when it''s needed. Starting to see what Forest fans loved about him. He has makes himself loads of time and that is an excellent quality ....rare indeed and I''m very hopeful he will become a star in yellow and green, his Nelson name being a great sign! As for Pinto that was the best 90 minutes I''ve seen from him. He was immense, spirited and determined throughout. Wears his heart on his sleeves. My firm POTS contender already. Can we get another Portuguese player from somewhere too?!

Beat Huddersfield and we could be back into the mix. Draw or Lose and in.a position around 10th and you would have to say we are very much over par / under-performing on expectations. The 6 losses have a lot of catching up to do. Not being negative just realistic. Maybe the players are getting some realism too, that you have to earn the right to play, as one former manager would say.

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^^Hahaha! Exactly that. I''ve been saying the same thing for weeks. The absolute worst year to be relegated given how tight it is and how bad those teams all are. I even picked those three teams in my relegation sweepstakes. I like the cut of you jib Jig

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As you asked Morty;

A very welcome three points. Villa were the second worst visiting side I’ve seen at Carrow Rd this season, behind Brentford of course. I was very disappointed with their performance but grateful nonetheless, because I still didn’t see enough to make me think we would have won the game had a half decent side turned up.

Great to see a bit more passion from the team overall, I do wonder though if that has been instilled by the manager, someone else, or if it is simply the players’ professional pride getting in the way of a laissez faire attitude. Either way long may it continue.

Still not convinced, on many different fronts, that AN is the right man in the right job, but another three wins from four, with some added style as we progress will start to help me alter my opinion.

I first started to have my doubts even before we got to the play-off final, so to get to the depth of feeling I have now has taken a season and a half, I’m not saying it will take that long to reverse my feelings but it will certainly take more than two wins at home against two poor sides sandwiching an away loss against a half decent side. I guess it’s a bit like an ailment, sometimes they take weeks to present themselves but once treated some expect to be completely cured in a couple of hours, when typically, the healing process can take longer than the onset of the illness itself. Or to use another analogy we’ve been heading full speed along the wrong road, we’ve now got to back up into oncoming traffic, it could be difficult and even painful but hopefully ultimately worth it.

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Doesn''t matter if we think auto is done - current form means we will be nowhere near it.

However, if we can turn it around - signs look promising given levels of fight shown last night - then we will pull ourselves back into the play offs

Win games and the gap will close to the top 2, but the bigger issue is getting the consistency to win games. everything else is irrelevant at the minute

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