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Spartan

Elliot Ward looking very average!

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The team played well against Gillingham tonight but Elliot Ward has looked suspect in all his games, including this one. He doesn''t appear to have the physical presence required of a dominant centre - half, and his tackling, heading and distribution are all distinctly average. Yes I know its early days and I hope to be proved wrong, but so far he looks to be a weak link in an otherwise strong team.

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Ward had quite a decent game in the end in my opinion, as he grew into it.

One of his passes out of defence towards the latter stages under intense pressure (swung it out wide to the left) was top drawer.

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I think he just needs time to get himself settled at a new club. He''s slotting into a defensive three that have played together for a season already, naturally it will take time to get on their wave length.

I think he''s proven himself at this level for years already just over the past 12 months has suffered from lack of games/fitness issues.

He''ll come good :)

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He sliced it away a couple of times but apart from that I thought he looked quite good tonight.

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Watched a different game to me i''m afraid. Though he looked assured and strong at the back. Won a lot of headers against The Tank and put in some good challenges too.

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I had to endure the guy next to me rattling on about how bad Ward was vs Watford and how " Im not sure about that Ward guy" before a ball was even kicked....Although this did come from the same guy that proclaimed "Wheres Holty ?" when "Holty" was stood 5 foot away with the rest of the squad. Maybe his subs bench sweat shirt was camouflage enough ?Although speaking of Camo, Wes'' new skin head look threw me a bit and I did spend most of the training wondering where he was !?! Ah well, just hope the bloke doesnt have a season ticket , in 6 months time I will expect to hear " Wheres Doherty this season then ?! "

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I''m not gonna start moaning about Ward, but the remarks are correct. But I''m asking myself why doesn''t Askou get a real chance. He''s quality imo and would not be a bad player next to Nelson. Zak is out and the partnership now is looking shaky, give Askou a go, at least that was my opinion before the game...
Is he going to get a go from Lambert, or will PL look on the loan market?

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I think Lambert''s plan is for Whitbread to play left side of centre defence and Ward on the right. Whitbread is a left footer and Ward isn''t so he is playing slightly out of position.

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Admittedly I was not at the game and was listening on the radio but the commentary made it sound as if Ward had a very good game and was constantly clearing or sweeping up danger. Conversely they said Nelson was at fault for the goal (again) through yet another messed up clearance.

Ward has been disappointing so far but you can see there is an assured and composed defender in there and i think as his fitness is improving it is showing more and more. I don''t think the same can be said of his current partner whose continued presence in the team really dismays me. I can only hope and pray that Whitbread gets fit very soon because whilst this current pairing is together we will get done for pace and concede goals on a regular basis.

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Don''t let the scoreline mask the fact that we were poor at the back last night.  We could easily have been two down within the first 30 minutes had the tank converted a chance he should have scored from.  Crosses into the box were far too frequent and easy to put in and the combination of Nelson and Ward at the back is pedestrian at best.  I know Lambert would like to have Whitbread in the side but in the meantime things somehow need to be tightened up.  The tank whilst a handful last night is not a top striker in the Championship and I fear we are going to get carved open when we play a side with any pace.On the brightside Holt was back in form, Martin looks stronger and quicker this year, and it was good to see Korey Smith back working hard again.  And John Ruddy pulled off a number of fine saves.  But if we keep getting done for pace at the back, and hoofing long balls forward (Nelson the main culprit) then we are going to struggle in what is a very tight league where clean sheets are vital.

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[quote user="Punting Canary"]Don''t let the scoreline mask the fact that we were poor at the back last night.  We could easily have been two down within the first 30 minutes had the tank converted a chance he should have scored from.  Crosses into the box were far too frequent and easy to put in and the combination of Nelson and Ward at the back is pedestrian at best.  I know Lambert would like to have Whitbread in the side but in the meantime things somehow need to be tightened up.  The tank whilst a handful last night is not a top striker in the Championship and I fear we are going to get carved open when we play a side with any pace.

On the brightside Holt was back in form, Martin looks stronger and quicker this year, and it was good to see Korey Smith back working hard again.  And John Ruddy pulled off a number of fine saves.  But if we keep getting done for pace at the back, and hoofing long balls forward (Nelson the main culprit) then we are going to struggle in what is a very tight league where clean sheets are vital.
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Agree with that, great to come away with a 4. 1 win, but reminiscant of last season where at times we  defended  poorly but it was masked  because we were not punished by weak opposition. We  still lacked a destructive presence in front to the  back four and someone  who will mop up the poor clearances etc. Rusty in fact. I think Lambert has brought in some decent mid fielders but  we will need someone to play the same sorrt of role as Rusty  and at the moment I cant see who that is. It was great to Holt and Chrissy Martin playing so well last night and Mcnamee looked dangerous when he came, the game  was well over  by that point though. I  feel a lot happier than I  did  after Friday but worry about the number of  goals we will concede. Well done to Ruddy who pulled off a couple of  excellent saves!        

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Agree with all of the above two posts. In League 1 we frequently used to let the opposition have 3 or 4 chances a game but generally got away with it because the strikers were sh*t. Against watford we did the same but conceded 3 goals. Thats the difference. I have no idea how far away Whitbread is from fitness but I really do not think we can "get by" with the current defence for a few weeks. I will be really disappointed if Lambert does not sort this because he usually does see problems and resolve them quickly.

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