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Jim Smith

Belated thoughts on Saturday

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Has been pointed out on here svereal times that we don''t lose two games on the trot under Lamberty and Saturday was another exeample of why. After the shocking display against Palace he made some bold changes and I think just about got it tactically right and the result was another excellent 3 points despite another not particularly convoncing home display. The way we played second half reminded me a lot of the Swansea game where we sat back and let them play in front of us and as with that game i rarely felt we would be broken down. They could, however, have got a late goal and I do think that against better sides it will prove to be a risky tactic. Thoughts:

1. Ward and Barnett have developed into an excellent partnership and had Lita and Boyd in their pocket. Barnett did mistime a few jumps and gave away some silly free kicks but is really important we keep him in January.

2. Steven Smith was better and going forward looks quite decent but still some question marks defensively.

3. Decent game from Lappin after his mare on Tuesday.

4. Dropping Wes and Korey was a big risk by Lambert but I guess since we got the three points it paid off. I think Korey needed a rest. he looked fired up when he came on and to be honest i would have brought him on earlier for Fox but hopefully will be the kick up the backside he needs to get going again. I think was a shame to see Wes dropped as he is by far our most creative player and hope he does not sit out too many games although I can see why Lambo did it. I think he 4-4-2 just about worked but we are definitely more fluent in the diamond and hope that away from home and once Surman is back we will revert to it.

5. Macnamee - decent game, always looked lively. A few unecessary tricks but great cross for the goal.

6. Fox was the weak link for me. Did not get involved enough in the first half and no real presence. Ironically improved as the game went on but we were sitting back by then. I would have brought on Korey for him early in the second half.

7. Middlesbrough - some good players there and i feel by the tiem we play them away they may be a much stearner test. however at the moment they did not look massively up for it and looked very one paced. We let them have the ball for most of the second half and I never felt they would score.

All in all 3 big points ahead of some tough looking fixtures. I don''t think we played that well but could and should have been 3 or 4 up by half time. Secodn half we sat back and against a better side might have been punished but we weren''t so job done!





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