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Buncey

Some points from last night and going forward.

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A great City following last night. Even if there was no atmosphere from the Watford fans, and the awful ground. Not sure on the lino bashing that was going on either but hey ho. In my eyes that was a good point considering we bossed the second half but they dominated the first half. We could have nicked it, but equally they could have put the game to bed with Graham missing uncharacteristically.

In terms of us, Vokes was solid, as well as our fullbacks, but that has became expected. A lot of the crowd were on Surman''s back but I would argue that it was

our tactics that let us down. Playing long against Watford, who with

Taylor and a few others, are one of the biggest sides in the league, was

not the best of strategies. Our midfield looked overworked with Pacheco

in it. I have severely underrated Hoolahan''s attacking contribution as

well as the loss defensively from his great work rate.

Pacheco was poor again, and we looked better when he came off again,

particularly through McNamee and Jackson who enlivened us with some much

needed pace against their physical but sluggish back four.

Fox was very good again, even for the first goal I thought he was

unfortunate with firstly Surman giving him an awful pass behind him with

the leagues top scorer breathing down his back, only for him to slip on

the pitch (which ran well, but was cutting up all over), and then we

only really conceded through some lacklustre defending and poor goal

keeping, Ruddy should have saved.

Our defence, particularly Ward look shaky against the best strikers in

the league. Tonight it was Graham, Saturday it was Borini (and going

back Fryatt and Nugent). Our midfield certainly didn''t help out with its

lack of shape but I would have serious concerns with our defensive

competency against the top players if we end up in the playoffs.

Some of the players could do with a rest, we looked tired and Holt and Rus Martin came off with knocks.

Was nice to see the players clap the fans, not sure what Lambert''s

gestures were at the end, whether he was motioning for the fans to be clapping the

players or vice versa.

Either way, we shouldn''t be too down-heartened. For my money we''ve

played two of the best footballing sides in the league away from home in

our last two games and on other days could have come back with more

points. I can''t see any of our reaming fixtures being as challenging as

these past two matches. I am confident that we will come out of this

week looking better off than before.

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Whilst I agree with much of your analysis of the match, I am slightly confused at the ultimate conclusion given that we went into last saturday 4 points clear in second place and with our top scorer fit and we are likely to come out of it not in second place and with him injured!

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I went to the game too and I would agree with most of that.  As you say awful ground but there is a lot worse and the atmosphere was pretty poor tbh.  At one point I started to try and get ''PAUL LAMBERTS GREEN ARMY'' going at the top of my voice and everyone just turned round and looked at me!  There was about six of us in a row (didn''t know each other) trying to get some songs going but no one seemed to wanted to join in apart from the woman in front!

 

On the footballing front it was not great again.  All season we have worked as a team and when someone like Fox has been getting the ball we have been giving him plenty of options but last night we backed off and went long ball for the majority of the match which was the wrong thing to do against Taylor who won header after header against Vokes.  I must add Holt and Vokes were being pulled all over the place for the whole game but the ref who had a poor game done nothing about it.

 

I disagree with the OP about Fox.  The last two games he just hasn''t been his normal self.  Balls which are usually finding people feet are going straight to the opposition or out of play.  Ward and Whitbread seem a bit drained to me and don''t look alert enough.  Pacheco was very dissapointing again, signs of promise with no end product.  And also I think it''s time to give Surman a rest.  Tierney was excellent again though as was McNamee and Jackson when they came on who changed the game.

 

And the last thing all the players looked completely deflated at the end so I hope they can pick themselves up for Friday against Forest.

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I also thought that we looked very tired last night, especially Surman, and I hope it is not due to the pressure of where we are that is getting to us. Three games in six days is a tall order especially against quality opposition and Lambert really needs to freshen things up on Friday, with Jackson starting.

 I fear the worst on Holt''s injury as it really did look bad at the end, and will be amazed if it is not a hamstring injury that keeps him out for quite a while. I feel that top two is now out of reach without Holt but if we can hold third, we could still get auto via the back door thanks to the QPR saga. Without Holt in the play-offs they will be a bridge too far IMO, so fingers crossed he makes a quick recovery.

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There was about six of us in a row (didn''t know each other) trying to get some songs going but no one seemed to wanted to join in apart from the woman in front

Think you may have been next to us - do you mean the black lady in front of us?

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[quote user="Jim Smith"]Whilst I agree with much of your analysis of the match, I am slightly confused at the ultimate conclusion given that we went into last saturday 4 points clear in second place and with our top scorer fit and we are likely to come out of it not in second place and with him injured![/quote]Hmm I didn''t really make myself clear.I think we''ll beat Forest, and with that being the case we will have come through 3 of the toughest games of the season at the worst (from my predictions) 1 point off 3rd. The other teams all have tough games this weekend. I am very hopefully it is just "cramp" for Holt, but it looked a lot like he had strained his hamstring to us all last night.

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Pacheco is a little bit of an enigma. His confidence dropped as the game went on last night and he missed more and more chances. However, he would have been very effective in my opinion supplying balls to Jackson and MacNammee rather than Vokes and Holt. He likes to thread through balls from what I''ve seen, he didn''t really have that chance last night.

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[quote user="Canary Man of Kent"]

Pacheco is a little bit of an enigma. His confidence dropped as the game went on last night and he missed more and more passes. However, he would have been very effective in my opinion supplying balls to Jackson and MacNammee rather than Vokes and Holt. He likes to thread through balls from what I''ve seen, he didn''t really have that chance last night.

[/quote]

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Have to say McNamee and Jackson coming on certainly changed the game back in your favour after we''d put our best performance for a whille in the 1st half - even then you posed some threat with Holt up front.

Good luck for the rest of this season.

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[quote user="Dicky"]There was about six of us in a row (didn''t know each other) trying to get some songs going but no one seemed to wanted to join in apart from the woman in front Think you may have been next to us - do you mean the black lady in front of us?[/quote]

 

Yes I do!  The one with the bobble hat!  She did make me laugh!

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