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Rudolph Hucker

I cannot feel downhearted.

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I''m wondering why I don''t feel deflated after the match today, but I can''t help but feel upbeat and positive.

Okay, three points and a first win are the ideal but it is only the second match and the picture is bigger than that.

I was genuinely surprised at the team selection which re-affirmed PL is his own man and he intends to use a squad as he sees fit. We put in some muscle and went 4-4-2 with a side never previously assembled for a competitive game. As it turned out, they gelled so we have more variation and options going forwards.

Stoke are a tough unit with a particularly strong defensive department. They are established and had a very good season last year before cancelling Chelsea out last week. They are always going to turn up and fight.

We made chances and stood up to be counted in a way that showed we have the strength, pace and attitude to compete at this level.

Big John is beginning to look the part; De Laet is a gem; Pilkington is an aggressive winger who is not afraid to run with the ball when the passing options look poor; Bennet is fast and courageous; Martin seems to have his game head back on and looks fit - he must have impressed PL in training.

I enjoyed what was a full blooded and committed game and it was no surprise to me that the late Stoke goal brought out a positive home fan reaction as they could see their players had given everything.

We are going to improve as the season goes on. I don''t begrudge Stoke a point but had this game been a month on we would have beaten them comfortably.

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Well said. This was the first time I have seen City since we got promoted and I was really pleased to see both the spirit and the quality of the new signings.  Lambert''s decision to make wholesale changes to the line-up and formation

was brave and deserved to earn all 3 points. But such is life.Really wish  Morrison and Vaughan were fit though.

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you will if we get relegated by 2 points.

having said that it seems we are more than capable of competing. holt will get his shooting boots on, just like last season and i reckon 14th place is realistic if not better.

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Having a goal scored against us like that is downheartening.Wanted all 3 today.But hey, we did not lose and its early days.Happy with played 2 drawn 2.We could have been routed by Stoke today , that would have been horific. Especially as Kenwyne Jones ran the total distance of 100 yards the entire game. Dont think he broke a sweat, lumbering great ox !!!

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Totally agree,

One thing I really did notice was how well Chris Martin played. Didn''t think we would see him at all this season and I was shocked to see him start today.

Should have known better than to doubt Lambert!

OTBC

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Agreed. Merited the win although the shocker from the ref cost us Barnet for the rest of the game. We stood up to Stoke''s tactics all game and showed we can compete, restricting them to long range efforts on occasions. Whilst the last minute goal was a choker, the fans and players should be proud of that performance, which will get a win sooner rather than later and over the season, will do enough to stay up.

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My reason for being downhearted tonight isn''t from todays performance ,just that we are unlikley to get a chance away at Chelsea to put it right.

Had we have won today , the Chelsea match would have been a "bonus" game, with not to much damage done, however assuming we are defeated there we then have to wait a further 2 weeks ,with the international break for the WBA match , which even at this stage of the season becomes a pressure match. 4 points from 4 games would have been ok , but a defeat against WBA and 2 points from 4 doesn''t look quite so good.

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[quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"]

My reason for being downhearted tonight isn''t from todays performance ,just that we are unlikley to get a chance away at Chelsea to put it right.

Had we have won today , the Chelsea match would have been a "bonus" game, with not to much damage done, however assuming we are defeated there we then have to wait a further 2 weeks ,with the international break for the WBA match , which even at this stage of the season becomes a pressure match. 4 points from 4 games would have been ok , but a defeat against WBA and 2 points from 4 doesn''t look quite so good.

[/quote]

 

Why assume we will be defeated at Chelsea?! They failed to beat Stoke and only just managed to beat WBA.  We could still end up with 8 points from 4 games.

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At this stage of the season it is about more than points; it is about how the squad is set up and how the team gels and plays.

Get the basics right and the points will follow.

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Spot on Rude Old. I''m strangely not downhearted either, infact I''m unbelievably positive about our forthcoming games - We are still unbeaten by opposing teams so far, it was just unfortunate that we had a QPR supporting ref yesterday, but hopefully we won''t get that cock officiating anymore of our games this season....

OTBC

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Great post, Rude Old. I have to say that, immediately after the Wigan game I was pleased with the point, but as the week went on I felt more and more disappointed with the result - felt that it was actually a real missed opportunity to get a valuable win.

I suspect that this result will seem better and better as the week goes on. Obviously conceding in the last minute was a sickener, but Stoke are a good, good side, and exactly the sort of bunch of ruffians who usually batter City teams. The fact that we out-competed them, and held out so heroically with ten men, suggests that we offer more than just some pretty passing triangles.

Also totally agree about Lambert''s selection. It was a great statement that this is a squad game - because he made so many changes there couldn''t really be a sense that people were being dropped; instead, he just picked the best XI for that game. If he has bought players smart enough to change systems all the time, then we have a really good squad.

I do fear we''ll get stuffed at Chelsea, which will put pressure on the Baggies game, regardless of what anyone says. But perhaps I''m needlessly expecting the worst and should trust more in Lambert getting the players'' heads right for the Bridge. We really need to play without fear there.

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