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Rudolph Hucker

Why we don't score from open play.

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It''s only my opinion and I''m not a qualified coach etc but for me this is the obvious reason we do not score from open play and it happened a lot yesterday too.

Quite simply,we attack, we run at the opposition and get their defenders running back towards their own goal. Then we stop and check, time and time again we stop and check.

The result is the opposition defenders stop, turn and have their backs to their own goal, re-configure their defensive shape and get tight on anyone who got forward.

It''s not simply our final ball, it is that it is delivered too late.

Ironically, Snoddy got stick in the second half yeastrday for a great early cross that no one had made a run for.

Why is this? Is it Holt being too wide? Is it a lack of confidence or over-play? Is it a lack of movement.

It was noticeable how Villa attacked with three and often kept three up. They ran at us, turned us and got shots in.

Look too at the goals we have conceded. We are fine from set pieces but have been undone time and again by being run at and turned.

For me, this is why we do not score from open play. I watch it happen constantly and it frustrates me because the same strikers did it last season scoring most goals from crosses.

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Easy we don''t shoot and when we do its off target. we are too slow on the break which means we get caught and have to pass sideways or back. Even last season we needed 4 or 5 chances to convert to a goal, this season we are creating far fewer chances, adds up to hardly any goals

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We offer little up front. Holt is no lone striker, our attacking play is painfully slow in its buildup. I think E Bennett is the only one putting in first time crosses in the few games he plays and the only one who plays with any pace. Central midfielders are ordered to stay deep. Full backs for much of the season after the 10 game run stayed deep.

Actually I thought we looked ok yesterday, Howson seemed to play with more freedom for starters, and Holt looked twice the player when Kei arrived on the pitch. But we were playing a decent away side on a good run of form.

The simple fact is, we played for a 0-0 yesterday and as usual, only changed it when we went 0-1 down. Immediately we looked more threatening.

lambert brought his side here playing for a win. We went to a similarly placed Stoke side 10 days ago, picked three deep central midfielders and played for a draw.

Yesterday''s result and performance is not why we are in this position.

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we did

its the culmination of a team that has been sent out on the back foot all season and are now devoid of confidence and full of frustration when it comes to attackingits no coincidence as hughton has engrained his style and tactics on the players the goals have dried up

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In the first half Hooton was urging howson to drive forward into the space between the Villa defenders and midfield. Howson went forward with the ball but it was tentative. There wasn''t any drive or ambition to get the Villa defenders on the back foot. It was the same time and time again. I respect we are not blessed with pace but villas defence were already set by the time we tried to PLAY or PASS the ball into a dangerous position. We mustn''t let the opposition defence settle. Get the ball behind them and why not take a risk and try the unexpected!

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