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Militant Canary


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Just finished watching the match. I apologise in advance if this post is slightly incoherent. I am a bit tired and I''m in a rush.

It was a 1-0 loss again, but a lot of positives to be taken from this match and the tour in general.

The game did expose some weaknesses. Our current lack of attacking options and the cobbled together nature of our defense (due to the injuries of Bassong and Turner) were apparent. However, both these problems will be fixed when the team gets back to England - both in terms of the return of injured players and the acquisition of new ones.

It being halfway through the MLS season, all the teams we played were way in advance of us in terms of fitness and match sharpness.

It was a tough workout for those involved tonight, as only 3 subs were used. Fox got a full 90 and generally looked okay. Howson didn''t have a great game, Whittaker looked awful in the first half, then solid as a rock in the second. Elliot Bennett was very good at right-back, Redmond was very lively. Butterfield I thought looked good, though Hoolahan had a lesser game. RVW obviously wants to get his first for the club and came close on several occasions tonight - he looked a handful, but it just didn''t quite run for him. I am certain he will score for us this pre-season and, more importantly, during the season proper. As a team, we knocked on the door, without pushing it open and could have drawn or even won the game had we been a little luckier.

Portland, a team in great form, who obviously raised their game against us, were a very physical side and I don''t think we were helped by the astro-turf.

That said, Portland''s goal (like San Jose''s) came from a silly defensive mistake involving Russell Martin (again) and Ryan Bennett. Besides that, one or two instances aside, we looked solid.

What was also interesting from this, as well as the other games, is that tactics clearly were a side issue and second to fitness. Apart from trying one or two different combinations and seeing what some of the players offered him, Hoots quite clearly just wanted everybody to get game time.

Tactics will come in to it more when the pre-season continues at home.

That''s all I have on it. It was a good, if not great, and worthwhile exercise, over all.

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Hi Militant Canary,

Agree with pretty much all you say, although I feel you were a bit harsh on RM, it was RB who gave him a pass way of the mark which put him in no mans land.  Can''t blame RM for this one and at least he did all he could to get back.  EB could, and has, play RB IMO, obviously he would probably be third choice behind RM and Whitts, but quite a good third choice, plus it frees up a squad place.

The players are still not 100% match fit, I spoke with one of the youngsters and he still feels he needs another week to be 100%, so I assume it''s the same for the rest of the squad.

Our form in the upcoming European games will no doubt be a bigger indicator, especially as it appears we now have another striker in board. 

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