I have now been to all three matches this season and am just as dismayed as most of the Reds fans, however I am not completely negative about the season ahead.
The games against Wigan and Scunthorpe as I have already discussed were poor, very poor; on Saturday though at Bloomfield Road the performance the team gave was in my opinion much, much better with a number of excellent individual performances. Every player looked committed and the effort was evident to see. On reflection we definitely did not deserve to lose a game which in the second half we dominated.
The gaffer decided to change the formation and reverted back to a classic 4-4-2. He also made a few changes in personnel some with which I agreed and some I didn’t. Bringing Digby in from the start was I believe a master stroke and although the young lad isn’t yet fit enough to play a full 90 minutes when he does reach full fitness there is no doubt in my mind that he will not only be a regular on the team sheet but also one of our better players.
I am glad that Cywka got his chance instead of Mellis because his creativity caused the Seasiders problems and as much as I do rate Mellis when he is on his game, his inconsistency so far justified his place on the bench. The couple of decisions I couldn’t get my head around were those of asking Jim O’Brien to operate at right-back and Stephen Dawson on the wing in front of him. Daws was caught offside more times than I care to remember in the first half and our best runs and crosses came from O’Brien whereas in the second half when Dawson slotted into the middle of the park his influence was far greater.
The team defended brilliantly for 93 minutes but as seems to always be the case we make one lapse in concentration and end up going home with nothing. Despite this though the defence, especially when Crainie and Nyatanga come back into the fold, I think will be one of the strongest this club has had for a while and the midfield who started at Bloomfield Road clicked and looked very creative, unfortunately it is in the striking department where we desperately lack and it is something which has been identified.
In his post match interview Flicker said that it is absolutely nailed on where the problem lies and that he is doing his upmost to bring in at least one more forward before the game against Charlton on Saturday and although we are only three games into the new season it is very worrying that the Reds have now gone 300 minutes or five hours without scoring (in the correct net anyway) a single goal.
O’Grady has played very well and Dagnall has worked his socks off but neither has found their shooting boots yet and it took Jason Scotland as a second half substitute for us to have a striker register a shot on target. I said it in my last blog and I will say it again; Flicker, if we fail to bring someone in please give John Cofie a go he looked ready and raring to go against Bordeaux and he can’t do any worse than our current strike force.
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