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Coventry v Boro

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werdermouth
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@k-p-in-spain

Boro Team News Coventry City

I see Neil Warnock obviously took my advice on Payero... He's not even in the squad!

Anyway, I presume it's a back three as Jones won't surely be playing as a full-back. The question is who and where will those in midfield be operating with either Tav or Crooks playing deeper. Unless of course there are a few positional surprises with McNair in midfield, Dijksteel in a back three and Hernandez as right wing-back! OK highly unlikely but sometimes you never know if confusing the opposition overrides confusing your own players.

At least Ikpeazu is back to lead the line with most likely Hernandez playing off him if Crooks is in a midfield role. We shall see shortly...

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by werdermouth

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Selwynoz
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Hard to pick a formation but with Bola not fit it’s the team that we would all expect and an impressive bench.

It doesn’t look like a back four because there’s no obvious left back. In that case, it’s probably McNair in the back three with Tav or Jones at left wing back and Dijksteel at right wing back. Howson can anchor the midfield and Crooks will either play a bit further forward or maybe man mark their playmaker. That leaves a front three of Hernandez, Ikpeazu and Jones or Tav.

Not bad

I’m looking forward to this.

utb

This post was modified 3 months ago by Selwynoz

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K P in Spain
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@werdermouth. According to the EG Payero is out due to an injury he picked up in training! 😎


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Selwynoz
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What’s happened to McNair?


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K P in Spain
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@selwynoz.  Injured during the warm up - so much for having employed a new fitness coach! 😎


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werdermouth
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Well it has been quite an open game and pretty even in the first quarter but Coventry started to win the midfield battle where Boro are looking a little lightweight with Tav playing much deeper than he looks comfortable with and has struggled a bit with his passing. Whether Warnock needs to bring on Siliki to beef it up his perhaps is his only real option unless the multitasking Dijksteel gets another new position to try out.

Hernandez has looked much sharper than I had expected and has done well and looked Dangerous as he's linked up with Jones and Crooks. Maybe Ikpeazu would be the player to make way to allow Crooks and Tav to play further up the pitch but Coventry have looked the better side since about 25 minutes and could easily have scored.

Anyway, it's been an entertaining energetic first 45 but maybe the heat will start to tell after an hour so early subs probably needed - plus Boro have picked up a couple of early yellows to add to the worry. Losing McNair limits some of the options to change shape but I feel something needs to happen to avoid losing this one.

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by werdermouth

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Original Fat Bob
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Dijksteel poor today and quite a few more. Missed McNair at the back 

OFB


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Original Fat Bob
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I did say in the preview that Simon Moore had been impressive for Coventry and his triple save early in the second half was indeed a match winner 

OFB


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Andy R
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Bugger.

A very entertaining, end-to-end, open game but ultimately a disappointing outcome.

A rare off day for Djiksteel and Bamba looked vulnerable at times but again so little protection from midfield. Unfortunately Jones and Ikpeazu’s first ineffective games for us.

On the plus side, I thought both Hernandez and Lea Siliki showed promise and we can look forward to them getting fully up to speed.


werdermouth
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Well it was an open game but from Boro's point of view they were too open and Coventry won the midfield and took advantage of Boro's poor passing. Dijksteel had one of his worst games and Tav also made too many errors plus Ikpeazu didn't really get into the game either - though they were not alone as the team struggled to compose themselves.

I thought bringing on Siliki was going to shore up midfield but if anything he played more as an attacking midfielder - though to be fair he looked good on the ball and made some good passes and crosses. Crooks tried his best to drag Boro through the game and was every where putting his body on the line and my pick of the best.

Still another loss has left Boro just two points off a relegation spot rather than making a promotion challenge. Nevertheless, there was much encouragement from the new signings with Hernandez looking sharp and Siliki also seems to have a bit extra - Sporar also appears to possess a bit of extra quality too.

The challenge is for Warnock to find the right blend and hopefully sooner rather than later and get some wins on the board. OK, it's early days but the problem with the Championship is that the games come thick and fast and before you know it a team can find themselves out of touch if they're not careful.

At least it wasn't dull and I enjoyed watching the game in which Coventry were worthy winners.


Malcolm
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No further forward are we. Bamba should have been taken off at half time and a defensive reshuffle made. Early days yet but we need to start collecting some points otherwise  and hope I am wrong  but we don't want midtable mediocrity setting in. Over to you Neil.


Redcar Red
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We have won nine games out of thirty three games played in 2021 and today just confirmed for me that Warnock is washed up. The Football has been dire since last year (which wasn't exactly great even then) and it is getting worse, much worse.

It's not quite as bad as Pulis to watch (but not much better), the confused bewildered look on the Players faces is reminiscent of when Mowbray battered their brains with his tactics and couldn't face up to the fact that he was repeatedly getting it badly wrong. Maybe time is being kind but I don't think it was actually this bad under Strachan. 

Whatever way you look at it this squad of Players is far better than we are witnessing out on the pitch and there are far too many players now regressing for it to be a coincidence. Unfortunately it will have to turn toxic once again I suspect before the penny drops. 


Malcolm
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@redcarred Spot on RR. 


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PaulInBoro
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As a certain Mr Vickers says bugger, only listened to a bit on the radio all very disheartening


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K P in Spain
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Well new players but same old problems of poor goals conceded and an inability to take the few chances we had.

Apart from the first 20 mins when Hernandez, Jones and Crooks linked well we were second best for large parts of the game.

There is a lack of real quality in the side with far too many players unable to keep the ball or find a team mate when passing, which for most of the game was poor; crossing, corners and free kicks were poor and very often failed to find a team mate.

Whilst Hernandez, Spoorar and Siliki all showed promise that is little consolation when the rest of the team are not at the required level.

The midfield looks even weaker than it has done and we could seriously regret moving on Morsy.

I agree with RR, we are not seeing performances and results  improving and like Mowbray and   Monks teams, we look like headless chickens and more akin to a Sunday league side than one supposedly looking to achieve top six.

I don’t do it often but I turned off after the second one went in. Totally dejected and fed up with another typical Boro performance. 🙁😎


Boroexile
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@malcolm

If you offered me now mid-table mediocrity this season and a guaranteed place in the Championship next season I would grab it with both hands.  As RR points out the performances are getting worse and on the current trajectory not only is  mid-table a pipe dream but relegation is not out of the question by any means.  Ken suggested in his earlier post that it will take two years for Boro to be challenging for promotion but on today’s evidence you can add a zero to the two and you might be closer to reality.  Desperately disappointing yet again.


Andy R
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@redcarred

It’s not often I disagree with you RR but I really think what we’ve seen this season is nowhere near as bad as Strachan and considerably better to watch than Pulis. In fact, despite results, I think this year’s Boro are actually quite good to watch.

Results need to follow though. Not winning every week - we’re not good enough for that - but enough results to get us in the playoff mix.

There’s a huge amount of churn in the squad and it will take time to come together. It may be that by the time it does, the playoffs are a long shot but there again, if you do manage to get into the top six, you want to go in with momentum and that’s the sort of season we might get if everything falls into place.

My main concern is central midfield and protecting the back four. Howson can’t do it on his own and what on earth happens when he’s unavailable, as he will be for at least ten games this season?

It’s not bad to watch though. Not in comparison to what we’ve seen for most of the last fifteen years.


Redcar Red
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@andy-r

The good bits are only tasters or should that be teasers of what might be. Fifteen minutes here and there of some decent passages of football whilst invariably losing doesn't make it better for me to watch although it is fifteen minutes more than we seen from Pulis in total.

My detachment, frustration and disinterest has been building over a succession of poor management choices and their decision making whilst in post. The Woodgate appointment just about finished me before he even took charge of a single game and while I am grateful to NW for keeping us up the entirety of 2021 has been massively underwhelming. Considering the Players he has had at his disposal he just seemingly drains the life out of them. Watching Tav, Jones and Dijksteel today just reinforces that he is strangling all hope.


Clive Hurren
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A very chastening and disheartening defeat. I honestly felt beforehand that we might see a change in momentum today and a potential Boro win. Wrong again, Clive, as my wife very often says. 

I didn’t see the game, so I can’t comment much, but a couple of things seem clear from all the reports. 1) If you remove a battler like Morsy from the line-up, then leave Howson to protect the defence on his own, is it any wonder that the midfield gets overrun? And my understanding is that Siliki is much more an attacking midfielder than he is a holding player, so we could well continue to struggle in this area unless NW can use someone like McNair to shore things up. I’m sure Crooks could do it, but I’d rather see him further forward. 2) The unfortunate injury to McNair (not a surprise given how much he gets used by Northern Ireland) left us very short defensively. Bamba is clearly not the answer. Where’s Nathan Wood when you need him? Oh, I forgot, we loaned him out. Yet more questionable decision-making. Someone commented above that NW needed to take Bamba out at half-time and reshuffle the defence; couldn’t he have moved Dijksteel into the back 3 - he’s played very well at centre-back before? 

Worrying times. A further loss at Forest midweek might see a few knives being sharpened by the home crowd against Blackpool. And I worry that it may take a while for the newest arrivals to settle in and to gel with the rest. That’s time we haven’t got. 


PaulInBoro
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@clive-hurren if and when the crowd persuades Warnock to finally retire who would you like to see in the job given our catastrophic track record in selecting managers in the last few years.  Maybe it will be mr Aladyce and the we will have had the unholy trinity of managers. I agree with Redcar Red and like him  I am becoming more disillusioned with it all


 


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Ken Smith
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I think that some of us underestimate our opponents. Was I the only one who thought Coventry would win 2-0. Nottingham Forest are now due a win whilst suddenly Blackpool at home, whilst Reading and Hull away, and Sheffield United at home suddenly look difficult matches. Will Boro win any of their next 5 games or will we have to wait for the visit of Peterborough for our next win? Surely not!


Redcar Red
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Posted by: @ken

I think that some of us underestimate our opponents. Was I the only one who thought Coventry would win 2-0. Nottingham Forest are now due a win whilst suddenly Blackpool at home, whilst Reading and Hull away, and Sheffield United at home suddenly look difficult matches. Will Boro win any of their next 5 games or will we have to wait for the visit of Peterborough for our next win? Surely not!

Very good points Ken but time waits for no man and if NW struggles over the next 5 games with the ineptitude shown since the start of the year let alone the start of this season's opening 6 games then his tenure has to be in jeopardy. Put bluntly I'd expect him to do the honourable thing and as things stand I see no reason to think that will not be the inevitable outcome.

This post was modified 3 months ago by Redcar Red

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PaulInBoro
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Just seen the low lights very poor defending Bamba is no Thiago that's for sure, I know we have no divine right to win, let's face it we are not Man Utd, but Warnock is not the answer surely.


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K P in Spain
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Posted by: @redcarred
Posted by: @ken

I think that some of us underestimate our opponents. Was I the only one who thought Coventry would win 2-0. Nottingham Forest are now due a win whilst suddenly Blackpool at home, whilst Reading and Hull away, and Sheffield United at home suddenly look difficult matches. Will Boro win any of their next 5 games or will we have to wait for the visit of Peterborough for our next win? Surely not!

Very good points Ken but time waits for no man and if NW struggles over the next 5 games with the ineptitude shown since the start of the year let alone the start of this season's opening 6 games then his tenure has to be in jeopardy. Put bluntly I'd expect him to do the honourable thing and as things stand I see no reason to think that will not be the inevitable outcome.

Spot on RR. I posted before the end of last season that if the results and performances continued into this season the atmosphere at the Riverside would turn toxic and that NW would probably leave before Christmas; at the minute that is looking a distinct possibility.

Your 2021 statistics really make grim reading and the fact that it is spread over two seasons is probably working in NW's favour as regards retaining his job. There again if you believe NW then last season was ended by Blackburn and the injury to DF and a red card not being issued!

The majority of the players yesterday were not completely new to the team so "time to get to know one another" cannot be used as an excuse for what, for me, was a fairly inept performance.

I am struggling to remember the last time I watched the Boro and thought we were by far the best team, bossed the opposition and really controlled the game and imposed our game plan on them.

To me, under a series of managers, when we try to play a more expansive game we appear to lose our shape and structure and eventually pay the price.   I am not advocating going back to Pulis ball but we need to do something to get us back to a team which has a solid defence (once the best in the Championship) and from which we can then try and move the ball quicker and with accuracy during the transition phase and then of course stick it in the back of the net!

Perhaps we need to get back to a traditional back four with square pegs in square holes. On yesterday's performance the midfield did not perform and perhaps, once fit, PM needs to be employed in that area as a protection for the back four but with licence to advance when the situation allows.

Whatever happens, as you have often said, the team can't keep doing the same things and expecting different outcomes and we can't keep waiting for players to get up to speed.

If we continue playing as we did yesterday, I am not convinced that we can maintain our presence in this league let alone consider making a push for a top six spot, which currently looks light years away. 😎


Philip of Huddersfield
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Even after 6 matches the table doesn’t lie.
Played 6 games with 6 points, won 1 with 6 goals scored and 8 conceded. Continue like this and even mid table is out of the question .

This is the exact opposite of the start supporters we’re hoping for.

It wouldn’t be so bad if lots of chances had been created but missed, they had controlled the games and it had been acknowledged that they had played well. But that’s not the case.

A good manager , faced with these results so far, would set up the team to grind out a couple of results to get momentum to play the game he prefers. 

it will be interesting to see what NW does but whatever the result his post match comments are likely to include “ we played some good stuff today “ - I’d rather it include we were a bit lucky today and I’m pleased we won.

Philip of Huddersfield 


Clive Hurren
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Posted by: @paulinboro

@clive-hurren if and when the crowd persuades Warnock to finally retire who would you like to see in the job given our catastrophic track record in selecting managers in the last few years.  Maybe it will be mr Aladyce and the we will have had the unholy trinity of managers. I agree with Redcar Red and like him  I am becoming more disillusioned with it all


 

Paul. I think it would need to be somebody much younger with a good track record and who espouses a progressive playing style. Somebody like Eddie Howe, but a cheaper version. There have been many gems unearthed in the lower leagues over the years. Michael Appleton - though no longer that young- has done a belting job at Lincoln, while Ian Evatt did a fantastic job at Barrow and has already got a reviving Bolton playing very well in League 1. 


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Clive Hurren
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A couple of you have mentioned NW’s excuses. It riled me yesterday when he came out with those ludicrous statements about ‘the penalties, dear me…….’ So once again he was blaming the ref. It seems his default deflection method after a shoddy defeat. Not good enough, Neil. 


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PaulInBoro
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@clive-hurren maybe the new director football knows somebody


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Original Fat Bob
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@clive-hurren

i would go for another Continental Manager and I’m afraid i agree Warnock has to go and quickly 

OFB 


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Redcar Red
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I'd take a punt on Lampard, I reckon he would be ready for another challenge and at least has the pedigree of working with top coaches throughout his career and a united nations dressing room which will be the way forward with Boro if this transfer windows dealings are anything to go by. 


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