I absolutely hate to be critical of players because they aren’t doing it on purpose. It just isn’t happening for a handful and it is worth trying a few out to see if our luck changes with a few changes.
The problem is we aren’t blessed with a big squad.
Hopefully we can get through to January in an average position in the table.
good performance when we have the ball in the middle third. around the attacking 18 we are less impressive.
we have lots of the ball, but the opposition are in front, and are sitting back, managing the game fairly easily.
their keeper didn't have to make a save in the second half.
we also have lots of lightweight tacklers, who lose out on 50/50 battles for one reason or another [height, strength, technique, will to win the challenge].
looks pretty put needs someone to add the feeling something will happen near goal.
Inability to score or keep clean sheets isn't a good recipe.
Appleton has tightened things up a bit, but fixing the problems at the other is going to be more difficult. Lightweight midfield that want to walk it in rather than have a pop or play early balls. 2 centre forwards that don't get service, 1 of which that brings banjos to mind.
We won't go down, but it might get more uncomfortable before it gets better.
Good performance. Not over-impressed with Portsmouth and I can see why they are struggling, though I think they’ll pick up a few wins yet. Not promotion material though. We should have been more clinical, especially when Portsmouth started playing deeper. The problem tonight was being goal-shy and no composure in and around the box. O’Connor, Andrade, Toffolo, Eardley and Shackell the best of us. Honourable mention for Connolly who I thought did very well as a CB. Walker was anonymous. For me, Thommo summed up the problem with Akinde, which is that he doesn’t get across defenders and make things happen in the box - he gets into a position and then waits for the ball to come to him. When he does get into a clear position or beat the defender his touch is not good. On to Bolton - looks like we’ve timed it right again - just as Bolton get themselves back on track ??
Back four were solid enough. And Morrell and O'Connor did there jobs. Up top is a problem. Not really getting in behind. Only danger came from Bruno. Walker has to play through the middle. Akinde doesn't make any runs or hold the ball up well. Payne scampers around alot with good close control, but absolutely no end product and eventually gives the ball away. Anderson does what it says on the tin. Grant delivers a good pass and dead ball.
So in conclusion. We need two better forwards. One that can hold the ball up and be mobile. The other who doesn't faff about with it and has an end product.
Roll on January. Until then I'll take nil nils.
Payne looked like a serious upgrade on McCartan in the early games, skillful, intelligent, very busy, always involved whereas McCartan could be anonymous for long periods but could then produce magic. But Payne's decision making and end product is poor. I like the lad, he's a real trier and with lots of skill in his locker, but nothing seems to come of it.
A challenge for MApp and the coaches to get more out of him to make the best of the talent and drive he obviously has.