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Is the answer to the question........


Stripperg-ram
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......'Why are we so much better at defending this season?'

Any of the following;

A) Alex Pearce?

B) The only good residual thing about Pearsons tenure?

C) Alex Pearce?

D) Bradley Johnson at DM?

E) Mclarens learned how to defend as well as attack?

7) Alex Pearce?

¥) No Shackell?

X) Other?

15) All of the above.?

 

answers on a postcard......

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Combination of all the following for me

1. Good quality coaching based around positional awareness and concentration in key areas

2. The continuity of centre backs in Pearce and keogh

3. Bit of luck at the right times. Opposition hitting post, bar, missing a good cut back in the 6 yard box, good saves from carson

4. Self belief and confidence that we are not going to concede at any minute

5. The outstanding positional play of Pearce. This goes unnoticed but he is superb at reading danger and making good interceptions in and around the box

6. The form of Bradley Johnson screening the back 4

7. The fact we have taken the lead in games and teams have to be a bit more open against us.

 

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22 minutes ago, rynny said:

Our defence hasn't been as bad as many would like to make out.

15/16 - 43 conceded

14/15 - 56 conceded

13/14 - 52 conceded

In 14/15 after 43 games we had conceded 46 goals, just that we conceded 10 in those final 3 games. We also set a club record for clean sheets in a row that year (6 games)

Yep our defence has been amongst the best in the division for the past few seasons. And we've had some horribly luck with injuries throughout those seasons. The holding mid regularly changing due to Thorne/Eustace/Mascarell injuries, Forsyth missed most of last season, Barker missed 3+ years, Buxton had that back problem and missed half a season, Albentosa brought the wrong shoes over and missed many months and then there was the latter part of the 14/15 season where Keogh had a different centre back partner every week, including full backs playing there. That theme has seemed to continue into this season too unfortunately, Forsyth with a bad injury again, Christie out for months, Thorne injured again and we seem to have a different left back playing every week.

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1 minute ago, Cam the Ram said:

Yep our defence has been amongst the best in the division for the past few seasons. And we've had some horribly luck with injuries throughout those seasons. The holding mid regularly changing due to Thorne/Eustace/Mascarell injuries, Forsyth missed most of last season, Barker missed 3+ years, Buxton had that back problem and missed half a season, Albentosa brought the wrong shoes over and missed many months and then there was the latter part of the 14/15 season where Keogh had a different centre back partner every week, including full backs playing there. That theme has seemed to continue into this season too unfortunately, Forsyth with a bad injury again, Christie out for months, Thorne injured again and we seem to have a different left back playing every week because.

It almost feels like our inconsistent line ups, injuries and changes have brought a bout of consistency to the team :lol:

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51 minutes ago, Stripperg-ram said:

......'Why are we so much better at defending this season?'

Any of the following;

A) Alex Pearce?

B) The only good residual thing about Pearsons tenure?

C) Alex Pearce?

D) Bradley Johnson at DM?

E) Mclarens learned how to defend as well as attack?

7) Alex Pearce?

¥) No Shackell?

X) Other?

15) All of the above.?

 

answers on a postcard......

Try Scotty Carson. Leaving him off of that list of reasons is absolutely criminal. 

His marshalling of the back four, and excellent saves cannot be underestimated. An absolutely top class goalkeeper. Right up there.

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Under Pearson we weren't even that good defensively to say he appeared to base his tactics around not conceding over everything else.

Blackburn, Ipswich, Newcastle and even Carlisle all scored at Pride Park and when we did actually keep a clean sheet we had nothing at the other end to take advantage. The only win to clean sheet at home was Grimsby and away the win at Preston.

I think now the forwards are relieving some of the pressure from the defence although it has to be said the defence has been magnificent under Mac.

I said on here I thought it would turn out to be a mistake when Shackell was dropped for Pearce but I'm happy to say i got it completely wrong. Pearce has been a real rock and I especially liked the passion he showed when scoring against Wednesday. It meant something to him and you could just sense that.

The team overall IMO just look more fluent and motivated under Mac and confidence is a wonderful thing.

The most important thing to remember when we eventually ship stupid goals is to encourage the defence and forgive the odd bad performance or individual rick. We're on their side and they're on ours.

Please though, just one more clean sheet on Sunday lads please.

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Shackell had a brilliant time in the side last season and a good spell this season until his spell out of the side. But Pearce has suppassed him. Free transfer! The guy has been brilliant. 

Our defence has been great this season, but Steve has taken it to a new level. 4-4-2 didn't work with two lightweight midfielders, but Pearson didn't change it, the flaw was obvious. 

Johnson making the holding role his own has made it for me though. It's something we've lacked for years when Thorne wasn't fit. But now we have a viable alternative, and i'd go as far as saying he's surpassed Thorne's performances last season. Steve has helped Johnson hugely with this role. 

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57 minutes ago, Stripperg-ram said:

......'Why are we so much better at defending this season?'

Any of the following;

A) Alex Pearce?

B) The only good residual thing about Pearsons tenure?

C) Alex Pearce?

D) Bradley Johnson at DM?

E) Mclarens learned how to defend as well as attack?

7) Alex Pearce?

¥) No Shackell?

X) Other?

15) All of the above.?

 

answers on a postcard......

Midfield, including Russell and Ince, playing deeper, which also explains relative lack of goals and chances.

Because we start deeper,  we are playing it longer and not risking the one-touch stuff in our own half.

Hence, more tight games. 

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1 hour ago, Stripperg-ram said:

Or just a mirthful way of asking people why we're not as brittle at the back...?

Kenny Burns thinks that we are.

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32 minutes ago, SuperDerbySuperRams said:

Shackell had a brilliant time in the side last season and a good spell this season until his spell out of the side. But Pearce has suppassed him. Free transfer! The guy has been brilliant. 

Our defence has been great this season, but Steve has taken it to a new level. 4-4-2 didn't work with two lightweight midfielders, but Pearson didn't change it, the flaw was obvious. 

Johnson making the holding role his own has made it for me though. It's something we've lacked for years when Thorne wasn't fit. But now we have a viable alternative, and i'd go as far as saying he's surpassed Thorne's performances last season. Steve has helped Johnson hugely with this role. 

I was thinking of asking the question...will George get back in to the side when he is finally fit?

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16 minutes ago, Jimbo Ram said:

I was thinking of asking the question...will George get back in to the side when he is finally fit?

Probably in everyones best interests if he doesn't. Johnson keeps the role he's been doing well in and Thorne has no pressure to play through any of the inevitable niggles he'll get.

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12 minutes ago, Jimbo Ram said:

I was thinking of asking the question...will George get back in to the side when he is finally fit?

Echoing the other responses. The beauty of this is, it gives George time and space to make a full recovery. Quite a nice dilemma to have once he is fully fit and firing though.

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1 hour ago, SuperDerbySuperRams said:

Shackell had a brilliant time in the side last season and a good spell this season until his spell out of the side. But Pearce has suppassed him. Free transfer! The guy has been brilliant. 

Our defence has been great this season, but Steve has taken it to a new level. 4-4-2 didn't work with two lightweight midfielders, but Pearson didn't change it, the flaw was obvious. 

Johnson making the holding role his own has made it for me though. It's something we've lacked for years when Thorne wasn't fit. But now we have a viable alternative, and i'd go as far as saying he's surpassed Thorne's performances last season. Steve has helped Johnson hugely with this role. 

This is a very good point. Johnson is strong and tough, we know that from when he arrived but left on his own he is a bit of a buccaneer raider. I get the feeling that coaching has really helped him understand the role. He has got Thorne's  precision in passing but he has other assets that make up for it in terms his ankle biting and his heading has been excellent. 

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