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Why I Don't Think We Will Make The Play Offs


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The obvious answer to this is we have a tough run in. Indeed that is part of the answer but by no means all of it 

Since Rooney arrived we have been the top performing side in the Championship and a very exciting talent has been added to the side in the last 3 games in Sibley. However I just don't see us getting the 5 wins from 7 games that we will probably need. 

The 2 reasons for my pessimism, not including the run in, are interwined and interdependent 

As the players, especially the older players aren't up to full match fitness yet, we will need to rotate the team selections now that we are moving into the period of 2 games a week. Many of the players were treading water in the last 30 minutes yesterday against a team who couldn't outplay us, started to outrun us. 

Now in terms of the squad's depth, we have lost Marriott and Lawrence (for 3 games). So despite having good cover at full back and DCM, our CB cover is a step down in fitness/quality and our front 4 cover is paper thin. This is also the area that needs to be kept fresh the most. We have Martin (with his chronic stomach complaint) Waghorn, a promising novice in Sibley and Josefzoon. We also have a fairly promising novice in Knight and a several games of being fit Holmes. 

Now those last 2 players will do a shift for us but neither are really suited to such an advanced atracking position.Now we could switch to 433 but I imagine Cocu would be loath to do this as he has found a formation that has been successful.

We survived with these issues through the first 2 games a week apart and against average opposition, but we have tougher tests to come.

A couple of things in our favour are the momentum we have from our run of results and our next 2 games are against the weakest of the 5 teams we have to play in the top 7. 

I sincerely hope I'm wrong but I feel we are going to finish a few points short of 6th this year.

 

 

 

Edited by sage
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12 minutes ago, sage said:

The obvious answer to this is we have a tough run in. Indeed that is part of the answer but by no means all of it 

Since Rooney arrived we have been the top performing side in the Championship and a very exciting talent has been added to the side in the last 3 games in Sibley. However I just don't see us getting the 5 wins from 7 games that we will probably need. 

The 2 reasons for my pessimism, not including the run in, are interwined and interdependent 

A couple of things in our favour are the momentum we have from our run of results and our next 2 games are against the weakest of the 5 teams we have to play in the top 7.

REALLY

I sincerely hope  we are going to finish a few points short of 6th this year.

 

 

FTFY

 

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2 minutes ago, Rampage said:

Believing that we can do it whilst we have a mathematical chance is what fans do. Enjoying the chance of making it to the Play Offs means a great deal to me. We have ten games to win, one at a time. I will stop believing when it cannot be done, but not before. COYR

Are you including the playoffs in those 10 games? 7 games left I think, win 5 and draw 1 and I think we will just about do it might get away with 5 wins 2 losses as long as we beat Cardiff. 

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26 minutes ago, sage said:

Well that is a factor but we've had them through our great run. 

True, but we’ve still been conceding too many goals. In all seriousness, it’s not solely on the goalkeepers - but if we don’t make it, I think it’ll be likely down to our defence. In my opinion, two key moments have really hurt our season - the failure to recruit a proper goalie in the summer, and Richard Keogh getting injured during Joiners-gate. With Keogh and a quality goalkeeper in this side, I think we make the playoffs with ease. We might still make them of course, but it’s gonna take something special.

Edited by Millenniumram
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17 minutes ago, Marriott Ram99 said:

Are you including the playoffs in those 10 games? 7 games left I think, win 5 and draw 1 and I think we will just about do it might get away with 5 wins 2 losses as long as we beat Cardiff. 

Including play offs MR99

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Of course, us not making the play-offs is the logical outcome.

But I think we have to remember football is anything but logical.

Let’s cast our minds back to last season. At a similar stage, we got swept aside by Blackburn and our season looked over.

We picked up 14 points from our next 6 games, including wins against promotion rivals Bristol City and WBA and a crucial point away at an in-form Swansea, and finished in 6th.

Can we take inspiration from that?

I think the next two will tell us all we need to know about Cocu and the boys.

Are they ready for these pressure cooker games? Or is it a year too soon?

6 points from the next two and I think everyone will start to believe.

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2 hours ago, Millenniumram said:

We might still make them of course, but it’s gonna take something special.

If we do get there, we will have earned it to the point where they may as well give us promotion. It really would be a phenomenal turn around, probably the best we've ever seen in the championship.

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The challenge will be for the players to show what this team is made of, and whether they have the qualities necessary to succeed. This will now become a test of character, as much as anything.

We will have to show that Poor Discipline is no longer an issue.
We’ve seen red cards four times this season with Lowe, Malone, bielik and Lawrence.
We have the worst disciplinary record in the top half of the table, with twice as many sendings offs as any other top-half team including Leeds and Millwall; And four times as many red cards as Forest. 
Similarly with yellows. If we use Leeds players as the benchmark, then “dirty“ players like Phillips, alioski and Ayling  average one Yellow card every four games. Lawrence has had more bookings than any of them - averaging 1 in 3. Shinnie averages a yellow card every 2 appearances, and Sibley is so far picking up a yellow card almost every game with 3 in 4 appearances. This could yet cost us again.

We will have to show that Poor away Performance is no longer an issue.

We have had a terrible away record this season - 6 consecutive defeats, and 13 consecutive away games without winning. Even since Wayne’s arrival,  prior to lockdown, we were still losing half of our away games - including defeat at Luton Town. we rarely keep a clean sheet. In fact, not a single away clean sheet this season. (The last away clean sheet was 14 months ago).

Time to demonstrate that we have achieved a remarkable transformation and that all of the above is irrelevant history. 


 

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A pretty good analysis of our shortcomings. Whilst the lack of crowds should help our away form & hotter weather should help our style (and partially compensate the lack of pace throughout the team), the reality is we're only really strong in midfield. Elsewhere the squad is quite patchy with striking options particularly threadbare. Is this the time to see how Hector-Ingram and Whitaker's pace could help the side?

Whilst I accept Reading outran us on Saturday in the second half, our control of the ball wasnt really good enough. If we're set up to play this way, we need to be much better at retaining possession when we lose momentum in games. Thats not a fitness issue, its a mindset and concentration issue.

P.s. @eezzeetiger really easy bite that 😂 

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