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Rovers 0 City 0


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Match Report by Scotty

Very difficult to write a match report tonight because there was so little to report. It looked like two tired teams who were set up to not concede rather than score.

City were better than us in the first half. They worked harder and closed us down all over the pitch. Our defence kept them out though because our defence is ace. City didn't have a shot of note. We didn't have an attack of note. The first half was a non-event.

We were better in the second half, but not much better. We had a brief flurry at the start of the half and then the game reverted to a dull midfield battle. Stead had a couple of half-chances that James saved and, apart from that, I can't think of a decent chance for either side.

The game was pants basically.

Full credit to our defence. I've got blase about them now. I expect them to keep clean sheets and they didn't let me down today. Shaun Wright-Philips, Fowler et al weren't a factor today. Todd and Matteo had especially good games.

Our midfield was poor at times. We lost possession too often and got out battled in the first half. Pedersen had his normal sort of game except he didn't score. And when he doesn't score Pedersen's quite ordinary. Reid was energetic yet wasteful, Emerton lively yet annoying, Mokoena was defensive but poor in attack. Thompson came on (for Savage who didn't look fit throughout) in the second half and gave the ball away lots.

Up front Stead was poor in the main. He had a couple of snap-shots that tested James but he failed to hold the ball or pass the ball on many occasions. Gally came on late on (for Pedersen - meaning a switch to 4-4-2) and looked impressive - could have been interesting if he'd have been given another ten minutes.

It was a poor game, but there's lots of reasons to excuse it. It was a hot, blustery day, the pitch looked hard and bobbley, both teams were tired after 3 games in a week, and both teams were safe in the league.

We're on 40 points now. We'd have all given our right knacker to get that many points at Xmas!

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Post Match Managers Comments

Mark Hughes:

"It was a bit of a struggle for both teams. The conditions did not lend themselves to flowing football.

"We never looked in any danger of losing. We felt we had the better of the chances and play but couldn't get the breakthrough we deserved.

"City were well organised. They kept their shape and got men behind the ball and made things difficult for us."

Stuart Pearce:

"It was one of those games where it was a scrap. Sometimes you have to do that in the Premiership.

"Both sides cancelled themselves out - they had one lone striker with 10 players behind the ball.

"It wasn't pretty at times but we have come away from home and kept a clean sheet so I am happy with that."

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