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Rovers 1 Leicester 0


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Match Report by Scotty

Souness stuck with the team that played and won so well at Fulham. I have to admit that I wasn't happy with the selection yet again. Winning away from home on a dodgy narrow pitch is one thing but using the same team to win a home game on a lush, wide pitch is another. I guess I was wrong again!

We started ok and, if anything, probably looked the better team for the first 15 minutes. Gresko had a deflected free-kick from about 25 yards out well saved by Walker but, apart from that, there was little goal mouth action. Leicester came back into it as the half went on and they had probably their best spell in the game from the 20 - 35 minute mark. They had lots of possession and pumped loads of balls into our box but, significantly, they never managed to create a single worthwhile chance on goal. We defended well.

Our goal just before half-time came a bit out of the blue. Lucas Neill, who'd been having a bit of a mare up to this point, played an excellent ball down the channel for Cole to run on to. Cole cleverly crossed across the face of the goal and Dabizas knocked the ball into the net before the on-rushing Stead could. Happy days.

So, 1-0 to the good guys at half-time but not much between the teams to be honest.

I thought we battered them in the second half. We pressed and pressed but didn't create enough in front of goal - too often the final ball let us down. After saying that Stead, Emerton and Cole all had good chances to put the game out of Leicester's reach.

At the other end we were guilty of defending too deep and inviting pressure. On the rare occasions that Leicester pressed we struggled to clear our lines and retain possession. Thankfully, we continued to defend well and they simply weren't good enough to create any decent chances.

It was very tense, nerve-wracking, and fraught towards the end but we held out and richly deserved the win. We were the better team, created the better chances, and were more hungry than Leicester.

From an individual point of view I thought our forwards were excellent. They may not have scored but they worked their socks off and looked a class above Leicester's forward line. Stead in particular was immense.

Our centre-halves also deserve special praise. Both Short and Amoruso coped admirably with the ariel threat posed by Leicester and, in Amoruso's case, he was also one of our best playmakers. People knock him but his positives far outweigh his negatives. We look a different, much better team when Amoruso plays. He was outstanding today.

There were many negatives but tonight isn't the night to point them out. None of them are new anyway. Let's just enjoy the win and revel in a fully committed, hard-working, scrappy win when we needed it most.

Don't be deceived though into thinking that we're an excellent team all of a sudden. Leicester were shockingly bad today considering it was a "must win game" for them. They looked devoid of ideas and struggled to string more than 3 passes together.

Thankfully, we won at home today for the first time since November. Which is obviously fantastic. However, we beat a poor, poor team who fully deserve to be relegated on today's performance. Hopefully this win will spur us on and we'll be comfortably safe from relegation come the end of the season.

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