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JoeH

Bristol City (A) - Bradley Dack's Christmas Break

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9 hours ago, OnePhilT said:

It's great to have won in this manner, but I think we need to recognise how easily it could have been different. Bristol City had three clear chances to equalise in the first-half, and even in their awful second-half performance, they had a glaring opportunity to do the same. We are (whether we like it or not) fortunate that it didn't happen, and we went on to capitalise to make it 2-0.

I've no doubt that Mowbray will be looking at one or two of those events in order to work on it, because we're far from comfortable winners of any given match. Not being negative, but the nerves I had throughout our slender lead are justified, I think!

A very fair summary. We played well all over the pitch and deserved to win but did have Lady Luck in our bed.

I do think that over time we will see a lot more from Holtby.

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That was a complete performance against a very good side. Bristol City are as low as they are because of an horrific run of injuries they are recovering from. Yes we were very fortunate not to concede twice but three other scoring chances they carved out were denied by superb defensive work plus an exceptional Walton save.

Notable Casey Palmer not even in their squad...

The second half in particular was a supreme performance from the team almost totally nullifying Bristol City in every aspect of the game. 

One game but that looked like a promotion outfit out there and I cannot think I have felt that way about any game in the Championship since 2001.

Walton made me feel completely comfortable about seeing him in goal for the first time this season, Bell showed there is a great left back under that laconic demeanour at long last, Johnson immense, Lenihan even immenser (not a word but it is how I feel), Bennett deployed where his strengths are best used and the lad showed he knows his limitations so didn't try what he can't do, Holtby showed today why he has those German caps, Travis energy and skill fabulous. Nyambe continues to display form which points to him.becoming a fabulous wing back.

I also think we saw a glimpse of a £12m future up front. Pairing Gallagher and Brereton worked. Gallagher was the unsung hero working all across the front line looking dangerous whenever on the ball and was veritably the first line of defense when we were out of possession.

Brereton had a few moments we all despair of but he also did many things to confound the view he isn't a footballer.

Two final points. 

1) A poster rightly observed Johnson raised his arms in celebration before Armstrong had scored. He raised his arms in celebration after looking at the linesman having seen he had played the ball before Arma could go offside!

2) What do you do with Dack Downing Evans Rothwell and Graham? That eleven yesterday deserve another start.

Edited by philipl

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17 minutes ago, philipl said:

 

2) What do you do with Dack Downing Evans Rothwell and Graham? That eleven yesterday deserve another start.

It goes without saying that Dack will be back in for Brereton. He has earned it much more. After that, it's hard to predict what TM will do with the rest. I suspect Rothwell won't start though.

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5 hours ago, old darwen blue said:

I also predicted a 0-2 result pal, something big occurred today in relation to our season as a whole. I’d love to see a 90 minute recording of the game. 

Having watched West Brom struggle against big clubs bullying initially today I’d suggest we can beat anyone in the division. That includes Leeds who we will smash again at home. 

Great post pal, great to hear from overseas fans who’s posts I would rather read than some in this country who probably have never been to Ewood. Don’t take any criticism to heart. 
 

Oh yeah,

 

Ay Caramba......I think

Maybe set up a crowd funding page to get him over for a game. Just a thought.

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2 hours ago, philipl said:

 

2) What do you do with Dack Downing Evans Rothwell and Graham? That eleven yesterday deserve another start.

You make it sound like they will never play again.

Remember it's Mowbray, they will all probably get a start before we go to Huddersfield on the 29th.

As for the next game, I'd bring in Dack for Brereton & Armstrong for Bennett and let the other 9 have another crack at it.

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The run we have been on but the last week in particular is what we are all about as a club. Working hard, tackling, doing it for the club, great team ethic and many other things for which we are renowned. Significantly for me Mowbray seems to have ditched his new world passing game and gone back to the values we love. In the early part of the season I saw confusion from the players as to what way they should be playing. Of course we can pass it when it's on but we now seem to be seeing a mix of styles which is proving effective.

My message to Mowbray would be don't over complicate things and play to our strengths with the players we have.

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Just now, arbitro said:

The run we have been on but the last week in particular is what we are all about as a club. Working hard, tackling, doing it for the club, great team ethic and many other things for which we are renowned. Significantly for me Mowbray seems to have ditched his new world passing game and gone back to the values we love. In the early part of the season I saw confusion from the players as to what way they should be playing. Of course we can pass it when it's on but we now seem to be seeing a mix of styles which is proving effective.

My message to Mowbray would be don't over complicate things and play to our strengths with the players we have.

This!

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What a great week!  All the travelling over the past few days has been more than worthwhile.  Yesterday I thought we were as good as we've been for a long while.  I think the manager proved yesterday that you can chop and change the players if you have the right game plan - and we have had that in recent weeks.  As arbitro said, we seem to be mixing the passing style that Mowbray wants with a more direct and combative style when needed.  

Leaving Johnson out seems to have done him a world of good.  It now looks slimmer and far more mobile - the sort of player I thought we had signed in the first place.  The spirit within the camp looks excellent - what a brilliant job Mowbray has done in that regard.  

 

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I liked Walton, Holtby and Johnson. But I must hold my hand up, Bell who I’ve criticised heavily had an impressive return and, most of all, Gallagher showed that unceasing endeavour can affect the course of a game in a big way. Time and again he made the Bristol defenders rush their options to force mis-hit passes or win a throw in. Great stuff.

Bristol did have some big chances in the first half but Walton and Lenihan made great stops. In the second half we looked much the better team. Let’s not stuff it up in the next 2 games!

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7 minutes ago, MarkBRFC said:

You make it sound like they will never play again.

Remember it's Mowbray, they will all probably get a start before we go to Huddersfield on the 29th.

As for the next game, I'd bring in Dack for Brereton & Armstrong for Bennett and let the other 9 have another crack at it.

I don’t think you can leave out Evans or Downing either. We have a busy schedule over Christmas so they will all play their part. The fact that we have 17/18 players in contention for a start says it all. Our squad depth is seriously impressive. 
 

This must be the best run of form we’ve been in since relegation from the Prem. 6 wins in 8 is phenomenal. I genuinely didn’t think we had it in us. 

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I would be tempted to stick with the same eleven for Wigan knowing that we are going to be starting 18 different players over the Christmas period.

That performance yesterday was so exceptional I'd give that eleven the opportunity of an encore at Ewood.

Edited by philipl

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31 minutes ago, MarkBRFC said:

 

30 minutes ago, arbitro said:

The run we have been on but the last week in particular is what we are all about as a club. Working hard, tackling, doing it for the club, great team ethic and many other things for which we are renowned. Significantly for me Mowbray seems to have ditched his new world passing game and gone back to the values we love. In the early part of the season I saw confusion from the players as to what way they should be playing. Of course we can pass it when it's on but we now seem to be seeing a mix of styles which is proving effective.

My message to Mowbray would be don't over complicate things and play to our strengths with the players we have.

That’s the thing. I don’t think he has ditched it. He’s just married it up with the hard work we historically do. Some of the goals and passing moves we’ve played and scored in the last few weeks have been amazing. We are a VERY different proposition to last season now. 

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Just now, arbitro said:

At the risk of upsetting any purists a couple of incidents pleased me yesterday and allayed some fears for me personally. The first was when Gallagher was assaulted by the Bristol player and a couple of were confrontational to him as he was on the ground. Several Rovers players sprinted over and stood up for their teammate. The other was at half time when there was clearly an incident in the tunnel. Again several players sprinted down the tunnel to support whoever was involved.

When I hear the words 'team spirit' that type of incident encompasses it.

 

I reckon Bradley Johnson being in the team helps, he very much reminds me of a Savage type figure in the team. Tough choice picking the middle 2 now, Travis has to be first choice for me but we have 2 excellent partners in Evans and Johnson (if they can keep it up) now which is fantastic. 

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Yesterday we brought in players who are capable of maintaining a decent work rate and I believe that is lacking in a number of players who were left out.

We played fitter players with arguably less technical ability against a team which made few changes and likely only at 90%.

Gallagher is a completely different player to Graham but covers far more ground and keeps the press further up the pitch.

Likewise, Bennett against Arma and Holtby against Dack. Johnson is similar to Evans but, if fit, is a better all rounder.

Bell, by all accounts is the revelation from yesterday and I will happily eat humble pie if he can fill our problem LB position.

Great problem for TM and us to decide who plays in the next game - that's exactly what a successful team needs.

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18 hours ago, philipl said:

Struth, what's that.

Tony go and have a lie down, all this thinking is not good for you..

I will put my hand up- that was my post at 2.55 yesterday (Blackburn time)

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15 hours ago, benhben said:

Amazing result. We would have all been well happy if you offered 4 points from Swans and Bristol away. 3rd in the form table. 

A good January and who knows. 

Credit to Lenihan this run started as soon as he came back from injury. 

We turned the corner when Lenihan was made captain and Bennett was dropped, and subsequently kept away from the right back role.

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Another game when everyone put in effort, no-one had a bad game. For me I would say Bell had a reasonable game. That is a massive improvement on his previous performances. Hopefully Bell has had the kick up the backside that he needed 

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8 hours ago, OnePhilT said:

I'm going to sound a bit like David Icke here, but his downturn started against our home defeat to Luton. Right after the Derby drink-driving incident when there were rumours of Johnson being present there.

I didn't realise he was present for that incident.

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An excellent days work and result to build on the solid point at Swansea and put us into a good position heading into the hectic Xmas period. I hope we use the next week to recover, refresh and get ready to hit the 4 games with confidence. Without wanting to get carried away the way we have been playing recently gives me confidence against anyone, and having done such a good job yesterday at nullifying Bristol none of these games fill me with trepidation. If we can maintain our efforts of recent weeks there are plenty of points to be won. 

What we don't want is complacency. Wigan first up will be coming to battle and Cook will have them cheating and using all sorts of tricks to try and stop their losing run away from home. We will be expected to win the game and these tend to be the ones we struggle in.

Yes Bristol had a few decent chances, particularly in the first half, but not many sides will go there and keep a clean sheet. We restricted them to one attempt on target. I expected a long, painful second half with us clinging on to our lead and eventually conceding, but I was very impressed with how we managed to neuter Bristol to ensure they had very little by way of attempts and couldn't get any momentum going.

All the more pleasing given it was done with several players we would consider to be 'second string' e.g. Johnson, Holtby, Brereton and Gallagher - people who haven't been starting games during this good run whilst the big players in that good run - Dack, Graham, Evans, Armstrong - missing or rested. 

Table is still too tight to draw any conclusions from at this stage - a couple of wins and it could be 3rd or a bad week and bottom half. Just about continuing to pick up wins and get through to February in the right area.

Even more sweet to see Lee 'Poison Dwarf' Johnson losing his rag, you know we've done a job on him and his team when the cocky facade slips and the nasty side shines through. 

Whatever has changed behind the scenes long may it continue. Mowbray has stopped a slide and turned the season around in the space of a month. Probably where his experience comes in as a younger manager might have crumbled when it wasn't working. 

 

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I’d go back to the lads who’ve been winning every week for us. Gallagher, Holtby and now Johnson are hammering down the door. Which keeps Graham, Evans and Travis on their toes. Player most at risk is Rothwell. He blows hot and cold but I think he’s done enough to hold off Holtby for now.

Edited by Paul Mani

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