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Unchanged Run Rare for Town
Unchanged Run Rare for Town
Monday, 3rd Oct 2011 13:01

Saturday was the first time Town had named an unchanged side for four successive games since the 1997/98 season. But that run is some way short of the club’s record unchanged run set in the 1991/92 Second Division championship-winning campaign.

Manager Paul Jewell stuck with the XI which had beaten Coventry and West Ham and drew with Middlesbrough - Stockdale, Cresswell, Edwards, Collins, Sonko, Bullard, Andrews, Bowyer, Leadbitter, Scotland and Chopra – for Brighton’s visit on Saturday and was rewarded with three more points.

The last time the Blues named a similarly consistent side was in April and May 1998 when George Burley fielded the following team for five games in a row: Wright, Stockwell, Taricco, Dyer, Venus, Cundy, Clapham, Holland, Johnson, Mathie and Petta.

That team beat Port Vale 5-1 at home, won 1-0 away at Bury, then recorded home victories over Sunderland, 2-0, and Crewe Alexandra, 3-2, before losing the play-off semi-final first leg against Charlton 1-0 at Portman Road.

A similar XI with Tony Mowbray replacing Mark Venus managed a five-game unchanged streak in February and March of the same season, beating Oxford United 5-2 at home, drawing 2-2 at Sunderland, winning 1-0 at Sheffield United, beating Charlton 3-1 at home and then running out 1-0 victors at Stockport.

In 1991/92 John Lyall named the same team – Forrest, Johnson, Thompson, Stockwell, Wark, Linighan, Milton, Palmer, Whitton, Dozzell and Kiwomya - for a remarkable 12 games in succession, a club record, as they carried off the Second Division title.

You can see that full run of fixtures and look at Town’s other longest unchanged streaks via a gadget added to the Pride of Anglia website by its owner Ralph Morris.

Paul Jewell appears to be emerging as the least tinkersome manager Town have had for some while having also named the same starting line-up for three consecutive games back in April - Lee-Barrett, McAuley, Delaney, Carson, Leadbitter, Edwards, Norris, Bullard, Kennedy, Wickham and Scotland - and February – Fülöp, McAuley, Delaney, Leadbitter, Edwards, Norris, Martin, Bullard, Kennedy, Wickham and Priskin.

Prior to Jewell’s appointment, the Blues had managed that just once in the preceding 11 years, under Joe Royle in October 2003 – Davis, Wilnis, Richards, Naylor, Santos, Magilton, Bart-Williams, Mahon, Wright, Couñago and Kuqi.

Thanks to Ralph Morris and Chris Rand for the number crunching.

Photo: Action Images

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

ipsuefa added 13:25 - Oct 3
Needless to say it really goes to show how a settled side makes a huge difference to morale, players knowing there positions/roles and so much more and ultimately results. Long may this continue.

arc added 13:25 - Oct 3
Ach, I was really enjoying reading the names of those players of yore until you went and included that last team, Phil. Santos... ugggg...

chirotractor added 13:30 - Oct 3
The side that sports Chris Bart-Williams, George Santos and Alan Mahon sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the others!

solemio added 13:42 - Oct 3
A little before yout time, Phil, but according to 'The Men Who Made the Town' the Championship winning team of 1961-2 had a 12 game unchanged run.

Apart from bringing in John Compton for Ken Malcolm at left back four games into the season all other changes made seem to have been for reasons of injury. You can't accuse Sir Alf of not knowing his best team.

PimsOclock added 13:49 - Oct 3
Wright, Stockwell, Taricco, Dyer, Venus, Cundy, Clapham, Holland, Johnson, Mathie and Petta.


PhilTWTD added 13:57 - Oct 3

Not according to Ralph's database, which I'd be foolish to argue with! There was a nine but not a 12:

Ebantiass added 14:02 - Oct 3
Brilliant that the team have begun to find its best 11 and thosde on the bench seem to be chomping at the bit which is brilliant. Its a squad game nowadays and we need 20+ players giving it all for the whole season.

TractorBeezer added 14:10 - Oct 3
The other remarkable aspect of the 61-62 era is that there were no substitutes and there were sometimes 3 games in 4 days e.g. Easter 1962. I recall that Ramsey only used 16 players as well!

sonian_blue added 14:24 - Oct 3
Funny how a settled team is synonomous with a successful run.
Coincidence...I think not.

solemio added 14:32 - Oct 3
A bit chicken and egg maybe?

Crock added 14:57 - Oct 3
Chirotractor obviously haven't got a clue about football if he thinks Bart-Williams wasn't good.

naa added 15:16 - Oct 3
Crock: or Alan Mahon for that matter. He was excellent in his loan spell with us and we really missed him when he went back early

pazelle added 15:21 - Oct 3
I don't think that the team with Priskin in was unbeaten then Scotland cried like a baby and it got changed...


chirotractor added 16:14 - Oct 3
Crock/NAA - Mahon only played 11 games and Bart-Williams just 10 in the 2003-2004 season, so not the same length of contribution to the team, rather than I 'haven't got a clue about football'

naa added 16:50 - Oct 3
chirotractor: not entirely sure what you mean. The teams mentioned are Burley's 98 team, the 91 team, the Royle team and two under Jewell. Both Jewell teams have players that are loan players. So how does the Royle team stick out? That's why I thought you were dissing Mahon etc, especially when you mentioned him alongside Santos!

RonFearonsHair added 18:01 - Oct 3
The 2-0 win over Sunderland in 1998 was awesome. Brilliant tempo, the sun setting during the game and live on the Sky cameras.

TheT added 07:01 - Oct 4
It's unlikely PJ will be able to make it 5 games unchanged with the weekend international action. Collins has already pulled out of the Wales squad due to a groin problem.

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