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
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