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Let’s Do the Business at Ipswich and Have a Good End to the Season - Notes for Birmingham City
at 12:42:10

TractorBoyTommy - many thanks for chipping in with your comments and feedback, which are hugely appreciated.

Apologies if I struck a false note with the two Birmingham full-backs. There are always fewer comments made about defenders, and I read everything I could find back to the start of February for all of the back four (they did have plenty to say about Lee Camp!)

The sense I got with Maxime Colin was that he is a decent full-back but less confident about going forward, partly due to the model of football they have played under Monk. He was far more adventurous in his Brentford days but City fans did say that he was a great all-round full-back but lacking that small per cent of quality to take him to the next level.

I must confess that I did struggle to find much positive on Kristian Pedersen and that he did leave their fans nervous. On reflection, I wonder if he might be like the Norwich imports from Germany who really blossomed in their second season in England, and we may have yet to see the best from him. I am sorry if I missed the more laudatory comments but the wide sense I picked up was that he made many of them anxious.
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We Should Simply Not Be Worrying About Playing Ipswich at Home - Notes for Blackburn Rovers
at 11:32:37

Thanks everyone for your comments. I don't think there will be much to choose between the teams on Saturday, especially if Rovers haven't shaken off the bug that is doing the rounds up there at the moment.

Thanks for chipping in, Bangor31. We will see what Canaries have to say in a few weeks time. I'm sure they won't be nervous.....
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Never a Dull Moment With One-Off Beattie
at 00:26:43

Thank you Mel for sharing these wonderful, wonderful memories. As the years pass, we will all look back and thank the Beat for letting us be part of the ride.

There's a great Irish saying - "Ní fheicimid a leithéid arís" - we will never see his like again. A truly great man in every sense of the word.
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Derby New Favourites to Land Waghorn in Dramatic Late Twist
at 21:29:43

Well said Sitters. I just read the story to Mrs HfromB now and she also said "I thought they were Frank Lampard's Derby".

Joking aside, I can see why Derby want him. Without him, they risk becoming a third version of Steve McClaren's 4-3-3, lacking a front-man to make their dynamic play work. Playing him as a set-piece specialist or in a wide role at Boro would have been criminal and a waste of his talent.

I think we will all wish him well. He was a brilliant club ambassador in his time here, and both parties have benefited from his season at Portman Road.
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Ross and Hurst Remain Leading Contenders With Lampard Out of Race
at 11:40:29

In hindsight we shouldn't have been surprised that money would be a stumbling block with Lampard, although I thought it would have had more to do with transfer and player wage budgets than his own remuneration package.

Although there would have been an inevitable media circus, I don't think that Lampard would have been as poor as Roy Keane, who completely underestimated the challenge of managing Town.

I am certain that some Championship club, and probably one in a crisis, will stump up the money for Lampard. The problem he will have is that he won't be given the same amount of time to learn his trade as he would have had at Town. That however is what happens when money enters the equation. Good luck to him wherever he ends up.
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Hyam Reveals Town Exit
at 01:10:38

All the best Luke if you are reading this report. You played such a vital role both in helping keep us up and in keeping our threadbare midfield together in Mick's first season here. This should never be forgotten.

it's such a pity that your time was blighted by injuries but I am certain that you will always be warmly welcomed back at Portman Road when you return.
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Sherwood in Contention for Town Job
at 15:19:21

I could be wrong, but I sense that there might be a consensus emerging here...
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Sherwood in Contention for Town Job
at 14:38:03

If you are reading this, Marcus Evans this is a 'no'. And for the avoidance of doubt it is still a 'no'.
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Woolfenden Buzzing After Big Win on Championship Debut
at 00:32:44

I watched Luke at Palace in the League Cup earlier in season and on Saturday. In both games he was rock-solid, calm and composed, and he unfailingly did the simple things well. I also found these kind words about him on Bromley's message-board...

"Big thanks to Woolfenden for playing a not inconsiderable part in us getting to Wembley", "He has been an excellent part of the team and deserved to be involved at Wembley. Good luck for the future Luke, you’ll go far in the game I’m sure", "Welcome back here anytime."

"Luke did a good job for us and is going to be a very good player", "He more than played his part in getting Bromley to the [FA Trophy] final", "Well done to Woolfie for a clean sheet in his first League start for ipswich, I'm sure he will break into the first team next season." Enough said.
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We Have No Choice But to Back Garry Monk to the Hilt – Notes for Birmingham City
at 12:15:19

Thanks Bluebell. I am heading up as well and I am fascinated to see how we will play against a team who will be hugely motivated. Have a safe trip up to the West Midlands.

This is a game which really could go wrong for us but if we can see some of the never-say-die character which typified Mick's early years (e.g. the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in 2014) then it may augur well for the future. Tomorrow's game can be watched on several levels.
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My Nerves Have Been Already Shredded By This Season - Notes for Hull
at 13:12:46

Superblue95 - Hull's message-boards are relatively quiet for a club that has recently been in the top flight.

The City Independent forum used to be pretty active a few years ago but it carries very little detailed discussions nowadays. The Not606 one (linked above) is the only reasonably active board I have been able to find.
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It’s Never Too Soon to Get Promoted - Notes for Sheffield United
at 19:46:57

Cheers Seasider - I completely agree. The Blades don't have a deep squad and the loss of Coutts has hurt them even more than our loss of Emyr Huws. Teams are working them out without question, they gave Fulham a much closer run in their Bramall Lane epic before Christmas.

A number of Championship sides this season have been built around creative three-man midfields with Norwich, QPR and Fulham springing to mind. I sympathize with Mick using three primarily holding midfielders to absorb the threat even if the approach can be seen as too cautious.

I'm not sure that the Blades' midfield is on a level now with Norwich and it's certainly not at Fulham's level, so there is a case to play more assertively with someone like Ward linking with Waghorn and/or Garner. I wouldn't put is past Billy Sharp to score against us as is his wont and George Baldock will be a useful supply line to him.

I think that Mick sees Celina as an option in a 4-2-3-1 when we are behind as there is less consequence when he drifts out of position (as we are already behind). Playing him up against Baldock on our left as a wing-back would be a real risk if Baldock escapes his clutches.

I would love us to win tomorrow and have a devil-may-care dash at the playoffs. It would just be so much fun to end the season all guns blazing.
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Long May Our Current Ascendancy Continue! - Notes for Norwich City
at 12:39:52

shoopdelang - The 'Binners' reference is the only things they can find as a wind-up. It's based on a scene in 'Lovejoy' when (if I recall correctly) a binman finds a beanie hat with a Town crest on it and decides to wear it. They find it funny.

I'm sorry that this has come across as such a gloomy read, but let's wait and see how they are feeling next season when their parachute money finally does run out. The instalments next season could be a bit different, especially if their owners keep their hands in their pockets.
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McCarthy: Second Goal a Killer Blow
at 19:20:52

I think Mick's summation is spot on. I was following the game on the radio/chat room/ Sunderland forum and when the first goal went in it was clear that the Wearsiders' confidence was rocked. I remember thinking that a quick second goal would kill them and was thrilled when it went in.
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This Must Be One of the Least Inspiring Cup Ties in Years - Notes for Sheffield United
at 14:10:22

Cheers Radlett blue. I cross-checked this story with the definitive 'The Men who Made the Town' and I think the Blade who posted the comment may have misremembered events.

The book says that Harper was initially cautioned but was subsequently sent off for persistently protesting. No pushing the referee over was mentioned but the book's version suggested that the game was a heated and ill-tempered affair.
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Beat Ipswich and It Will Have Been a Brilliant Christmas Period – Notes for Fulham
at 14:30:54

A Happy New Year everyone, and a quick typo apology - Slavisa is 49 and not 29. I will get Phil to amend this latest attempt to knock decades off opponents' lives!
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Everything About Us Screams Mid-Table, Doesn’t It? - Notes for Sheffield Wednesday
at 15:45:58

Your observation about the Blades is spot on Steve, and in hindsight I should have included a paragraph or two on this. It is a quiet, annoying drum-beat which has been rumbling along in the background of the Owls' season.
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This Ipswich Game Could Not Have Come at a Worse Time for Us - Notes for Preston
at 09:19:44

Sam, there is nothing wrong with your post from my perspective.

I was at Cardiff and I the giveaway for me was Mick's substitutions at 2-0 down. Aftre these took place, the game lost much of its competitive edge until our late goal and Waghorn, who did play well, came on as much for a run-out as much as anything else. I would throw the kitchen sink at Preston and start McGoldrick, Waghorn, Garner and Celina.
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I Wouldn’t Like to Be the Team That Has to Go to Ipswich – Notes for Bristol City
at 12:01:02

Thanks Bluebell, I didn't include it but a good number of Robins linked the departure of Tomlin and the team's enhanced mental steel and sense of purpose. Sometimes this is just sour grapes but I wondered if he was holding them back last season. There may even be parallels to be drawn here with us.
Blog
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A Question of Balance
at 23:30:40

Cheers Stormypetrel. I can only go on what I witnessed first hand with an overlay of feedback from several Pompey supporters with whom I am in friendly terms.

I think that Webster is the most natural footballing defender I have seen at the club in years and his portfolio of strengths complements our back line and especially Luke Chambers' skills so very well. He doesn't have Chambers's fierceness or combative streak, but he is an excellent defensive technician and reads dangerous situations well.

It's not just that Webster is also comfortable on the ball and seems (like Andre Dozzell in fact) to have time on the ball. He can also pick a pass - and a pass with some creativity behind it - without looking, whether this is after bringing the ball out of defence in a back four or linking play with wing backs in a three-man defence. I have seen him do this consistently every time I have seen him first hand, most recently at Luton.

Webster had been blighted by the injury curse which has affected the squad, but if he were to form a consistent working partnership with Chambers I reckon it could transform us from looking for mid-table respectability to having a side looking at a run at the play-offs.
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