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Match thoughts
at 20:07 15 Sep 2018

This is the first time under Hurst that I've been really disappointed with him and his decisions. There have been positives to take from all league games so far this season hence he hardly deserved a criticism in my opinion. Today though I don't know what his match plan was.

First goal in which Downes was dispossessed like a schoolboy proved what a wrong and bizarre decision was to let him play. However there was still more than 86 minutes to play, plenty of time, no reason to panic. What followed that goal was a painful, horrible Mick McCarthy's stuff in which we kept hoofing towards Walters and no central midfield whatsoever. That dodgy pair of central backs in Burke and De Wijs had no problems at all when dealing with that 'tactic'. The problems seemed to appear for them in the last 10 minutes of the first half where we tried to play differently. Couple of crosses from Graham, Edwards' shot impressively blocked by their defence.
However for the first 35 minutes of the match we made poor Hull team looked good and I dare to say that their passing was particularly fine. Why couldn't we play like a s**te Hull team?

Horrible half so changes were inevitable. Downes to be taken off for example as he offered nothing. Bafflingly though Hurst didn't make any. Players like Edun, Chalobah or one of Jackson and Harrison would have made a difference. 

Start of the 2nd half seemed slightly better than the first half, we were on the front foot however no chances created. Hull were more and more comfortable as the game went on and were far more threatening. Gerken's two outstanding saves and Pennington's goalline clearance were the big moments in particular. 

Ipswich? One tame shot from Graham straight at Marshall and nothing besides. Hurst only for the reason known to himself waited very long with the first substitution. 

Jackson Irvine added a second after treating Spence like he really is. A poor, indecisive defender. 

For the first time this season I struggle to find positives and can't understand Hurst's approach today. Why has he reverted to what he had to deal with in the last few seasons? 
Moreover his decisions regarding the playing personnel. Chopping and changing, why is that? How on earth did Downes find himself today in the line-up? 

Loads of Town fans have been raving for years about our youth system. Play youngsters blah blah blah. You'd think we have the best youngsters in the world when you listen to some. So they got the youngster in the opening line-up today. Youngster instead of loanee. Downes instead of Chalobah. I wonder if they are happy with that. We have all seen what Chalobah is capable of when playing in the deep role so why dropping him today particularly after the Norwich game where he will have certainly added something. Downes however was our worst player today. 

Edun.....Our best one in the Sheffield Wed game 3 weeks ago. Completely out of the picture after this for not fully fit Graham. Another decision that I don't get at all. 

I was very excited when we signed Nolan but he finds this level of football too difficult at the moment. 

Pennington hard working yes but a hoofer he is. 

Today that was firmly a reminiscent of McCarthy's painful moments in which we had no plan at all and that makes me really upset as I thought those days were gone. I'd say today was even worse at times. Play like that with constant chopping and changing and we'll be in the big trouble. 

Been very supportive of Hurst despite the results against mostly average/poor opponents therefore today's match and the manner of defeat has been a kick in the balls. One striker upfront doesn't work out for us, we struggle to create chances and we aren't a threat. When is he going to realise that?

Hull. A team/club in decline somehow though becomes our bogey one. Embarrassing defeat to them last March followed by their comfortable win today. 
[Post edited 15 Sep 20:08]
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Good day at Portman Road despite not winning the match
at 20:45 2 Sep 2018

First and foremost big thanks to Pendejo for having picked me up this morning. Thank you Mike !

That noise when Edwards scored. For that alone I'm so gutted that we haven't won. But we got deservedly punished for letting them back into the game and not taking our chances. That opportunity when Nolan had a time and space. Just hit the bloody target !!!

In terms of how we played and general atmosphere among the fans it's been by far the most enjoyable derby for years. I had been down there last year when Maddison scored for them and my journey back North was much worse. We had seen lot of pointless long balls pumped into their box with a hope for some mistake from their players. Today was much better. Yes many long passes too but we chased balls and played with energy and desire in the 2nd half..... Energy and desire against Norwich, how badly we missed things like that in the last few seasons.

Gwion Edwards would have never been allowed to make that many runs with the balls or or attempts to take on their full-back under McCarthy. Yes it's a dig and can't refrain from doing so. We would have packed our midfield with defensive midfielders had he still been in charge in order to stop Norwich from playing. Today we may have lacked quality at times but we played differently like we mostly did against them throughout the years and that is certainly a pleasing aspect.

Edwards our MOTM for his courage and constant desire to go forward.
Pennington seemed so determined not to make any mistakes. Passing not so good but positioning fine.
Skuse felt so sorry for him. One of out stand-out players prior to his injury and I can't slate him like I usually did during the previous era.

I have seen positive signs yet again and desire to win the game rather than stop opposition from playing so convinced that good results will come.

The main negative was failure to take our chances to kill the game off. Spence always seemed indecisive and prone to mistakes. Gerken it's clear to see that he hasn't played for a while.

Gutted with the result. Pleased with having been there. Fit Emyr Huws would have made a difference today.
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Match thoughts
at 20:39 11 Aug 2018

It's a quite weird feeling following this match. You cannot knock the team for the general performance but the disappointing thing is that we lost against really poor opposition. One big donkey in Michael Smith for them and they didn't threaten much until the last 20 mins of the match. 

It's going to take the time, perhaps long time to get it working. There have certainly been positive aspects to take from today. First half for example where we were on the front foot for the most of it. Already a big difference in compare to what we had to watch/endure in the last few seasons where we'd usually let an opposition have a go at us. 

Mostly on the front foot albeit not creating as much as it should have been given our dominance. Harrison stopped by Rodak and Donacien's deflected shot going over the bar probably the most notable opportunities. 

Rotherham not all in the game at all however probably were told by their manager to stop playing such timorously in the 2nd half. The proceedings changed indeed. We were dominant however not as much as in the first half. A couple of warning signs from Smith who threatened twice. First he easily outmuscled Chambers and second when the latter let the ball bounce and that allowed Smith to launch a shot. 

Nolan was our brightest point. Good cooperation in midfield and constant forward thinking. Unlucky with his shot going wide. 
Edwards' free kick impressively saved by Rodak too. But Rotherham began to threaten in the last 20 minutes. Forde's dangerous shot well saved by Bialkowski but the latter was unfortunately beaten in the final minute as the defence failed to kick the ball away from the penalty area.

Skuse and Chalobah today. The alleged system was 4-2-3-1 but Skuse spent almost entire game in front of Chalobah. Can't slate Skuse for his efforts but he isn't familiar with going forward. He had been living in the McCarthy's very comfort zone for a long time so it's not the best idea to play him further up the pitch as we need more energy and dynamic. But as I repeat he was quite active and involved in action given his new role, made a couple of good tackles, had a shot blocked and header going wide. 
Chalobah though bar one bad moment from the second half where he was outmuscled by the opponent had a good afternoon. Despite playing a deeper role he was well involved in our attacking attempts and that is what you expect from defensive midfielder. Do basic duties and be involved in attacking when you can. 
Perhaps if the roles had been reversed and Chalobah played in front of Skuse it may have been more fruitful.

Nolan was our MOTM for me and he'll be a hell of player for us as will Edwards. The latter very good in the first half however faded afterwards.

Chambers had a bad afternoon and it had to be debutant Nsiala to cover him in two critical moments in the second half. Perfect skipper, leader, talker..... yes. Long term future Hurst? A regular for next 2-3 years? Not sure. 

Ward not a good afternoon either.

Nsiala decent debut. Good when winning the ball or being a nuisance for Smith. Poor distribution though.
Donacien not bad defensively but unable to bomb forward with the ball.

And our deliveries from corners...... very very poor !!!!! We had loads of corners and didn't take any advantage from it.

Rodak the Rotherham goalkeeper was their MOTM by far and they should thank him for his contribution.

-----------------

Given the time this team under Hurst will be fine and give us more joy than disappointment. Put the result aside and we've seen positive aspects today. We have seen the opponent having been firmly kept on their toes and worried of us. That's the significant change in compare to last seasons. We had seen us getting beaten by Rotherham in the past despite playing with three defensive midfielders or shutting the shop so all in all positive change today. Rotherham though become kind of bogey team for us.

Not sure about the Exeter match and our line-up. However as things stand anything out of the Villa and Derby matches will be a bonus so patience is required. 
[Post edited 11 Aug 20:43]
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Nolan at Shrewsbury last season
at 13:52 8 Aug 2018

Seen their games on Sky and their 1st leg against Charlton springs in to my mind in particular as Nolan thoroughly impressed. I was somewhat jealous of Shrewsbury and the way the played. Jealous and I was wondering why we couldn't have had midfielders playing like this in the last few seasons (bar some exceptions like Lawrence or Carayol's performance at Preston).

Nolan was their best player. Not interested in passing backwards or allowing Charlton defenders to have a rest. Constant threat. I thought: 'if we only we had him in our team'.

And today he's an our player. To have him and Edwards makes me really buzzing.

Watching them both will be a hell of difference in compare to what we had to do beforehand.
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Nolan at Shrewsbury last season
at 13:37 8 Aug 2018

Seen their games on Sky and was somewhat jealous of h
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Paul Digby signs for Forest Green
at 17:16 31 Jul 2018

One of those cheap gems.
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Really enjoyable first half ! No pointless hoofing at all
at 15:53 28 Jul 2018

No sitting back either.

NO F***ING FEAR about bloody opposition !!! Just plenty of passing, nice pressing. Harrison looked liveliest.

Very promising !
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Best ever throw-in by Knudsen (n/t)
at 19:01 1 Jul 2018

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HSV Hamburg relegated from Bundesliga for the first ever time
at 16:38 12 May 2018

The place is burning.

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Are we dreaming ? What a feeling today
at 17:18 28 Apr 2018

4 goals away without Skuse and Hyam in the team. Freddie scores that is what he badly needed. We had SEVEN shots on target !!! What is going on?

Be careful what we wish for ha ha ha
[Post edited 28 Apr 17:18]
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Fortuna score 90 min winner to seal automatic promotion (n/t)
at 13:50 28 Apr 2018

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Disappointing today
at 22:55 14 Apr 2018

Unfortunately it was a McCarthys performance and the biggest positive from today is that it's one game closer to the end of the season. When I saw our line-up: 5-3-2 with Skuse-Hyam combo in the middle......oh noooo. Hardly an inspiration. I know that injuries limit us but why continuing to approach matches so cautiously?

Not much to talk about. Based on this my feeling is that the club just want to fulfil the fixtures and leave the rebuilding job for the new manager. Forest clearly bereft of confidence and were easily for taking. Sadly though we didn't take the advantage.

Yes there were some bright moments (beginning of the 2nd half) but there was no difference to how we've been approaching most of the matches in the last years. Tens of sideways passes with no-one having a clue what to do with the ball. Skuse and Hyam sitting deeply. Set up to keep the opposition quiet, the opposition that hadn't scored in last 6 games.

Scrappy goal out of nothing as we hadn't troubled Pantilimon prior to this. Forest visibly lacking confidence in the opening stages of the game grew into this as it went on. Bialkowski three good saves. Ward's goal and our leading wasn't something we deserved but Forest's players heads dropped and Bart wasn't tested at all for the remainder of the first half.

First 10-15 minutes of the second half we were well on top. Series of corners, their defence on the toes and that was the missed opportunity to put game to bed. Carayol who replaced Morris injected some pace initially but faded afterwards.

Unfortunately we gradually invited Forest to come back into this and subsequently punished, deservedly punished in my opinion. Why couldn't we continue to dictate the proceedings? To be cynical I'd say that was the 'McCarthy's school'.

Forest attempts were mostly chaotic and the defence dealt well in general until the last few minutes. Penalty perhaps debatable for some but it was pen. The push in the box.

Last minute winner though heart breaking was somehow a punishment for Town. We were the architects of our downfall as we could have dominated the 2nd half but for the stupid tactics. All 4 defensive midfielders took their part in the game and it's so sickening !

The end of this season can't come quick enough and the drudgery will be hopefully over. The hell of a job for the new manager to instill the winning mentality as this team and its philosophy stinks !

Any differences in compare to McCarthy? We may have tried to close the opposition down quicker than before but nothing in terms of general performance. Both youngsters' performances did differ significantly as Nydam was the most active midfielder whereas Morris was very quiet.

Celina not involved at all. Some may say he ain't the part of the future therefore no point of using him. Somehow though the defensively minded loanees (Connolly) and short termers (Gleeson) were used.

All in all not happy today with squandering a good chance to beat the average opposition. Can't wait for the end of this season.

[Post edited 14 Apr 22:57]
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Match thoughts
at 21:02 31 Mar 2018

I don't know if there are stats providing the facts about the sideways passes but we must have broken a world record or have been close to this today.

First half was painful in every aspect for the Town fans. Literally nothing when going forward. Not many players interested in doing so. Sideways, backwards, hoof ! A sheer chore to watch.

Yes very soft and contentious penalty. These things happen in football though and there was plenty of time to come back into the game.

Birmingham played better football without a doubt, outpassing us easily at times. Few chances for them though however Bialkowski's instinctive reaction saved us from going further behind.

As for Town no ideas at all how to threaten them, how to unlock their defence. Painful to watch.

A bit better after the break. Two headers from Spence, both well off the target though. Knudsen when in the good position skied the ball over from 20 yards.

We were on top without creating much. The introduction of Celina injected some pace and kind of element of invention. His glorious pass, by far the best pass from the team in the game found Waghorn in the box and the latter's shot was parried by Stockdale. And that was our SOLITARY shot on target today !
To be cynical when you see passes like that there is little wonder that Celina ain't a regular in the McCarthys team.

Celina despite initial good impact faded in the last 15 minutes however when you see him with the ball there is always some hope.

We are losing 0-1. 20 minutes to go and MM put Hyam on. So inspiring ! Why waiting longer with sending Carayol on? The latter didn't have much time to make a significant impact however always able to accelerate and outrun their full-backs.

Despite us having been seemingly better in the 2nd half it was Birmingham who was very close to scored twice.

The best positive of the day was to see a few people that includes TWTD'ers in Harry, NShearman, Truce and ArnieM. The second one was getting out of the ground after the game. Now I can hear him saying that his decision has affected the players. Stupid, lame excuse to cover himself. That kind of performance would have happened 1,2,3 etc etc months ago. The approach would have been exactly the same. Just to stop opposition from playing, keep hoofing and see what happens.

Birmingham are firmly in the relegation battle but barring Waghorn's shot we never really troubled Stockdale.

As expected the creative players started on the bench. Carayol who had given us arguably the best individual performance this calendar year at Preston last month, what's the excuse for McCarthy to keep him on the bench for such long? The illness was the one at Preston when taking him off after the first half, what's the latest one?

This team stinks ! It's brimmed with the wrong 'philosophy'. We have no ideas how to hurt an opposition. We may have had a decent spell in the second half, mainly after Celina's arrival but no ideas what to do in the opposition box. Players looked iffy at times, unable/scared to make decisions after entering their box.

Although I got what I wanted that is new manager next season I don't envy his job. He'll have to instill the new philosophy. Stop being fearful and gutless just express yourself and attack an opposition. It might take a while to do so as the current team is brimmed with the wrong one.

That was sad today. I was there five and half years ago too when DJ Campbell scored a winner and it started a new era. Still remember that day today. Weeks of humiliation and embarrassment we had to endure under the worst ever manager in Jewell so that win and McCarthy's arrival was exceptional. How different and how sad today though I'm very relieved that he is finally leaving.

The goals, the shots on target are so scarce for us nowadays. Yet some still have a cheek to bleat : 'be careful what you wish for'. The end of this season cannot come quick enough as the last 7 games are going to be a chore.
[Post edited 31 Mar 21:06]
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Remember: he has said there is a good chance he'll be here next season (n/t)
at 20:42 13 Mar 2018

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Match thoughts
at 03:14 7 Mar 2018

3 points is what matters the most regardless of how it is achieved. For sure though we can't say it was a good performance from us. McCarthy, his team selection and tactics made it hard for us while it ought to have been a comfortable win against a poor opposition. 

How could he justify his team selection? I'd wonder after seeing our line-up. Extremely defensive approach to contain the opposition. 

Who were we going to contain? That was a jaded Sheffield Wed team. We had 10 days of rest since we've played Preston while Sheffield Wed played 2 away games within those 10 days. 2 long away trips for them. Loads of injuries. Bannan, Lee, Forestieri, Hooper, Westwood all out. As for the latter he's one of the better keepers in this league and his replacement Wildsmith hasn't had a good spell. The team completely out of form, lacking confidence. Take all these factors and our approach was absolutely baffling.  

Not surprisingly we barely offered a threat in the first half. The half painful to watch. One poor team against the other who would try to contain them. Tens of long aimless balls from both, a bit more from Town. First notable moment from Town was a cross from Knudsen that required Wildsmith's involvement. 

The disappointing moment in 25 minute as Carayol had to be subbed due to the injury. Up until then he'd beat their defenders twice when running with the ball and it looked it'd be yet another good performance from him. It was particularly disappointing given our depressive line-up as he was the only one he could offer a threat. 

We had no-one in the middle to link up between defence and strikers. Completely no-one to make any good passes. Literally every time our defence had the ball they'd lump it forward. No attempts to unlock their defence by some good passing. Just hoof it and see what happens. 

No real opportunities for us. The half chance from Connolly as his header on target was easily grabbed by Wildsmith and Carter-Vickers' shot from 20 yards which went wide while he should have hit the target at least.

The most notable moment of the first half was Bialkowski's stunning reflex that stopped Nuhiu's shot from the close range. 

I met Truce at half time and even he didn't understand why we had started with 3 defensive midfielders. 

Jordan Rhodes who had been ridiculously poor for them was replaced at half time. His partner in attack Nuhiu may be a donkey but at least he worked hard and dropped deep at times whereas Rhodes was a total waste. 

We started the 2nd half on the front foot and with a bigger courage that paid off. Freddie Sears forced Loovens to make a mistake and from his cross and Connolly's touch Waghorn scored from a close range. 

We dominated the proceedings for the next 10 minutes and the reason we couldn't kill the game off was a lack of attacking quality. Too many defensive minded players not knowing what to do with one exception as Connolly's header was impressively saved by the keeper. 

Then from the 60 min onwards we are starting to sit deep and hang on. Trying to shut the shop as we did at Preston. The difference was that Preston had restricted themselves to long shots while Sheffield Wed would stubbornly try to unlock our defence. Nuhiu would remain a nuisance and Joao was a greater thread that ineffective Rhodes in the first half. 

We got deservedly punished for playing like that as Joao beat both Webster and Chambers to fire into the far post. 

15 minutes to go and McCarthy did the most sensible thing by taking useless Hyam off and replacing him with an attacking minded midfielder in Ward. Almost immediately the latter started offering a threat and tormenting their left-back Fox. The whole picture changed. We were dominating and Ward's impact was very significant. Waghorn won a free-kick and superbly scored from it. Sublime one. Tight angle and best free-kick from us I've seen for a while. 

Sheffield Wed players' heads dropped and they were unable to rally themselves. There was no danger at all that they'd do what they had done back in November at Portman Road.

The key moment of the game? Without a doubt that was Ward coming on who himself injected a pace and movement into the dead midfield and my question is why he didn't start. Yes we won but this ought to have been comfortable win against the poor opposition. McCarthy made it hard and awkward by his decisions. Fortunately though he didn't settle for a point as Ward's arrival changed the game. 

A few words about some players:

Waghorn was my MOTM for his goals and activity and there has to be a special praise for Sears as he kept their defenders busy and his contribution led to our first goal. 

Hyam was useless and based on this I wouldn't like him to stay beyond this season. One good pass followed by 2-3 pointless ones. Rightly subbed as he offered nothing.

Webster? Him taking the ball out of defence had been a refreshing thing last season. Different player nowadays though as he switched into the Delaney or Smith mode and keeps hoofing. 

Knudsen and Spence would try to improvise as wing-backs today but they failed particularly Spence. 

Mick McCarthy? He's laughing at me and others who have been bemoaning his decisions. Yes he got the result tonight but the approach like this ain't a recipe for the long term success. Some games you win like tonight and some you don't (just like he tried to contain Burton at Portman Road). Once again why setting up to contain such hopeless and tired Sheffield Wed team?

Our abnormally good record at Hillsborough remains intact and that's the biggest positive from today.
[Post edited 7 Mar 3:17]
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Match thoughts
at 21:19 24 Feb 2018

The good away win embellished by the rare moments of brilliance which we hardly see nowadays. By saying rare moments I mean the kind of performance that was produced by Carayol today.

Glorious opportunity missed by him in the 10 min as one of one was saved by Rudd and the follow-up went wide. He ought to have scored. The ilk of the chance where you stand in disbelief and keep your head in hands. All that opportunity came from a very quick-counter attack as most of the players was camped near or inside our box. 

He made amends though 10 mins later when he was quicker to the ball than Preston's full-back and then went on went and scored into the far post. All that opportunity began from the Skuse's pass.

Yet another really outstanding moment from Carayol in 30 mins when he beat two or three Preston players, played the pass towards Waghorn whose shot was blocked by the Preston defender. All that set-up and opportunity takes you off your seat and we don't have a chance to watch moments like that too often nowadays. I'd say we're starved of that in the current era.

5 mins later Iorfa hit the bar from the tight angle albeit the close range. Soon after Skuse's strong shot from 25 yards grabbed by Rudd. 

Many tasty moments from us and really surprised with that kind of performance. Anti-McCarthy's performance in all honesty as we rarely see such an attacking one. Alex Neil was forced to make a double tactical substitution that's testament to how good we were. 
 
Preston in the first half? Some slick passing at times but with no end product. Series of corners with which we dealt well in general bar couple of moments where their players were left unmarked.  

Ought to have been at least 2 if not 3-0 at half time and Preston team and fans couldn't have complained. 

Hyam replaced not fully fit Carayol before the 2nd half started and it was quite disappointing at the time as we lost our biggest star of the day and main goal threat. 
Second half in a nutshell? We did shut the shop and successfully made Preston look average. I admit that if we hadn't won the match I would have been very upset with that switch. I would have been asking: 'why Hyam, why not Celina?'. But all of that has been overshadowed by the final result and it's 3 points that matters most. 

Not surprisingly (because of the change we made) we never troubled Rudd in the 2nd half as our main focus was on making life difficult for the opposition and we did so. They were completely unable to break our rigid defensive line. Bialkowski had about 3 saves to make but he was comfortable with it. Preston forwards restricted themselves to a few long shots. Two of them went ridiculously high and miles of our goal.

Carter-Vickers in particular was very impressive with job we were doing in the 2nd half. I think he won vast majority of headers if not all of them. 

Watching Preston today made me wonder how they had been so good of late. Very good last week against Wolves, very dominant against Villa on Tuesday. Their new striker Lewis Moult may have been a star in SPL for Motherwell but today completely anonymous as our central backs kept him quiet. 

Our MOTM? I'd say two of them. Skuse and obviously Carayol for the moments he gave us today. Yes I said Skuse as it's been best from him I've seen from the Wolves away 0-0 draw last season (that one in which we had Murphy's goal disallowed). Not only the pass that led to Carayol's goal. Nice double dribbling in the first half, very assured in the middle, couple of really good interceptions and a calming influence. The credit and praise is certainly due in his case today.

Carayol. His ongoing problem was the consistency. Can be electric on his day (like he was today despite the illness) or completely anonymous and the latter is probably the reason why Nottingham let him go. Wonder what we could get from him and Celina together on both wings if both are in-form. Personally nothing excites me more in football than quick winger beating defenders and causing havoc among an opposition. That's been the case with Carayol today. Really delighted with his show. 

As mentioned above Carter-Vickers very good too. Very good loan spell and what a replacement for Smith. 

Iorfa probably better than ever with his positioning too. 

What is particularly worth noticing that Preston wouldn't have a real single opportunity to score and that's a very pleasing aspect from today. 

3 points that don't make any change when it comes to the general situation but undoubtedly a massive thing following such turbulent week. 
[Post edited 24 Feb 21:21]
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Knudsen soon before their equalizer
at 14:07 18 Feb 2018

If you're unable to make a simple pass that could have led to the 2nd goal why not to into the corner and do the timewasting?????

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Match thoughts
at 06:55 4 Feb 2018

Decent away performance. Best I've seen for a while as we have had many poor ones but this is what happens when we show an interest in attacking an opposition.
First half an hour could have been anything. A few worrying moments as we certainly allowed them too much space at times. On 10 min Skuse gave away the ball and it could have ended up badly as Asoro despite tight angle narrowly missed. Couple of minutes later a moment of hesitation from Knudsen which enforced him to pass to Connolly. The latter got easily outmuscled and once again an opportunity for the hosts.

The brightest moment for us during that spell was Waghorn's free-kick as he hit the bar.
Five minutes later another moment when we got away with bad defending. A corner for Sunderland and O'Shea headed wide as he was totally unmarked.

Yes we were under a little cosh. They had too much space but that is not as if they totally dominated us. We tried to play football in a good way with little hoofing.

Garner's goal shot Sunderland's confidence to pieces and they never recovered from this. Their heads totally dropped. They were far from that somewhat impressive first half an hour spell. What followed this goal was most pleasing moment of the day for me. Just go for it, keep on attacking as they are for taking. And that is what he did ! It was a pleasure to watch and the team was rightly rewarded in the shape of the 2nd goal. Ward who himself has had a really good game outran their full-back, great cross that ended up with an own goal.

The half time scoreline a bit harsh on Sunderland for their endeavour but this ain't our problem. Both goals took the entire confidence from them.

There isn't lot to talk about the 2nd half. Sunderland's chaotic attempts caused no problem whatsoever for our much improved defence, much improved in compare to the first half. The only moment which made Bialkowski save was Lua Lua's shot. Town looked content with the two goal lead but Waghorn should really have scored when one on one with Camp. Forgettable 45 minutes but not going to moan over it. Comfortable two goal lead and we never were in a danger of squandering this.

It's a shame we don't produce more displays like this. When you compare it to the Bolton two weeks ago it's like a night and day. Different approach, different football yet there were some silly, really stupid comments on here that we 'looked like good team at Bolton' whereas we had been bang awful. Today we didn't even hoof much. Not even from Chambers.
Compare it also to Hull from last November. We had been 1-0 up and allowed opposition to come back and have a go at us. Nowhere near that today as we went to attack the opposition instead of sitting back.

Grant Ward deserves a special mention as it certainly has been his best performance for a long time. Waghorn also stood out in the 1st half.

Yes I would have cursed McCarthy for having left Celina on the bench if we hadn't won. He would have torn them apart on his own.

Funeral atmosphere among the home crowd but don't blame them for this. As ourselves they are owned by disinterested person who don't back his managers. Still though it's baffling why the players of McGeady and LuaLua's calibre started on the bench. Both proven at this level and Josh Emmanuel in particular knows what they are capable of as they tormented him in the past (McGeady and Preston away last season, Lua Lua during the Brighton's 3-2 win at Portman Road couple of seasons ago).

Brilliant first goal, brilliant set-up for the second, keeping the opponents under control. The performance like that though not completely perfect still makes hell of a difference as all I ask for is to show a desire to attack an opposition. Don't sit back and focus on stopping them from playing just have balls to attack them. Yesterday that was the case so really pleased.
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Forest's Ben Osborn after the Wolves - Forest match last week
at 18:37 27 Jan 2018

Wolves 0-2 Forest

'We thought Wolves might start the game with a bit of arrogance so we needed to get in their faces and we did that. We had a long meeting on the morning of the game about Wolves and what we need to do and everyone left there feeling pretty confident.
It was quite surprising given the run we were on and coming away to the top of the league.
But THE MANAGER made it really simple, just to raise THE INTENSITY. That's what we did and IT WORKED !

Getting in the opponents faces. Bigger intensity. Why couldn't we follow that attitude for a change? Why do we have to wait for the new manager to start football matches with a different approach?
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Match thoughts
at 21:12 20 Jan 2018

If there was a game that needed to tell you that this team doesn't benefit from McCarthy and his flawed 'philosophy' that was the one and obviously there is more to come like that for the remainder of the season. We had to wait 82 minutes to start watching a bit of proper football from the team.

First half was an utter tripe. Literally no positives at all. As it mostly is the case under McCarthy we 'have to watch' the opposition and what they do. Try to stop them playing and keep lumping the ball the forward. Lump it, see what happens, maybe we'll get some luck etc etc.... Super Mick and his typical stuff !

We could have been down after 15 seconds but for the quick reaction from Bart.

Bolton dominated the proceedings in the first half but they clearly lacked the quality. At least they had a desire to attack the opposition whereas we didn't. Buckley was their liveliest player and it's possible that they found our weakness in Iorfa as the majority of their attempts came from his side. To be fair though he didn't do too bad.

Alnwick in their goal will have been bored sh*tless. No shots on target (until 40 min), no shots off target, nothing to worry about. A bit of pressure in their box in the 30 min but their defence dealt well as it was a first 'notable' moment from us. We may have had more possession at times but didn't do anything. Deathly slow midfield incapable of making simple passes. Town fans were clearly displeased to put it nicely.
Couple of glimpses from Celina, the player who always seems to have that 'something' in the bag however given his potential I expected more from him.

39 min and .... we had a corner ! Happy days ! Super Mick ! A minute later another one after which we finally produced something meaningful as Alnwick saved Chambers' shot.

Terrible first half between two very poor teams. A few minutes after the interval we conceded a bad goal as Madine was left unmarked.

All of sudden we became more lively. Super Mick's 'philosophy' as we have to be 1 down before mounting any bit of fight, eh?

Couple of minutes after their goal one of the most annoying moments as McGoldrick ought to have passed the ball to Waghorn and simple tap-in would have been a formality. The former instead decided to be selfish as his tame shot was easily saved by Alnwick.
We may have shown a little bit more willingness to attack but it was still Bolton who looked closer to score. Bialkowski's save from their free-kick followed by a shot 2 minutes later that went narrowly wide.

McGoldrick kept frustrating with his misplaced passes and selfishness as we could have had a winning goal 4 minutes from time. Before that though an equaliser and that was a really nice stuff which we are totally starved of. That was a football ! Proper set-up to the Garner's goal. 82 minutes before mounting an action like that. Soon after we saw another moment of panic in their defence as we tried to rip them and play football. Waghorn hits the post in the final moments of the match. Unfortunately the last 8 minutes of the match was too little to win it.

Why can't we play like that in the first 82 minutes? And this is one of main issues with McCarthy that is unwillingness to attack an opposition. I as a Town fan want our team to dictate the proceedings, to see the opponent scared of us etc etc. I firmly believe that this group of players could thrive under a different manager. Now they seem to be shackled/clueless/devoid of ideas and today this was the case against poor opposition. Bolton were a bunch of donkeys and the table doesn't lie as they are down there for merit. I don't necessarily demand a fully open football but we should have been on the front foot for the majority of the match. But we wasted the opportunity, two points dropped. We would have won it with a positive thinking manager.

McGoldrick and his attitude was very annoying as was Town's performance. Clearly not like a team player today and he could leave us any time for me if he carries on like that. Really disappointed with his display.
Garner despite the goal anonymous throughout.

New boys did fine. Gleeson a few passes forward. Perhaps not accurate at times but I liked his intentions.

Disappointed but not surprised given McCarthys philosophy. There is a hope though (if he leaves us in May) that under the different manager we will see the different approach, domination and willingness to win football matches. At least 4 more months of the ordeal though. To think the morons like Holloway or other pundits from outside keep telling us how lucky we are with him in charge.
[Post edited 20 Jan 21:14]
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