Not quite sure what happened yesterday. From what was a promising first-half, we somehow managed to ruin it all by coming out for the second with our Blackpool/Swansea/Doncaster hats on.
The difference in performance between both halves was far too noticeable. Of course, it’s only to be expected when you haven’t won for 3 games – most teams tend to get a little bit edgy. But why we have to take these football clichés to such bleeding extremes all the time, I really don’t know.
I’ll admit I was a little disappointed by the team selection when I first heard it. While you could argue Coleman doesn’t have many other options to freshen things up, I was still expecting a bit more than Isaac Osbourne and Marcus Hall. Before yesterday we’d only scored in 2 of our opening fixtures. This seemed to me to be quite a big problem, and bringing in Ozzy to help us turn the corner and provide that spark in midfield didn’t immediately strike me as the most positive move we could have made.
In all fairness to both of them though, they played pretty well in the first half. Hall set up the goal with an accurate cross for Best, and Ozzy gave a similarly manic performance to the Ipswich one earlier in the season. What happened to them in the second half is anyone’s guess.
The same could be said for Clingan. First half, he was composed, assured and at one point had me reminiscing back to the days of Youssef Safri. Second half he completely lost his way however, and him and Ozzy were bystanders for the majority.
McIndoe was heavily involved in the first 15 minutes, and rather naively I started to believe that he might actually be a threat throughout. That never materialised either. On the flip side, this now makes our case stronger for suiing him under the Trade Description Act. Pace and skill, my eye.
The biggest disappointment however was one of the following;
a) Coleman’s inability to see how poor we were in the second half, which meant he left it till 76 minutes to change it.
or b) Coleman’s persistence in keeping a team on the pitch that was being so outplayed, so we didn’t have a hope in hell of winning.
I’m still not sure which one is what really happened. But either way, both stink of negativity I’m afraid. He genuinely seemed pleased yesterday, which is a worry because the performance was really very bad. As far as I can see, it’s 4 games in a row now when we’ve failed to be competitive for 90 minutes, and it’s cost us lots of points.
We’re going to struggle if we continue putting in performances like this. Tuesday is vital, and the one thing we need is a good performance. The players seem to be struggling with confidence at the minute, which means getting that from them is probably going to be even harder than usual. The one thing you can say though is that they are always capable of raising their game, so Coleman has to get that out of them.
I hope they’re somehow able to shock us and pull something out of the bag. Facing Sheffield Utd is tough at the best of times – but an unbeaten Sheffield Utd is just about as difficult a fixture as you’re going to get.