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DPL v Cambridge United

Before the season began this would be a game from which we would have expected at least a draw, but now that would be a good result, but not good enough to serve our need to escape from the League 1 coal hole. We need a win and ideally a performance akin to the first 45 at Morecambe.

So far we have not encountered any side which has had a really “bad day". In the past, Rovers have lost to sides they should have beaten comfortably, often at home, sometimes because they have played badly or received lots of bad luck. It could be a day like that for Cambridge. I think we’d take it, but it would be good if McS’s studious management at last brought a properly deserved reward. He is interesting to listen to and seemingly sound in his thinking, but are his players listening, capable and willing to put his plans into action?

He is working with rather poor material though which in some cases do not run and chase and harry enough, but we must hope that they are really improving their work-rate as he believes they did against Wigan.

I’d like a win, but 1-1 is all I will hazard as a forecast with Agard/Dodoo scoring.

posted on 18/1/22

I’ve just listened to a fascinating interviewf (previewing today’s game), given by G McS, full of insight and understanding, of solutions and positivity about how teams need to be organised and managed and the how to make the best of players as individuals, develop their thinking, encourage them to keep fit and work hard. Doing it with Wellens recruits many of whom seem to lack drive as well as ability makes it extremely hard, but who knows?

I then dipped into Richie Wellens interviews which were full of generalities, a failure to acknowledge weaknesses and most of all, moans about bad luck.

What a contrast. Although we may not have begun to accumulate points, at least we have someone in control that understands the game and sees a way to improve things, not just by sounding confident, but with the perception to recognise how improvement might be effected.

Wellens certainly did not sound inspiring; if anything he was providing excuses before the next round of failures. It encouraged complacency and the belief that when we would lose again the manager would not be holding anyone responsible. He certainly believed that his players in general were not slacking which contrasts with the impression gained from watching them and the evidence from the current regime. If you were Baldwin, you would surely have been asking him searching questions and the way he got away with it for so long surely points to a failure from above to hold him to account.

(I suppose too that the considerable body of core support that would not hear a word against him might have encouraged the Board to give him more rope than he deserved. It is strange that none of his dyed-in-the-wool fans seem to be attempting to defend him against the evidence that is emerging.)

posted on 18/1/22

0-1 to Cambridge
Can't see us winning but hopefully I'm wrong

posted on 18/1/22

Let's see what our new boys can do!
I was hoping for Martin on the right and Barlow on the left with Agard in the middle. Maybe Barlow will come on for who runs out of gas first!
It is good to see Seaman starting.
I'll stick to my 2-1 to the Rovers.

posted on 18/1/22

Cambridge 2-1 Rovers
Agard to score.
Hope that I'm wrong ⚽

posted on 19/1/22

I think 3-1 flattered Cambridge a little - if Agard had scored early, as he should have, the game would have been much different. There were times in the first half when I could not believe we did not score - three times on the woodwork and two goal line stops (OK, in the same scamble where a little calmness may have got us a goal). On one appearance, Martin shows some potential - very unlucky not to score with that free kick. The foul was definitely outside of the penalty area, but I'm sure some refs would have given a red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity.
In the end, another frustrating evening where we have shown progress, but not enough. If the Board keep faith with Gary we might escape or otherwise have a great League 2 team.

posted on 19/1/22

More signs of life but our major problem all season has been our defence and its a long way from being resolved.

posted on 19/1/22

I was unable to listen to the commentary, so all I saw were the stats and some of the live text. Based on those, the performance was better, but we failed to capitalise on what was achieved in the play against a mid-table side. So it was not good enough to progress our prospects of getting into 20th place by the end of the season.

Cambridge got a much better return on their attacking raids and Jones and the defence might have done better.

So much of the material which McSheffery has to work with is sub-standard, thanks to his predecessor and the Head of Recruitment who for some reason is still in his job.

posted on 19/1/22

Ollie Younger not the experienced, fit and ready to go centre back I was expecting. But then there's Anderson, John and possibly Wright to figure some time when they're back from injury. I'm not sure Knoyle or Williams would be in Gmacs long term plans. They wouldn't be in mine.

posted on 19/1/22

Sunderland were reluctant to see him go, but they have seemingly got enough players in his position to calculate that his prospects of first team football are not good. They are letting him go for the sake of his career, rather than hanging on to him when his immediate prospects there are not good.

Given our position int he league we are unlikely to recruit la creme de la creme.

posted on 20/1/22

Liam Hodden in the FP makes the valid point that the experienced, in form players Gmac has targeted are very unlikely to want to join Rovers in our current predicament. It's likely we will have to seek young, inexperienced but talented players on loan to try to fill the gaps for the rest of the season. Not sure the remaining transfer window is going to offer us much hope for the rest of the season.

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