The Verdict: Don’t accept this, we deserve so much more…
We take a look at the talking points as Town fell to another defeat, this time at the hands of league leaders Coventry City.
It was another six changes for a Town side which were beaten by Fleetwood during the week. Will Norris replaced Tomas Holy in goal, a change I can understand given the former Gills keeper mistakes in the previous weeks. Lambert opted for a back four, with Gwion Edwards and Luke Woolfenden reinstated with Janoi Donacien and Josh Earl left out. Brett McGavin who made his league debut on Tuesday was nowhere to be seen, Cole Skuse was tasked with anchoring the midfield, with Teddy Bishop on one wing, supporting the ever-willing Freddie Sears in attack.
Although Lambert had a real lack of options in attack, Will Keane and James Norwood injured and Kayden Jackson serving his last game of his three match suspension, Town never really looked like scoring. Gwion Edwards was arguably our best player, single handily driving at the Coventry defence, only to look up and have next to no support.
Yes, it was better than Tuesday night, but dear oh dear still nowhere near good enough.
Stats don’t lie
Some stats you can manipulate into a way which favours whichever argument you look at, however I have picked out a couple of stats which are rather damning.
Town have failed to score in five of their last seven outings.
Out of a possible 27 points, Town have taken FOUR. That is the worst in the league, two points behind Southend.
This is just unacceptable, yes Marcus Evans is a huge problem, but how a manager is given a five-year contact extension and then oversees a team to perform to the above standards is criminal.
Fans were clapping the players off yesterday, how?! Okay, you don’t have to boo, but what are you clapping? The effort? The passion? The performance? The result?
0 – 1 job done?
Rotherham, Sunderland, Oxford, Fleetwood and now Coventry have beaten Town 1-0 since the turn of the year.
All of the games feature a similar pattern, Town create a miss their big chance, the opposition creates and takes their big chance, Town then huff and puff without creating anything and then lose the game.
In truth, several of those opponents didn’t have to get out of second gear. Perhaps Sunderland was an anomaly, we dominated the game and got hit late on, but the rest, literally a carbon copy of each other. Town were 1-0 at half-time in all of those games, I can’t remember us hammering on the door in the second half against any of them.
Next season, that is something which needs to change. We can’t just accept defeat, especially against our promotion rivals. Unfortunately, we are too easy to score against and not able to take one of our few chances, a worrying combination.
We, myself included, was fairly happy with our summer signings and on paper, thought we would be more than capable of going up. With another season in League One all but confirmed, surely we should be moving on some of our ‘deadwood’.
Who can we easily get rid off?
Cole Skuse, Andre Dozzell, Gwion Edwards, Will Keane, Danny Rowe, Jordan Roberts and Armando Dobra are all out of contract this summer. Would I let them all go? No. I would look to implement a 4-4-2 next season, so would give Edwards, Dobra and Dozzell another year and see if they can fire us back to the Championship.
Who else would I get rid off?
Toto Nsiala, Jon Nolan, Janoi Donacien and Myles Kenlock are players who I don’t really want to see in a Town shirt again. Can we find clubs for them? Possibly. I drive a five seater and would happily pick them all up and drive them to various clubs around the country.
Alan Judge, similarly to Dozzell, is one I am not sure on. Keep or try to offload. I will let you decide that one!
Town actually fell another place in the standings yesterday courtesy of Doncaster’s win at MK Dons. We now sit seven points of a the play-offs, where five teams are tied on 59 points. It was a very good day for Coventry, who now sit five points clear at the top with a game in hand.
With ‘easier’ games (Portsmouth aside) between now and the end of the season, surely the task will be to accumulate as many points and good performances as possible to go into next season with. My only worry with that, if Lambert is still in charge, will that give him a false hope and then changes aren’t really made?