Saturday, 1 December 2007

More Progress

The goalless draw at Rochdale was another step in the right direction, I think. I don't think I've ever seen a side set up with wide midfielders in front of the wing backs before, and Brian Little's 5-4-1 formation ended up doing exactly what you might expect: it conceded a lot of ground to Rochdale, but defended solidly without really looking all that dangerous at the other end.

But the upshot was a third league game unbeaten, our best run of the season for what it's worth, and a very dogged defensive performance with both Richard Hope and Steve Evans putting in their best games of the season.

Crucially, the new manager bubble is still intact. That belief amongst the players that under Little they can flourish still exists, and if we can get through the Bury and Dagenham games in the same state we should look a lot healthier than we did a week ago.

Little hit the nail on the head after the game in identifying a lack of attacking threat. He'd wanted the side to be more progressive than it had been, getting at Rochdale down the flanks, but it hadn't really happened. It'll be interesting to see if the performance at Bury will address this-I suspect that, with three away games coming in quick succession and not much time to tweak things at Colliers Park, we'll stick to the same shape as it worked quite well at Spotland.

The lack of creativity is something that has been an issue for a year, and I'm glad Little is aware of it. Clearly we will have to resolve this if we are to pull away from the danger zone. The key thing is that if he can continue to boost the side's confidence and make us solid at the back, hopefully we'll start to believe in ourselves more at the other end of the pitch.

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