Following on from Rovers’ 2-2 draw at home to Fleetwood Town, @DixonBRFC takes a look at the talking points from the draw with the Cod Army.
Feeding The Nutt
Joe Nuttall made his league debut a memorable one, as he got a goal from a nice, composed, and albeit easy finish.
Joe has been on the verge of a first team breakthrough all season, and has taken his chance in the first team by both hands. This now begs the question: does the Nutt have enough in him to START a game for Rovers? No player for Rovers this season has been a consistent goalscorer for the first team, with our strikers dipping in and out of form often. Could Nuttall be the answer to our striker problem?
No matter the answer to that question, one thing is clear. The Nutt should most definitely be getting first team game time at least off the bench now. He has proven his worth and has been patient, but now is the time for him to really come into his element and prove to us all that he is ready to have a place in our starting XI.
Lack of Pace
One big problem that has plagued our team this season is the lack of pace in the attacking build up. Neither of our wingers (Bennett and Conway) had any sort of pace or real intensity to them, as is the case with Graham, who started as a lone striker.
Bradley Dack is the only player who always seems hungry for the ball and moves with any real pace. Both Whittingham and Smallwood slow the game down lots – which does work at times in the game but ideally, there needs to be a balance. Nyambe, who’s apparent greatest strength is his pace and power and ability to go forward, does absolutely nothing with any of those things!
Nearly every team that comes to Ewood just seems faster and hungrier than us. The attacking intensity just wasn’t there this game, and early on I was doubtful that we would even score for the entire game. It has been this way for a while now, and something needs to change and soon.
How many times this season have we seen a player of ours get a yellow card, which just completely takes them out of the game as the try to avoid a red card? This is especially apparent with Richie Smallwood, who in the past 2 games has gotten in the referee’s book early on and has been taken out of the game, as he can not be as physical as he wants to be to avoid a second booking.
Some blame can be put to the referee – some bookings are unjustified and should not be yellow cards in the first place. However, our players know that these bookings will stop them being as much of a physical presence in the game. Our players (especially Richie) need to start avoiding bookable offences unless needed, as in the long run this will hurt us. For example, Elliot Bennett is suspended for racking up 5 yellow cards this season (he’ll serve a second game on Saturday for his red at Wigan), and he was sorely missed in the attack in the game yesterday
The win does put Rovers back into the play-offs, but most fans will see it as two points dropped when we lead not one, but twice.
This was a chance to get closer to the top two, Shrewsbury Town and Wigan Athletic, and it was a chance missed.
Thank you for reading.
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