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‘McGavin I like, Dobra excites. Dozzell keeps being told to take a chance he’s not given!’

Andre Dozzell in action.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

Andre Dozzell in action. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Stephen Waller

Town fan DAVID FLISHER sent us in his thoughts on life at Portman Road. You are welcome to do so. We welcome your posts.

Brett McGavin and Armando Dobra. Picture; ARCHANTBrett McGavin and Armando Dobra. Picture; ARCHANT

We all know the season’s gone, barring something very weird happening to a lot of teams.

We all have opinions on what went wrong, as shown in pub conversations, twitter, phone-ins after a latest spineless defeat. Football’s about optimism though (who doesn’t love the anticipation for the season’s opening game?), so I’m drawing a line under this season and looking forward.

What then will warm that summer optimism? Yes, for me, a new manager would be part of that, but I think Lambert’s got until November and I’m not revisiting debates on the manager.

Similarly, an ethical, life-long Town billionaire emerging from Tunstall Woods desperate to blow millions would be nice, but realistically, the Evans’ regime will remain.

This is about what we should be excited by, the players, the team, the pitch, what we pay our money to cheer and shout for.

I want an identity

There have been times this season where an identity has been clear on the pitch, sadly, never from Town.

Defend and break quickly. Fine.

Dominate possession, use the wings, outmuscle teams? All fine, but please, let’s have a way of playing.

Personally, I like aggressive pressing and swift counter-attacking, but I just want us to have our own way of playing.

That also means the end of formation bingo. I want the players to know their jobs, fight for their places, and have understanding with their partners on the pitch. Much as I don’t like rotation, I know it’s part of the modern game, what I can’t fathom is wild rotation of the formation.

Paul Lambert's Town have eight games left to playPaul Lambert's Town have eight games left to play

Think about the great Arsenal defences of the past, not the greatest players, but really well drilled, organised and resolute.

That came from familiarity, both with each other and the system. We need that – surely organisation should be just basic.

I want coaching additions

Years back, teams who were struggling at the back called on Bobby Robson’s international assistant Don Howe to solve their woes.

We used to hear how Terry Connor could do amazing things for strikers. We need someone to work with our defensive unit. Strange to say, that back room appointment would do wonders for my new season optimism.

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A smaller squad.

That might seem bizarre, given the injuries that have allegedly derailed this season (ignoring the run before Jackson/Norwood/Keane were laid up).

However, part of the rotation debacle was surely because to address a bloated squad.

That also means players who haven’t performed can find new challenges.

If you’ve been here two years and still haven’t shown anything, why would another year change anything?

A smaller squad will mean greater familiarity, a greater sense of that togetherness Coventry showed in both games at Portman Road.

A chance for youth

Two of our standout players, perhaps the standout players, have been Woolfenden and Downes.

Przybek looked useful, McGavin I like, Dobra excites. Dozzell keeps being told to take a chance he’s not given.

It’s not a call for every youth player to take us forward to glory – that’s naïve nonsense.

How though do players take their chance if it’s not given?

Space up front? Play the youngster, then he’s got that game time we’re told stops them progressing with the u23s. Downes came in, grabbed his place and is now key.

It’s up to them to embrace the bravery of youth, say this is mine and when the “senior” player’s fit he’s not getting back in.

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A couple of judicious signings, not loans.

Please no more Graham, Giorgiou or Norris. They don’t need to cost the earth – Skuse, McGoldrick, Berra were all free after all - they do need to make sense.

Very few of Hurst’s made any sense.

Lambert’s been better perhaps, but I still struggle to see that systemic plan (long term or not). Two or three that make that newfound identity purr.

Like most fans, I’m not expecting the world (or a mythical billionaire), I want hope, and these little (and fairly cheap things, Mr Evans) would mean I would then look at Accrington away in August with a spring in my step, because I’d believe there was a plan, a focus, that the drift was over.

That I can dream. Because football’s all about dreams.

FA Cup run in 2021 anyone?

David Flisher

- We welcome your posts: e: mike.bacon@archant.co.uk


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