Malcolm Dawson writes…..the first outings for my thermals today and they meant I could more or less enjoy the game. Sixer and I speculated on the walk from car to ground why Gus might have preferred Jozy to Norman Stanley and felt it might have been a strategy to nullify the threat of the pony tailed Geordie at set pieces. Like Gary Bennett we both would have preferred the Anglo Scot leading the line from the off but in Gus we trust. We played OK against a decent side. Jozy could have been a hero but his reaction as he walked off at half time made it clear that he knows he fluffed a huge opportunity. Gus thinks we played OK too as he explains in his post match e-mail to M Salut and others but like us knows too that one point a game is not going to be good enough.
I believe that we did enough to win the game, especially because of the way we were playing and the opposition.
We didn’t have too many chances against Chelsea or Liverpool, but today we had plenty of approaches, plenty of shots and plenty of opportunities to put the ball in the box in a better way. We passed it, we had corners and we couldn’t find a way. We had opportunities to pass the ball inside the box to players that were free, we had shots that were blocked and we hit the stand so there were many things that we didn’t do well in the final third, and that is something we have been missing.
I think we defended [Andy] Carroll in a great way because he couldn’t really find that freedom to go and have an easy chance. We stopped [Carl] Jenkinson and [Aaron] Cresswell from putting hundreds of balls into the box, so there were plenty of things that we did well and there are things we can work on.
I was a little bit disappointed we couldn’t make a final change because I was trying to get Will Buckley on and take a risk, but we had Anthony [Reveillere] take a knock in the second half, which was a little bit frustrating.
I thought Wickham’s chance was in at the end; we were throwing everything forward and getting close.
Thanks for your support,