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County v Partick
#1
I think this is a must win game after last night
 
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#2
Knowing our form of late I will go for a 4-4 draw.
 
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#3
There will obviously have to be some considreable changes from last night, preferably both in personnel and tactics. Ideally i'd like to see Boyd in for Maclean and either Carey or MDL for Cooper, preferably MDL. These 2 should be a minimum.
 
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#4
Hopefully last night was a reality check/kick up the [censored], whatever, why on earth we would need that god only knows, if the staff/players don't realise what a precarious position we are in, help.

We have a horrible run coming up after this:
St Johnstone away
Motherwell away
Aberdeen home
Celtic away
ICT home

I would say 3 points on Saturday are a must.

 
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#5
(02-26-2014, 03:40 PM)Roccos Wheelie Bin Wrote: There will obviously have to be some considreable changes from last night, preferably both in personnel and tactics. Ideally i'd like to see Boyd in for Maclean and either Carey or MDL for Cooper, preferably MDL. These 2 should be a minimum.

If we had gone and got a decent centreback who commanded the area,instead of playing bombscare Maclean,who in my opinion never was, never will be a better player than Scot Boyd,and Ketts would have made a differences,tidier too slow upstairs ,supposed to control midfield and spray passes but was so undecided he rarely got ball away befor being tackled, Kiss did not even look like a player last night band went to ground too easily ,I'm pretty sick today,and was distressed last night at the largest Exodus of support I've ever witnessed at Vicky park(GES) if the management don't take notice,and we can go every week picking n layers,but the buck stops with manager last nights team completely devoid of ideas,this is not good enough, if Partick take us to cleaners on sat I really fear for county
RB batteries have gone he along with bombscare are liabilities
 
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#6
A lot of emotion spilling out on the forum since last night, we need to keep the head - if one thing is vital it's that the support get behind the team on Saurday and for the rest of the season.

I know it's hard to take when we don't turn up against our biggest rivals, but hey - teams have off days, look at Aberdeen last weekend, I for one didn't see that result coming.

We need o get into Partick straight from the whistle and not give them a minute on the ball, we can't throw everything forward as they will just catch us on the break like Caley did. But when they have the ball, I want us to get into them and get it back like Caley were doing last night, they robbed our midfield umpteen times and we need that same desire on Saturday!

As Stuart says above, we have a horrendous schedule of games coming up, so we need to take maximum points from Saturday, or at least not get beaten!

Part of me thinks that we may do better against top six clubs as the games are more open and not as frantic - but the rest of the season is going to be a battle simple as that - any player not up for it - then off you go! The guys need to take a close look in the mirror - a lot of the punters coming to watch this team are struggling financially given current climate and players need to understand that people won't continue to turn up if the product is mince!
Supporter Liaison Officer 

 
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#7
(02-26-2014, 08:51 PM)staggie2509 Wrote: A lot of emotion spilling out on the forum since last night, we need to keep the head - if one thing is vital it's that the support get behind the team on Saurday and for the rest of the season.

I know it's hard to take when we don't turn up against our biggest rivals, but hey - teams have off days, look at Aberdeen last weekend, I for one didn't see that result coming.

We need o get into Partick straight from the whistle and not give them a minute on the ball, we can't throw everything forward as they will just catch us on the break like Caley did. But when they have the ball, I want us to get into them and get it back like Caley were doing last night, they robbed our midfield umpteen times and we need that same desire on Saturday!

As Stuart says above, we have a horrendous schedule of games coming up, so we need to take maximum points from Saturday, or at least not get beaten!

Part of me thinks that we may do better against top six clubs as the games are more open and not as frantic - but the rest of the season is going to be a battle simple as that - any player not up for it - then off you go! The guys need to take a close look in the mirror - a lot of the punters coming to watch this team are struggling financially given current climate and players need to understand that people won't continue to turn up if the product is mince!

Caley are a top club so I can't agree with you on that,plus that was 139 minutes of continues bad play, I must agree with you ,you are so right guys need to take a close look in mirror. Or punters will not buy tickets,,,well well just a thought,we continued from second half on Saturday to play mince from start last night,we can keep getting n about players but management has to look in mirror too
 
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#8
I have to say that I'm concerned about this match, in the same way that I was in the lead up to the first home match against Partick Thistle in August, when they won 3-1 and the scoreline flattered County.

It's all about the space around the 'D' in front of the centre-backs. It's a crucial piece of territory on the pitch and if a team can't adequately defend it - as with County for big chunks of the season - then other teams will pick them off. The current team aren't doing a good enough job of defending that area, leaving space in front of the defence and making it too tempting for a centre-back to come out of the back line, causing all sorts of havoc to the team.

You could say that Ross County have been using the 4-4-2 at the start of matches since the derby at the turn of the year, but Kiss and Tidser have only been starting when available in the last seven matches - and County have only won two of those. The wins against Caley Thistle and St Johnstone had Kettlewell and Carey together in the middle and they played it differently to Kiss and Tidser: they were passive, sitting off the opposition and sprayed the ball to the flanks and further forward as quickly as possible, but remained relatively deep and not over-committing themselves. Kiss and Tidser are good as a partnership in some ways, but together have been caught up the field too often. The two of them together in the middle of a 4-4-2 don't offer enough protection over the whole match.

Cases in point:

The gaps have been there since the first time Kiss and Tidser played together, but I'll just look at the last three matches.

Against Hibs, Quinn deputised for Kiss but the same pattern emerged.

[Image: Hibs.jpg]

The positions of Tidser and Quinn are marked in yellow, the dangerous area in question circled in orange.

For the first goal, when Stanton beat Tidser too easily, he had space to dribble the ball in to. Quinn got the ball with his slide tackle, but it was a risky one to make and the referee gave the foul. The free-kick was scored.

[Image: Hibs2.jpg]

For the second goal, when the move broke down (with Arquin on the deck), Taiwo broke from midfield to score from the centred ball. (Incidentally, that was another time when McLean (closest to the ball) failed to block a cross going in - it happens all too often).

[Image: Hibs3.jpg]

In the second half, with Quinn off and Brittain infield, Stanton broke in between and got a shot at goal, eventually at a difficult angle.

All of those opportunities could have been prevented with a holding midfielder screening the other two central midfielders.

Had Stanton been playing as their central attacking midfielder behind Haynes, rather than playing deeper beside Taiwo, then I think County could have lost by a bigger margin. Handling was the player off Haynes and he was merely OK and effective enough, but he had no incision.


Against St Mirren, County didn't have as much danger because Lennon played with two out-and-out centre-forwards in an identical 4-4-2.

Their best moments in open play (not including their goal which came from a corner), came from Kenny McLean coming off the right wing on to his stronger left foot and behind the midfielders.

[Image: Kenny_Mc_Lean_space_2.jpg]
[Image: Kenny_Mc_Lean_space.jpg]

McLean could only come infield so much and Wylde ought to have done better with what service he got from it. A better team might have done more with the space available. I would have played Paul McGowan behind Thompson; McGowan came on at half-time to replace the hapless Djemba Djemba but he was needed further forward.

Against ICT, we know how that turned out.

I don't think the highlights are representative of the amount of times in the first half that Foran dropped off the front line, into the free space, before linking with Doran and Shinnie.

[Image: ICT.jpg]

The third goal is an extreme example, with County pushing for a consolation or a way back into the match, but is still indicative of the overall pattern. You can't give Doran time to lift his head when dribbling towards goal and he was allowed to do it for two of the three goals.


Partick Thistle

They beat Aberdeen last weekend and I don't think it was a fluke. Their current first choice line-up has its weaknesses, but their front six are better as a unit than the rest of the bottom six, in my opinion. With Higginbotham and Erskine playing as 'inverted wingers' (that is inside forwards who start wide but who naturally come on to their stronger foot), they have two players who will look to make the most of the space behind County's midfield. Both players blow hot and cold, but the chances of them both being completely ineffective are small if given the open space afforded by an opposing 4-4-2.

There is little likelihood of Archibald changing his team. Supposing Adams uses the same XI as against St Mirren:

[Image: Thistle.jpg][Image: Thistle1.jpg]

There is a clear numerical disadvantage in central midfield. Arquin and Slew work very hard off the ball, but Arquin can only do so much in dropping deep to cover when it's not the position he's set up to do.

The 3 v 2 is a situation that happened at Firhill in January, but it was a blessing that only one of Thistle's midfield five was good enough then to be assumed a first choice for this Saturday.

Prince Buaben is a big guy and he'll make the ball stick when it comes into him. If he can hold the ball and bring the wider midfielders in then County could be in big trouble on the break.

What County did at the start of the Firhill match was have Kiss and Tidser play deep (whether by accident or design) until they grew into the match. They kept an eye on the space that Lawless (who played in Buaben's position), but that meant Craigen and Muirhead had all the time in the world to pick their passes. Fortunately, they weren't particularly efficient with the time they had and offered no penetration - in fact they allowed Kiss and Tidser back into the match.

Bannigan and Fraser are much more poised and a better balanced partnership, I don't know if County will get away with it again.

I argued in another thread about the merits of playing Kiss as a disciplined holding midfielder, but whether or not that happens I think something has to change from the current side. I don't rate Thistle's defence and maybe Arquin and Slew together would make mincemeat of them, but there's too much of a risk of being hit badly on the counter-attack. All but one of the pictures above show the attacking midfielder with time and space with his head up, ready to pick a killer pass out. At the top level, it's one of the most dangerous concessions you can give.

[Image: Thistle2.jpg][Image: Thistle3.jpg]

If County went with a 4-1-4-1 / 4-3-3 shape, they would match Thistle's midfielders up exactly. The middle three would all have a man and it would come down to individual battles. You can argue who should play, but in terms of shape I think it offers more solidity. The biggest problem I see would be trusting the wide forward tracking Taylor-Sinclair's overlapping runs, but if Slew was there he'd at least make the left-back think twice about pushing ahead. If Taylor-Sinclair is in check, then County's own full-backs can defend a bit more narrow and gives Higginbotham and Erskine less space to cause damage in.

Ross County average an involvement in three goals per match (not always for them!). That's more than any other team in the league. If they continue with the 4-4-2 against Thistle then they might get away with leaving space behind the midfield, and indeed out-score the opposition, but I'm just not that optimistic.

 
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#9
Thanks bb.

Hope that's Del telt then.
Soz Jim'n'Billy
 
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#10
That's an excellent post....why are you not a football manager or coach instead of doing the job you do ?
There's a fine line between genius and insanity
 
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#11
Edit: Quote removed by admin for formatting reasons.
____

Now this is positive self explanatory, well set up and I actually can recall parts that happened in game,I like this very much,as one can study and relate to incidents.

When you see how R Forun was making space with nobody challenging him,plus the fact he was contuously encorouging very forcibly his team,you do not see that anymore from RB
One thing I will say is time for Ketts to return or be on bench and BOYDY must play.
 
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#12
Ok, but was there really a need to quote the whole thing?

 
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#13
(02-27-2014, 09:06 PM)john@THHP Wrote: Ok, but was there really a need to quote the whole thing?

All these fancy drawings/graphs will count for nothing on Saturday. We just have to get stuck in from the start, no stupid defensive mistakes, and we will be ok. Have every confidence in the team that Derek will put out.
 
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#14
That's what Willie McStay said*.

*He might not have

 
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#15
(02-27-2014, 09:24 PM)john@THHP Wrote: That's what Willie McStay said*.

*He might not have

Don't recall Willie Mcstay being there when Derek was picking the team.
 
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#16
(02-27-2014, 10:56 PM)DORTAIN Wrote:
(02-27-2014, 09:24 PM)john@THHP Wrote: That's what Willie McStay said*.

*He might not have

Don't recall Willie Mcstay being there when Derek was picking the team.

I cannot believe the work Bunglebonce put into his post and the depth of his analysis,which is always welcome I am sure by most on here, deserved such flippant responses.
 
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#17
It's fair enough, no-one has an obligation to agree with anyone else.

 
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#18
Great post from Bunglebonce. Makes some key observations. I agree we need protection in front of the back four. If you look at the system last year it was very effective with Lawson sitting in front of the back four. There are positives from Derek playing two up front but we are leaking a lot of goals and the priority has to be to sort out the backline. Would love to see Boyd alongside Songo on Saturday and Ketts sitting in front of the back four with Slew and Melvin occupying the wings with Arquin up front.
 
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#19
Blood and snotters football FTW.
 
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#20
(02-27-2014, 11:39 PM)Strathglass Wrote:
(02-27-2014, 10:56 PM)DORTAIN Wrote:
Don't recall Willie Mcstay being there when Derek was picking the team.

I cannot believe the work Bunglebonce put into his post and the depth of his analysis,which is always welcome I am sure by most on here, deserved such flippant responses.

The post is welcome. All I'm saying is it will count for nothing on Saturday. Move on.
 
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