Lions manager Neil Harris and his team are facing a tough test at the business end of the season. The heavy defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup has left a hangover with us just picking up two draws this week and losing our play-off position.
It’s not time to panic yet though. There are still nine matches to go. But only three are at home so we do need to pick up points on the road to make the play-offs. If we fail to make the top six it would be a disappointing return on the season, despite the FA Cup successes.
Following the cup defeat, supporters wanted the team to put on a good performance at home against a Bury team who, despite having picked up form since Lee Clark was appointed manager, are still fighting relegation.
Sadly we never got that performance or result as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
Long ball bore
We went to the bad old days of September and there was way too many long balls. Since that early low point we have learnt to mix-up our attacks better, still playing lots of direct football but with more care with balls into chest, feet and down the channels for our striker or wingers.
That, mixed in with some passing game, has seen us move up the table but Saturday we reverted back to predictable play that Bury lapped up.
The Northerners came to frustrate and waste time to earn a point and that they did. The one move where we ran at the opposition with the ball saw Wallace play in Steve Morison who netted but was harshly adjudged off-side.
Indeed we needed an amazing sprint and tackle by skipper Tony Craig to stop James Vaughan when he was bearing down on goal.
Losing a two goal lead up at Rochdale on Tuesday night was frustrating but a point was welcome after we went down 3-2 in the second half. We finished the game strongly with their keeper preventing us getting all three points with 3-3 the final score. We need that kind of effort at Swindon this Saturday.
Winger Fred Onyedinma was left on the bench for the Bury match after manager Neil Harris made public the contract negotiating problems the club are having with Onyedinma’s agent.
I agree with Neil Harris. It’s amazing that a player can leave something so important as a contract in the sole hands of a representative.