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POST MATCH THREAD: NORWICH 2-5 LIVERPOOL

TTorroro

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Special mention for Luis incredibly mature display today, i didn't see him argue with the ref once, lord knows he had every right to if he had.
Yep about to add this. As his game mature I hope he achieve the top athlete mental balance of controlled aggression and placidity toward provocation
 

OhYaBeauty

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Firstly, we are still not controlling the game. While this may be tolerable against Norwich (barely), it absolutely will not be against better teams. Our midfield tries to move the ball too quickly forward at times instead of controlling the tempo and setting the tone of the game to our terms. Also, lacking a proper ball-winner like Lucas means that our defense needs to provide additional cover to the back 4 by not allowing other teams to have the ball in midfield. Our pressing is good, but once teams get past the first wave of pressure they can often bring the ball right through us at the defense; I think we really need to focus on keeping the ball far better. Poor pass selection and errors in the midfield by trying to force the play will come back and hurt us. We play a high defensive line with attacking fullbacks and we owe it to them to make their jobs easier. It is no coincidence that we looked more solid once Henderson came on.

Secondly, we need our wide players to come into the middle when Suárez drops deep into the hole. On the back of today's performance, Rodgers may be justified with continuing to play Suárez there, but that means the wide forwards need to step up. Sterling and Suso lacked presence centrally, and once Assaidi came on he filled that gap. I expect Assaidi to take Sterling's spot in the PL XI now that he's fit. He + Suárez will be exciting to watch.

Thirdly, individual errors are still costing us. A lot of sloppy passing and unacceptable mistakes. Reina made a couple of enormous saves and then drops the ball for their first. Skrtel is only as consistent as his partner. We are too quick to go back to the keeper which puts pressure on the defense. We lost a lot of possession by our midfield/defense forcing Reina to kick long. This ties in with my first point: control the ball further up the field. Rodgers needs to drill into the players that there is no slackness allowed until the final whistle. Allen knows this already and stays mentally switched on all game.

Edit: Praise in order for Suárez (he only scores worldies!), Wisdom, Suso, Sahin, and Johnson.
Agree with you on parts of the first paragraph. Sahin and Gerrard during the first half made too many aerial balls forward that were 50/50 at best. However, I also think that we can operate without a recognized ball winner against the likes of Norwich. Sahin, Allen, and Gerrard are all proficient at winning the ball, and against lesser opposition they'll do the job. I disagree, though, about us controlling the game. For large swaths of the second half we controlled possession for minutes at a time. Although we did pass some poor balls in the first half, we still controlled the game. While that might not work against better opposition, we still controlled.

On your second point, I agree with most, but disagree that Suso never came centrally. He drifted into midfield often. Do you mean that they need to come centrally as forwards?

And the last paragraph hits the nail on the head as to why we're having defensive mistakes. It's something that can be learned, though, and I think that it will happen with time.
 

Prolix

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On your second point, I agree with most, but disagree that Suso never came centrally. He drifted into midfield often. Do you mean that they need to come centrally as forwards?
Precisely. He drifts laterally onto his left foot, but he doesn't drive to the middle to fill the gap up top in the way that Assaidi looked to. It makes sense in that Assaidi is more of a forward-winger to Suso's midfield-winger (if that makes any sense). Suárez causes damage on days he's "on" when he drops deep, so we definitely have room in the side for players like Borini and Assaidi that will thrive off of that space vertically. I understand a bit better now why Rodgers opted for Borini wide and Suárez centrally.
 

Celtic Dragon

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We did it in the Europa League, we did it in the League Cup. It was only a matter of time before we slaughtered a team in the Premier League.
 

OhYaBeauty

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Precisely. He drifts laterally onto his left foot, but he doesn't drive to the middle to fill the gap up top in the way that Assaidi looked too. It makes sense in that Assaidi is more of a forward-winger to Suso's midfield-winger (if that makes any sense). Suárez causes damage on days he's "on" when he drops deep, so we definitely have room in the side for players like Borini in Assaidi that will thrive off of that space vertically. I understand a bit better now why Rodgers opted for Borini wide and Suárez centrally.
Top post. And regarding Borini, it really is so he can play the "Pedro role" and move forward centrally on the shoulder of the last defender for Luis to pass to. Hopefully it works for us, though its a little strange for us to do it on the right.
 

Barnestormer

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Thats was a fcking ripsnorter!

Still concerns me Luis didnt get the nailed on penalty. BR was right to raise the profile of this problem. He is the new Cantona.......and it has to change and preconceptions abandoned.
 

EdWood

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Really please with this result as it kick-starts our Premiership season but we have to be realistic; if we'd have been playing a better team, even the barcodes or the spuds, this match could have gone either way. We didn't dominate the play with this system as it's supposed to allow us to do (a 50% split) and gave Norwich far too much room in our final third. Apart from short periods, we gave the ball away far too cheaply and until the existing squad of players become more confident on the ball as a group and start making the right pass-selections consistently, we're going to continue to ship goals by putting unecerssary pressure on ourselves; that or certain players are replaced by more technically proficient ones.

I hope our shortcummings aren't glossed over by the fact that we won by three clear goals; I hope that Brendan continue to identify the individual player/tactical weak points that need to be strengthened, as this result along with the WBA one needs to be built upon.
 

RMP

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Suarez is a masterclass enough said

It was rather embarrassing today for Norwich. I fear for them but Suso, Sahin, Johnson and Gerrard were also a cut above the rest today. Sterling was also good but looked a bit tired to be honest.
We would have taken a 1 or 2 nil so I'm not gonna even bitch about the defense today which included a youngster, someone playing in a relatively new role and a slightly fit center-back

Hopefully we can win 4 of our next 5 matches which seems very possible
 

redalways

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The defence looks like it needs a lot more practice playing together, not seamless enough yet. One thing about Rafa's teams, and Kenny's at times was that the defence always moved as a unit. This meant less pressure on Reina. Now, the movement is all very haphazard, leaving too many open spaces for Reina to cover. Notice that when we were pressing Norwich very tightly, they lost the ball often and didn't threaten much, but towards the end when we started to slacken on the ball, we started to have problems against their attack.

That aside, Reina looks like he has no confidence at all. None whatsoever.
 

Archer

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Overall people should be happy. Lots of the things we've been doing right in previous games actually came off today. The other bonuses are how good some of the youngsters look. Wisdom (who I was worried about) was about as composed as you can be. Rodger's should be applauded for his faith in youth and his rewarding of good form.

Suarez had the miss but otherwise he was at the races today. The question about our striking options won't go away however. Goals have to be scored consistently, not in gluts. In Sahin we have a world class player - I'm not scared of calling him that, the guy oozes quality - and it's good to see goals coming from midfield as Rodger's wanted - we're going to need more of them.

The negative is the defence. Almost every game I've seen this season has had a consistent theme - Allen, Gerrard and other mid-fielders who have played alongside them, do not track the runs of opposition players. It's a very simple job, and it's painful to watch on a tv because it just opens us up to be shot at.

The other issue is Reina - no one can say for certain what his problem is, but he needs to feel pressure to perform, and the certainty of a starting berth doesn't provide any. Dare we start Jones or Gulacsi? Skrtel has been indecisive, and Johnson has been caught out once or twice as well - this style of play will always highlight individual mistakes.

The other thing I think people should take note of is that whilst Wisdom, Sterling and Suso have shown quality, maturity and composure beyond their years, they aren't beyond their years. Insua had a great cameo for a few months, before forming part of a disastrous back 4 and never really recovering. Youngsters have good spells, fans get excited, then the player has a dip and people get on their back. It's important fans appreciate Sterling will end up having a piss poor donkey-esque display eventually.

It was Norwich - so things came off well for us today. Their defence is prone to leaking like a sieve. But other teams will cut us open on the counter if we don't cut these errors out, and we need to see consistent goal scoring at the other end. Overall though its a win, a really good one, with lots of good passing movement. We're not a finished article though, and I don't think grand predictions are in order.
 

Barnestormer

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The defence looks like it needs a lot more practice playing together, not seamless enough yet. One thing about Rafa's teams, and Kenny's at times was that the defence always moved as a unit. This meant less pressure on Reina. Now, the movement is all very haphazard, leaving too many open spaces for Reina to cover. Notice that when we were pressing Norwich very tightly, they lost the ball often and didn't threaten much, but towards the end when we started to slacken on the ball, we started to have problems against their attack.

That aside, Reina looks like he has no confidence at all. None whatsoever.
Yes, I agree. I nearly posted that myself but decided against it; was going to say he looked shaky at times.

I dont want to raise any negatives after this but at times Pepe's form recently has made me wonder if he is not on the decline. Been eyeing Michel Vorm too - thought he was keeper of the season last time out.
 

TTorroro

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Precisely. He drifts laterally onto his left foot, but he doesn't drive to the middle to fill the gap up top in the way that Assaidi looked to. It makes sense in that Assaidi is more of a forward-winger to Suso's midfield-winger (if that makes any sense). Suárez causes damage on days he's "on" when he drops deep, so we definitely have room in the side for players like Borini and Assaidi that will thrive off of that space vertically. I understand a bit better now why Rodgers opted for Borini wide and Suárez centrally.
Agree, we need more synergy to play the narrow compact style in 4-3-3, and having a gem of player like Suarez means we need othe forward to exploit space he consistently creates in middle. I was hoping Assaidi could play well off Suarez but based on his "cameo" today I can't gauge well as the team was decidedly feet off the pedal when he came on. I did spot him in box with Suarez taking his slot though. I'd like to see interchange of role fluidly between these two, when Assaidi Ferrari down the flank Suarez drift into position in middle and when Suarez leaves the middle Assaidi pops into it.

Suso. He's more a very talented playmaker in the am role rather than wide forward role. He's an intelligent ball player though so could jolly well learn to make runaway in complement to other forwards play. If we can work in the whole 4-5 player interchanging plays (3 forward, one fullback and the advanced midfielder) we certainly have quite a selection of talented players to fit into roles. Like sahin , Gerard, Suarez, Assaidi , sterling,Suso .
 

EdWood

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A flawed win but a win nonetheless, and the way that Luis rubbed the boo boys' noses in it was excellent. :-)
 

TTorroro

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Top post. And regarding Borini, it really is so he can play the "Pedro role" and move forward centrally on the shoulder of the last defender for Luis to pass to. Hopefully it works for us, though its a little strange for us to do it on the right.
I still haven't seen a lot of ,and enough from borini in those instances, to think he can function well as a value adding wide forward. But what do I know, surely BR knows much better ;-) his all round contribution pales though in comparison to sterling and even Suso. But he has a vey good shot and better goal scoring instincts perhaps
 

DCJ

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At last a win and a good one. Squad seems to be chosing itself. Kids are coming through well. The only dark horizon is we are still leaking soft goals and we still need another striker.


To early to crow about "the season starts here" [email protected]*p but fingers crossed we start to grow from here.
 

Archer

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Jeez. We get our first win 5-2 and all anyone can do is whinge about our defence.
People seem happy on here, just tempering it with a bit of realism. Too often LFC scoring 5 goals leads to '10 game winning streak is on the way, luis for golden boot, top 4 finish easy, probs a cup in the bag too'. It's better people take the pragmatic line, that way when we concede 5, no one starts whinging about sacking the manager.

This isn't intended as having a go at you btw
 

Red Armada

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In a way conceding these two goals is a good thing because it will keep our feet firmly on the ground; but we really need to sort out our defence.

It is very worrying that we are conceding an average of more than two goals per game and we are not defending correctly neither individually nor collectively. Skrtel and Reina especially have been shocking so far.

The overall picture though is extremely positive and encouraging. Brendan Rodgers is transforming this team right before our eyes and the results will be outstanding. If he is properly backed by the owners there is no reason at all, not to achieve longstanding success.

Today was the most confident and assured performance that i've seen in years and i'm so pleased that the team is finally starting to show signs of progress. Man of the man goes to Luis Suarez not because of his brilliant hat trick but because he was calm, mature and intelligent.
 

Prolix

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Top post. And regarding Borini, it really is so he can play the "Pedro role" and move forward centrally on the shoulder of the last defender for Luis to pass to. Hopefully it works for us, though its a little strange for us to do it on the right.
I think playing Borini on the right may have been an effort to accomodate the relatively 'hot' Sterling in his better position. Now that his form has dropped off slightly and Assaidi is fit, the wide left position is a bit of a conundrum between Assaidi and Borini. It's unfortunate that as their better position we have Assaidi, Borini, Sterling, and Pacheco all for the left and few options for the right. I think we may try Assaidi wide right, as he seems fairly confident on his off foot.

I think the first choice team looks like this:

Borini - [sub]Suárez[/sub] - Assaidi

[sup]Sahin[/sup] - Gerrard
Allen

[sup]Johnson[/sup] - - Agger - Skrtel - - [sup]Wisdom[/sup]
[font=courier new']Reina[/font]

And the 'B' team for cups and Europe:




Pacheco - [sup]Yesil[/sup] - Sterling

Suso - [sup]Shelvey[/sup]
Henderson

[sup]Robinson[/sup] - - Carragher - Coates - - [sup]Wisdom?[/sup]
Jones

Fullback has become a major issue with Flannagan's fitness uncertain.

Edit: Completely forgot about Enrique. But it remains unclear whether he is out of Rodgers' favour entirely. If he can get his sharpness back, then first choice is definitely Enrique/Johnson on their appropriate sides, leaving Wisdom and Robinson as the 'B' team fullbacks.
 

Anthony

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While I agree that Pepe is on a horrible run lately, I think it is also important to note that he has stuck with us through some tough times and we as fans need to support him through his poor form. How many players "abandonded ship", when Pepe has stayed with us and always supported our "rebuilding efforts"
He currently stinks, yes, but is still 1 of the best keepers in the world.................bench him, coach him but show faith in him.
 

Gears

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This game was too easy in my opinion. I see other people are starting to notice a few recurring themes:
  • Suarez:
    • All his goals were from outside the box today.
    • His assist was INSIDE the box.
    • Can combine really well with Suso
  • Allen
    • Rare gift: Not only can he pass, but he is an expert at interceptions (no need to tackle)
    • We could afford to play with just two midfielders if Sahin/Shelvey can replicate this.
    • We have little use for Henderson and Gerrard if he keeps this up.
  • Defense:
    • The passing at the back is being forced on the players
    • This is much easier/feasible if Allen drops deep to collect it
    • The defense needs to collectively come to an agreement on how to make it work under the right circumstances. (IE: hoof it if there is too much pressure and little support)
  • Wings:
    • Suso seems to drift inside at the half way line which congests the middle He should take it another 20-30 yards to open the playing field more.
    • Assaidi can do just that, except he was not receiving the ball as much
    • Sterling did well on all three ends, tracking back in the defensive zone, passing it safe in the middle and committing defenders in the final third including his assist.
  • Items to look for in the future:
    • Gerrard might be better off swapping roles with Suarez.
      • He is more clinical in the 18 yard box.
      • Suarez is already playing in the hole despite being deployed up top
      • Suarez is better than gerrard on the turn and out wide.
    • Allow the young players to keep competing for their starting spots. (Encourage Suso to use his skills in the final third instead of playing deep)
    • Find a combination on the flanks for a run of 5-10 games (ie wisdom+ Suso) or (Glen+ Sterling)
 

BostonMick

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Could watch that style of play all day. Kudos to BR and the players who respond to his coaching and direction.
I thought Gerrard had a great game - tracking back and all over the field. Leadership.
Younger players and new faces continue to impress.
Great shifts by Wisdom, Johnson, Agger, Allen.
Brain farts by Pepe and Skrtel were frankly shocking.
Biggest positive - playing a "lower" team and not lowering our game to their level - instead playing to our strengths.
Is it me or does Jordan Henderson add nothing to the team?
If I never see Downing in a Liverpool shirt again I will not lose any sleep.
Great day at the office.
 

Gears

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The defence looks like it needs a lot more practice playing together, not seamless enough yet. One thing about Rafa's teams, and Kenny's at times was that the defence always moved as a unit. This meant less pressure on Reina. Now, the movement is all very haphazard, leaving too many open spaces for Reina to cover. Notice that when we were pressing Norwich very tightly, they lost the ball often and didn't threaten much, but towards the end when we started to slacken on the ball, we started to have problems against their attack.

That aside, Reina looks like he has no confidence at all. None whatsoever.
I think this is happening due to how long Rafa coached them to be fair. His instructions were very scientific and he analyzed each players on their ability to understand/apply them before signing them. On top of this, those who struggled had years and years of coaching to prosper in this system. (ie carra, hyypia etc). More importantly, rafa seemed to have a higher engagement level in the defensive players who tend to stay longer than just one season.

Rodgers' to his credit, is being bold by trying something different and he has confidence in the players to learn this system as well. I think he understands that they are still adapting although younger players will automatically learn things quicker.

His biggest concern is pepe reina, who had confidence issues under hodgson and dalglish. Some say this had to do with the previous goalkeeping coach losing his job a couple years back. I think he just needs a bit of motivation to be fair. If his concentration dropped so low that he cannot catch a ball, surely dropping him to the bench does not solve the issue.

I remember back in 2006 in his first season, we were the best defensive team around because Rafa wanted to focus on that part of our game. We lacked bite going forward, but Reina was extremely confident in his defense to avoid letting the opposition to penetrate the penalty box. Going forward in the following seasons, we started winning games narrowly with Reina only being asked to make one or two crucial saves per game...which helped his confidence more.

I think our first priority is to get confidence back to our defense, then work on getting Reina to be comfortable again.
 

TTorroro

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In regard to reina form which he will attest to being poor one can manage it 2 ways. Personally given his professionalism n looking at his outburst giving away first goal. I think setting some games n continually playing him in those league games to see if he can pick himself up from slump is preferred. If form is still indifferent then the bench. In bigger context ww won game tonight n he made some saves amidst one blunder. Smaller context being he's 30 n a professional benching him outright will hardly work the desired effect vs a young player
 

Gears

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In regard to reina form which he will attest to being poor one can manage it 2 ways. Personally given his professionalism n looking at his outburst giving away first goal. I think setting some games n continually playing him in those league games to see if he can pick himself up from slump is preferred. If form is still indifferent then the bench. In bigger context ww won game tonight n he made some saves amidst one blunder. Smaller context being he's 30 n a professional benching him outright will hardly work the desired effect vs a young player
Pepe Reina is quite a character to be fair., read this:

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has revealed the details of an explosive row he had with Anfield stalwart Jamie Carragher, which spilled over into the dressing room after beginning on the pitch.


PA PhotosJamie Carragher and Pepe Reina: Liverpool team-mates for the past six years​

Reina and Carragher, both mainstays of the Reds rearguard since the Spanish shot-stopper joined the club in 2005, clashed in an unnamed game because of a disagreement about passing options.
"The veins in our necks were bulging, our faces were red with anger and neither of us were going to back down," Reina said in his autobiography Pepe, which is being serialised in the Daily Mirror.
"The row between me and Jamie Carragher started during the game - I can't even remember who we were playing against - carried on in the dressing room and didn't come to an end until we sent each other text messages apologising.
"He went crazy at me, screaming at me, and I was screaming back at him. We were like that for fully five minutes shouting at one another and getting our point across. When we got back into the dressing room the row started again and it was even rougher than it had been on the pitch.
"The other players were just totally silent, watching us giving each other hell. It wasn't even over anything major. It was just a difference of opinion over whether I should knock the ball long or [if] he should give me an angle for a short pass.
"I ended up kicking the ball out wide to where I thought Carra should be, but he wasn't there and it went out of play. He shouted at me: 'You really think you're Franz Beckenbauer and you're always trying to play short passes when you should just empty it.'
"I responded: 'If I know one thing it's that you definitely aren't Beckenbauer, but just give me a bit of support when I've got the ball so we can try and play instead of just kicking it down the pitch.'"
Meanwhile, Reina has lifted the lid on an occasion when he was at loggerheads with former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez over alcohol consumption. "The biggest argument I had with Rafa was about a beer," Reina said. "We had lost 2-1 to Besiktas and not played too well. I decided to have a beer. I don't see a problem with that because for me it is healthier to do that than it is to have a glass of Coca-Cola or a drink like that.
"Suddenly, the bartender turned up and said: 'The club doctor, medical staff and manager have made it clear to me they do not want you to have a beer.' I still don't know why this was the case but whatever the reason, I was fuming. I grabbed my bags and stormed off to my room without even having dinner. That is how upset I was.
"For me, Rafa was in the wrong. It suggests the manager does not trust you to look after yourself in the right way. He saw it differently and, if he has a small weakness as a manager, it is that he did not have a massive career as a player before he moved into management."
 



LFC-Orlando

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Gears not sure I see the link to the post match thread with the Pepe autobiography...maybe better in the player's thread.

You implying there's something again brewing in our defense?
 

Malaka

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My first post in years and away from the subject. I was wondering if a petition to investigate any of the elements involving the referees, the FA and Manchester UTD can be created and passed around among other club forums. After so many years involved with different people from different clubs, the majority are certain that something wrong is going on. I just can't believe there has not been a journalist, lawyer or any other entity that has looked into it. This should not be a Liverpool 'thing' but a colaboration all all clubs and fans. We clearly see weekend and week-out the blatant calls, the aweful decisions by the FA and the clear favortisims towards certain clubs. We also see the unofficial 'banned' against players and managers from talking about the subject. I believe a petition may be something to look in to. After all, the FA cannot punish the masses. Just an idea.
 

alaskared

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Both keeper had one error each, WBA goal and that ridiculous clearance from Pepe. So kinda hard to pick Jones before Pepe since we know what this keeper can do for us.

Now, as for the game. Defensively we were quite bad. The whole team doesn't seem to know how to defend when the opponent pushes us back. That is a worry.

Sahin's movement and understanding with Suarez, Sterling and Suso is a bit of a shock to me. I don't expect these 4 to play well and move well with each other. We know how good that Turkish player can be. Already scored 3 goals. Lucas-Henderson-Allen are more alike, while Gerrard-Sahin are complimentary in the attacking front.

Still, not going to get ahead of ourselves. Defending is very weak.
In Jones' defence he did get punched in the nose for that error. I do have a hard time trusting him though. Pepe needs a rest or needs to play every game.....whatever gets him back.
Agreed on our attacking midfield, can't see Hendo or Downings future here.
 

mattyhurst

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It is the same as it was when we didn't win this is a work in progress, clinically we are doing the right things and it will take time for the system to bed in just be happy we won, I do seriously worry for some, as for some who said they could have had 3 or 4, couldn't we have had as well for nearly the entire first half of last season?