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Fixture Pile Up

From January 21st to March 4th, we will play 13 matches. This involves 9 away games, including 6 away Tuesday nights on the trot. In titsl, that is 13 games in 41 days (a month and a bit). That really is crazy, considering most teams will play 4-6 matches in a typical a month.

Either we play our first team consistently and risk exhausting them, or increasingly play our subs/reserves who are clearly a lower standard than the first XI, as displayed tonight and throughout the season. I think we could really struggle through February unfortunately. By the end of the season, we will have played 6-7 matches more than many other teams in League 2, which could be all important.

Comments

  • The only positions where we really have strength in depth are right-back, attacking midfield - where Saunders, Wood or Bloomfield will all be able to excel - and our strikeforce. I presume our first choice front three will be Akinfenwa, Kashket, Hayes, with a second-choice of Thompson, Weston, Jakubiak. And probably PCH to fit in as well.

    I wonder if it would be better to switch between different two entirely different front fours over the next few weeks rather than chopping and changing (injuries permitting)? That way not only will they all be fully refreshed when they take to the pitch but they will also have the opportunity to train as two distinct squadrons, really building up understanding within the two groups of four.

  • I think it's easy to let ourselves get down after last night's result, coming on the back of Saturday's (personally I'm still reliving Spurs' winner half a dozen times a day in my head), but was it so terrible? Seven changes against the in-form team in the division, and a sub appearance from a player who only met the rest of the team when he got on the bus. I think this squad has serious character and a win against Pompey, with a hopefully fully fit first 11 and this blip will soon be forgotten.

  • We were always going to lose again at some point - And with Exeters form, 7 changes, and Saturday so fresh in the mind - last night was a pretty safe bet.
    Pile-up is a slight concern but hopefully we can come through. Not every game will take so much out of the players as Spurs did (both physically and mentally). A win against Pompey on Sat (which I believe is very possible) and we're back on track and optimistic again.

  • It always felt like last night was going to be a step too far and so it proved. For me the game felt a little half paced with an air of inevitability. The team tried hard but were always second best to a decent Exeter team.

    There were some obvious flaws, central defence reserve pair were ripped apart by Reuben Reid, Blackman seems to be developing a Dracula-esque aversion to crosses, the system plainly doesn't work without a Akinfenwa/hayes target man and controversially kashket appears to me to be quite anonymous when not scoring every game (maybe defenders are starting to work him out a little). But it was a reserve team playing against the divisions form team, I don't think the result surprised anybody.

    What next? Its going to be hard I think. Too many games with a small squad, already knackered from big fixtures and a high intensity style. I hope I am wrong but I wouldn't be surprised to see the club slip back into mid-table. If that happens I hope the supporters are understanding and recognise that Ainsworth and the boys have delivered yet another extraordinary season.

  • @DevC how did Muller play Dev? And Jakubiak?

  • Possibly not fair to judge on a wet night with a team getting outplayed but, my view

    Muller looked good for the first 10 minutes but gradually deteriorated into a bit of a stinker. Reuben Reid destroyed them both. Perhaps trying a little to hard to be classy, simply doesn't have the time in Lg2 that perhaps he is used to.

    Jakubiak took his goal really well, aided by the big new centre forward that came on for the last twenty minutes. Otherwise very anonymous I'm afraid, his rather natty beard made far more of an impression than his football. Give him time.

  • Interesting to hear someone say Blackman is struggling with crosses. In all the games I've seen it's been a strength of his. Hopefully just a dip in form or getting used to two different centre backs.

  • Would agree fully with DevC . There was a time in the Exeter game when they had numerous corners and Jamal did not come for them which inevitably led to ping pong football in our box on one occasion a certain goal was blocked by an Exeter player on our goal line. Our two central defenders lacked pace and Muller got caught in possession for the fourth goal. On nights like last night you realise just how good Stewart & Pierre are for WWFC.

  • I was watching on BBC LIve Text...there seemed to be a long list for about five minutes corner for exeter on the left side....corner for exeter on the right side...corner for exeter on the left side...etc etc. It did not look good

  • The Player commentary did sound like it was a total bombardment and a goal sounded inevitable. Two in two minutes was a hammer blow, though.

  • As a by now senior defensive squad player Blackman should have taken control of his inexperienced central defenders and commanded his 6 yd box, his own youth and lack of experience seems to have taken over unfortunately, never seems to be as vocal as I would like to see from a keeper. A great shot stopper and cleans up well around the box on the ground but has a habit of flapping at the bouncing ball which now seems to be creeping into his cross collecting confidence. That said more potential than any keeper we've had in recent years, I include 'One Of Our Own' in that assessment

  • Guys don't read too much into last night's performance. It was a foul evening and Exeter adapted a little better to the conditions. I don't think they were vastly better than our reserve side and with the exception of the multiple corners period in my opinion the score line flattered.

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