If we can go well in replacing Kabby's goals via Stef, Rowe, Fasanmade, Mceachran etc then i don't see why a top 10 finish couldn't be achieved, in my head an ideal would be to try and get hold of Sam Nombe again if he is to be loaned out by MK
Finn Tapp has looked a cracking signing so with him and Oastler marshalling the back line that could go someway to addressing the goals against column too
I'd be very suprised if we ended up in the bottom 2 as some opposition fans have predicted on various forums
In both loan spells Sam Nombe has fitted like a glove into our style of play,Like he had been playing in the side for years, from day one.. I've looked at his progress in other loans and it hasn't really been the same. Back at MK they play a similar style, but of course at a higher tempo. I think if he doesn't get a regular place in MKs first team, he would benefit from a loan spell with us again, they have always had a call back option, and both clubs have been very respectful of each other.. I would like to see Sam again, playing for City, he is not just a very exciting prospect, but a very nice chap.
I stated earlier that many things have been improved on, set piece options, we have height, and two more wide players.
We have players coming back from injury, medical procedures assessments etc.. I wish them well both are very good players and I know it has been frustrating, but the management have stuck firmly by them and let's hope they both have a successful and injury free season.
Tapp has impressed preseason, his height and strength look an asset.
We have a number of players who will be competing for positions, but they all look more than capable, King has progressed through pre season. Eddie Jones has been solid... All have had their moments pre season some great goals from Brown and Rowe, and Selfys excellent performance against Beaconsfield. Now the real work begins..
A lot depends on keeping players off the injury list. We lost momentum last season when Dokes was transferred, McEachran and Jefford were injured and there were a few suspensions at the same time. This league seems to get a bit more competitive each season and we know City are, compared to most of the rest, small in terms of support and income, and therefore squad size. For the last two or three seasons, Jonah and Justin have been doing a great job not just keeping us afloat, but keeping us at this level, and the cup runs have been huge bonuses. My hopes for the season would be that we stay comfortably safe from the threat of relegation and have a third season on the trot facing EFL opposition in the FA Cup. Any advance on that (say, challenging for a play-off place) would be brilliant, but remains a big ask. The squad seems well-balanced, but how much are we going to miss Kabby's goals and Udoka's all-round ability? Not too much, I hope!
Now you have had a rest, can you let us know when you are going to Put a shift in... They were arguing amongst themselves, yet we only looked capable of scoring when Zach came on... But things soon returned to normality of watching them play with the occasional effort, against a Concord side that are a shadow of their former selves...
Don't get me wrong their Manager is no fool, and the tempo and passing needed to be with them from the start.. But i don't think even he could believe the lack of effort from our end...
Positives: Yes we hit the post, unlucky not to get a consolation at the end..The game finished witch was a blessed relief... One reason I did not make a prediction... The Work has started.. Sadly it seemed to fall on a rest day for our players...
I wouldn't say there was no effort out there, but on a very warm and sultry afternoon (as might have been expected) Concord had a game plan for the conditions, which played to their strengths. They remind of the Wimbledon Crazy Gang of the 80s and early 90s: not particularly talented and not playing pretty football, but hard to beat because they are big, physical, well organised at the back, prepared to put bodies on the line all afternoon, and have a couple of quick forwards who are useful on the break and dangerous at set pieces. They could soak up pressure without over-exerting themselves, and then hit the home side with clinical finishing on the odd occasion when they got forward in numbers.
In games like these, as Jonah has said before, the crucial thing is to get the first goal. If we got that, they would have to open up and take a few risks, which might lead to more City goals. But if they got it, they were always going to be hard to open and likely to get a second as we pushed forward. And they did get a questionable goal at the perfect time, just when we thought it would be 0-0 at half time, with City having had the better of it thus far. I was right behind the goal and it didn't look like it had clearly crossed the line to me; I don't see how the linesman could be sure from where he was. A case where goal-line technology would have settled arguments. That said, Craig should have punched that cross; he had been so secure in his catching until then that he may have become a little over-confident, but Noble is huge and got in his way, and then reacted quickest to the dropping ball. He is going to be quite a handful for NLS defenders this season, I think!
We were below par and a bit lacking in energy, but there were some positives. Finn Tapp looked a good acquisition, Danny Rowe put in a shift, and we did improve when Zac and Nana came on. Owusu's first touch was a great strike which rattled the post, and he showed quick feet thereafter. But Stefan Brown was isolated and up against some good but rather mouthy defenders, and once in front Concord knew how to frustrate and waste time (two minutes a substitution!).
I didn't say there was No effort, I used the words lack and occasional. And I Stick by them. The Midfield at times was clueless.
Not what we have seen preseason, we have played against Noble before.. They were quicker to every ball on our own pitch, they looked like the home side. Questionable first goal, yes but it happens. I thought with better finishing from them they would have been safe by halftime.
It's over now. What's needed is a positive response, early goals were surprisingly frequent at start of preseason, but the last couple of games, Beaconsfield was two goals for Selfy one near halftime the other second half, and nothing at Cardiff met. We have got it there, it just needs to be visible from the kick off. One other positive was a set piece training ground move to the near post which went narrowly wide, when concord were expecting it in the mixer, first half.. Too much hoofing, when they had the ball on the deck. I appreciate they were in our faces, but we have had better teams in our faces and passed them off the pitch. Passes were going to opposing players.. Too many long balls going out of play, some short of the mark. I think we need to start with Zac and take him off later as he tires. Get the passing game going, Rowe and Brown need to be in chippys faces from the start. As I have said at the start of the thread also need a Nombe type player If we don't want to struggle let alone do anything else.
Notice Jonah kicked the water bottle up the dugout after the 3rd goal he didn't do that because there wasn't a lack of "EFFORT". There clearly was. Saw Tapp in the carpark he gave the impression the team talk-hairdryer treatment after the game, had been interesting to say the least. He agreed it wasn't good enough, and agreed we have a quick opportunity to put things right Tuesday night...
Another thing I am not happy with from several fans who were going to Chippy before the game..Suddenly don't want to now after that performance.. I was 50-50 before the game because of a problem with a lift to Wiltshire Tuesday night, Now I am definitely going by train... Now is the time to be behind the side.. I will give out criticism, but will back it up with continued support on the terraces.. I hope those i spoke to reconsider...
Shame about the result, I was hoping for something good as a 'farewell' to Shep. We're usually not too bad in the first game of the season: in fact you've got to go all the way back to 2002 for the last loss by three goals in Game One. Anyway, a chance on Tuesday to get the campaign really going: fingers crossed.