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pondsman

Saints
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Posts posted by pondsman

  1. Was only able to follow the game on radio yesterday, but sounded as if we definitely deserved the point, and maybe could have had all three. Main and Ayunga on top form against an OF team again, and everyone else playing their part. Well done to all the players and the manager!

    Looking back on the season so far, we might have had a few more points (think Motherwell and St. Johnstone at home), but I think we have to be happy with where we stand at the moment.

    Hope the team has a decent rest and comes back in good form for the tough games over the Festive Season. Good Luck to Baccus in the WC! No injuries, please.

    COYS!!

  2. There have been games where we've passed the ball well - but not enough of them. We've seen games, even at home, where our passing was not great. I'd add to that the fact that opposition players seem to be quicker to 50-50 balls than we are sometimes. These faults don't appear in every game, but they are there in games like today's and v Killie and Livi in the last few weeks.

    Perhaps, as has been said above, teams have sussed the way we play and have figured out how to get round us. The only way to fix it is to work harder, especially on passing the ball, and try another system. SR often talks about working harder after a defeat. Hope he is also considering a change of system.

  3. Was optimistic about this game until BBC said Gallagher, Tanser and Tait are all out.

    So, problems in defence. I imagine Shaughnessy will come in, though SR seems to like Gogic in defence. I'd rather see him in midfield.

    I feel sorry for Greive. As has been pointed out above, he scores regularly, but he's just not strong enough to hold off defenders, especially the big guys that Ross County seem to produce on a regular basis. I'd start with Main and Ayunga (or Brophy if he's fit) and bring Greive on later in the game, when their defenders are starting to run out of puff.

    In midfield Baccus and Strain need to run the show to give us any chance. 

    Realistically, I think we'll get a draw, but would love a win, of course.

    COYS!!

  4. As pointed out above, recent games v Hibs have been tight, but I fancy Saints to take something from this game after last week's performance.

    Also, Hibs' form has been up and down lately. I'll go for a 1-1 scoreline.

    Wishing a speedy recovery to Scott Tanser and his wife. I think we have good cover in the squad and won't miss Scott too much in this game.

    COYS!! 

  5. Poor game. Too many players off form, perhaps letting last week's result affect them. Only Strain, Gallagher and, of course, Carson looked like themselves. The passing in the first half was particularly poor. Also thought that Baccus was unnecessarily drawn into some pushing and shoving with opposing players. Maybe frustrated that he wasn't playing up to his usual standard.

    I said some time ago that Ayunga cannot dribble round opponents, and that difficulty was on show again yesterday. A couple of times, he burst away from the Killie defence, then turned back towards opponents and lost the ball in the tackle. He's best when he runs onto the ball and has a sight of goal, or using his strength to hold the ball up, waiting for teammates to arrive. He did that really well against Celtic.

    As others have said, only positive is that, in previous times, we would probably have lost the game. So, a point and a clean sheet (thanks to Carson) should be seen as an improvement. But if we want to stay in contention for top six, we cannot afford too many performances like that. 

    Hate to say it, but more teamwork and accuracy required against DUFC next week.

    COYS!!

  6. We need to take points from this game and next week against DUFC to take advantage of the results that went our way last weekend while we were under the cosh at Ibrox.

    Important that our lads have got last week out of their system and get the winning mentality back. Disappointed to hear that Lafferty is still playing for them - makes our task a little more difficult - but I'm sure that we have enough skill and determination about us now to get the right result, especially as we're at home.

    Predicted the correct result against Livi, my first time in many years, so law of averages says that I'm not due another correct guess for a long time, but here goes anyway. 

    Buddies 2 - 1 Killie

    COYS!!

  7. I seem to remember that we got a draw against Celtic last season with a team that was even more depleted Than the one we're likely to have this weekend.

    I'm not in the 'have a go' club, I'm afraid, though it would be nice to think we had the players to allow us to do that. We need to defend for our lives and the point made above about having front players who can hold the ball to relieve pressure on midfield and defence is key.

    Tonight's Champions League game may also have some influence on the game at the weekend. If Liverpool return to form and dish out a real doing, that might help us.

  8. Poor game but great result. Too many of our lads weren't able to deal with the 'physical approach' of Livi (that's being kind). But our whole squad gets huge credit for the spirit and guts to keep pushing forward after we lost a man and an equaliser. Big Joe came on and helped keep them out at the back and, of course Alex got the winner.

    I try not to criticise referees, but yesterday's man was very poor. Allowed himself to be conned by Livi players going down on several occasions and was often miles away from incidents. A mystery how he could decide who was to blame for fouls from that distance.

    First time I've got a score prediction right for many, many years, so quite pleased with myself. But even more pleased to see the club sitting in 3rd place in the league. Long may that continue.

    COYS!!

  9. So, down to earth with a bit of a bump after yesterday. Perhaps we got slightly carried away with our three wins in a row. Yes, we played some nice stuff but it resulted in two 1-0 wins and three goals against Dundee United at their lowest point in some years. Best thing about the three games was the strong defence and the clean sheets. For me, that's the most worrying aspect of yesterday's game. 

    SR MUST have them working on defence this week.

    One plus point from yesterday - despite losing 3 goals and scoring zero, we retained our place in the top six.

    So, on to Tynecastle. Was yesterday just a blip or are we returning to previous poor form? I guess we'll find out next Sunday. One glimmer of optimism. Hearts seem to have hit a sticky patch - out of the League Cup and beaten yesterday - so maybe not as strong as we thought.

    AS always..... COYS!

  10. We are on an upward trend with three wins in the last three games. St. Johnstone are the opposite - on an downward trend with three losses in the last three games. However, reports suggest that they have played fairly well in those games, so they will be looking on this game as an opportunity to get a win and break the trend of defeats.

    Looking ahead slightly, we will find it harder to get points from our next two games (v Hearts and Celtic), so it's important to keep up our momentum by winning, or at least drawing, tomorrow's game. St. Johnstone will be thinking they're at home and have a real chance of a win, so we need a repeat of the form and fight we've seen in our three wins right from the start of the game.

    Would love to see a win for us, but wouldn't be surprised if we have to settle for a draw. 

  11. Wasn't at the game yesterday, so had to rely on radio reports and last night's TV highlights.

    On Sportsound Willie Miller made it sound as if United had done absolutely nothing, so was surprised to see the possession statistics on the BBC website (70/30 for United). Also, on TV I saw that United had a couple of decent attempts on our goal, so kudos to Carson, who has been criticised previously.

    As for us, after last week's game I advised Ayunga to stop trying to beat defenders and concentrate on bursting into the box and shooting. Seems as though he read my post. I also said that Main had improved but needed to add goals to his performance. Again, Curtis must read these threads. Well done to both of them! The whole team looked more confident and put in a great shift - what a difference last week's result seems to have made. They took advantage of United's situation and rightly so.

    I have no axe to grind with JR - he did us a great service a few seasons ago, but now we will all see how good he really is. If he can turn United around, he will prove himself a very good manager.

    Now, bring on the Hibs, a different proposition I think, but not one we should now fear as much as we might have done two games ago.

    As always......

    COYS!!

  12. Pluses from yesterday (and the season so far):

    - we subdued a very decent RC side which had played well against Hearts and Celtic

    - our general lead-up play was good, as it was v Motherwell and in the early stages v Aberdeen

    - whole team played well, but special mentions to Ayunga, Baccus (who started the goal move with his quick turn and burst into the box), Dunne, and Tait.

    - SR seems to have got more out of Curtis and Ethan (although Main could do with scoring some goals)

    - three points and eighth place in the league makes everyone feel a lot better!

    Minuses:

    - Ayunga should stick to using his strength to unsettle defences and bursting into the box to shoot. On most occasions when he tries to dribble around defenders he loses the ball.

    - strikers need to start putting the ball in the net. 

     

  13. Most of what needs to be said before this game has been mentioned in the posts above. Just putting in my tuppenceworth to support a few points.

    Two league games played, two defeats and no goals scored from open play. So, we don't seem to have solved the goal-scoring problem we had last season. Looked at like that, things seem bleak. But we played well against Motherwell and, according to radio reports, were doing OK at Pittodrie until we lost Gallagher. And, as has been said above, a win against RC may well give the players the confidence required to kick on.

    As for the manager, my main concern has been his recruitment. Neither Ayunga or Olusanya looks likely to score prolifically in this league, though I hope they prove me wrong as time goes on. That leaves us with the two front men we had last season, Main and Brophy. Again, neither of them scored as regularly as we really needed, though Main did seem to improve when SR came to the club. I still think SR needs to be looking to bring in a goalscorer, if he can find one we can afford.

    In midfield, in recent times we've had strong midfielders like McGrath and Ronan, who have been able to pitch in with a few goals to help us out. Baccus looks a decent player and may be able to fill that role, but I notice that Graham Carey has been getting good reviews since signing for St. Johnstone. That is a player who has been at our club and did well when he was here. Was SR aware that he was available? Perhaps we could not afford him.

    Again, as has been stated, it's early days, but we need to avoid being cast adrift from the other teams in our mini-league (Well, Livi, RC, St. J). Saturday's game is really important from that point of view.

    Despite all of the above, as always....

    COYS!!

  14. After yesterday's same old story (made chances but couldn't take them), the game at Pittodrie looks like our first 6-pointer of the season (just look at the league table).

    Don't know how Buddies can improve from the Motherwell game, apart from taking their chances! On TV last night the Dons looked a decent team, and Pittodrie has not been a happy hunting ground for us in recent times. Nevertheless, keep believing and, as always.....

    COYS!!

  15. While I agree that Ethan has been decent in recent games, I don't think he has improved that much from last season. To say that he has been the stand-out player in the League Cup games just underlines how poor most of the others have been. O'Hara has shown consistency, Kiltie has done well when brought on, but the big disappointment for me has been the other new recruits. Not impressed yet by either Ayunga (despite his goals at Cowdenbeath) or Olusanya.

    I think Reid needs to play today. If he does well, we will know that he can be an important player for us this season.

    Whoever plays, we need a win before the league starts next weekend. So,.......

    COYS!!

  16. Despite the manager's comments about giving as many players as possible 'minutes' on the pitch and the fact that we have Brophy, Main and Baccus to come into the side, I was not impressed by the performance. Having lost the first group game, it is very clear that we need not just to win every group game, but also to score as heavily as possible to maximise our chances of progressing.

    SR's post-match comments seemed to suggest that he was happy with the day's work. However, we should be beating Cowdenbeath by a good few more goals, even with some youngsters in our team. I echo comments above about the lack of creativity and the dodgy partnership of Shaughnessy and Dunne in central defence. Gallagher was on the bench, but surely he should have been on the pitch in an effort to cement his partnership with Shaughnessy before the league games begin. 

  17. Failure to finish cost us the game yesterday. There were plenty of chances, especially early in the second half. Pass marks go to Shaughnessy, Kiltie, Erhahon. Agree that Greive looks lightweight (literally). Said so at the end of last season, and he doesn't seem much better now. Looks like our problem of last season, failure to score goals, is going to continue unless Brophy, Main and the other players still to come in can do the business.

    As an aside, thought Olusanya and Ayunga were either trying too hard or were a bit greedy. Spotted a couple of times when both of them tried to beat several opponents when it would have been easier to lay the ball off to a teammate. Looks like they will need more time to bed into the team.

    Win the next three games and we can still get out of the group, so.....

    COYS!!

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