Andy Munro on Blues’ defeat at Barnsley.
To continue with the quiz parlance, this certainly wasn’t a good game and going down the Blues is becoming a Pointless affair as well. The fact that even our fantastically loyal away fans turned on their team says a lot.
Five changes were made but it made little difference in terms of changing the performance levels from the pitiful display against Brentford. In fairness to Steve Cotterill, a combination of games coming in quick succession and trying to erase the Brentford performance, meant changes seemed sensible in these circumstances.
Unfortunately the players coming in failed to make any real difference and we’re starting to be cast adrift already. To be frank, the performances are now so poor that a spell in the division below almost seems an attractive option on the basis it might give us impetus to do a Sheffield United/Southampton.
Certainly, at the moment, we look like dead men walking (I certainly wouldn’t use the term ‘running’) and I can see us doing a Blackburn. Even if some of his selections/tactics are a bit mystifying, it’s too early to blame the manager. Major injuries, a seeming lack of sharpness and fitness, generally poor performances from the Reserves point to the need for a root and branch change at all levels from coaching through to the physio side of things.
I would also question the scouting as both teams who have hammered us are made up of youth players and sub million pound players drawn in the main from lower leagues. Yet we’ve spent far more and all we have to show for our troubles is a disjointed outfit of mercenaries lacking in fervour.
There’s no instant fix, hence my gloomy thoughts on our relegation prospects. However, I would like to see one or two youngsters given a chance eg Nsue (culpable for one of the Barnsley goals) replaced by the highly able Cogley, Wes McDonald who is scoring plenty of goals for the under 23s being put on the bench and although he’s not one of our own products, loanee Liam Walsh being brought on to try and energise our pedestrian midfield.
At least the crowd will give young players unqualified support and this in turn will improve what would normally be a funereal atmosphere against a rampant Forest side.