There’s tactics, and there’s Lee Clark

Andy Munro holds his head in despair at St Andrews.

Every time I think that it can’t get worse, it does. However, like many Bluenoses, I had an inkling that another ignominious defeat was on the card, the moment the ‘team’ (and I use that word loosely) was announced.

So let’s try and look inside the manager’s ‘mind’ (again I use this term in the loosest possible sense). At the back, let’s move the usually impressive and tallest defender in Packwood to full back where he’s not the quickest and is incapable of overlapping/providing Burke with an option. Then let’s move the singularly unimpressive Tyler Blackitt to centre half when he can form an inexperienced duo with fellow loanee Thorpe, leaving them exposed to the frontal attack of the beanpole Blackburn centre forward and the freescoring Rhodes. Finally remove the combatative Reilly from midfield and place him at fullback behind a paceless, central midfielder who has been picked to play wide after being consigned for many weeks to play with the kids.

Turning to midfield, move the dimunitive Caddis to play alongside the equally lightweight Huws. Then upfront pair the chance taker Macheda with a similarly one paced but inferior chance-taking Lovenkrands. Finally consign Ziggy to the bench to ensure that it becomes a game of men against boys and leave the admittedly erratic but potentially game-changing Ibe out of the team altogether. If it wasn’t so depressing it would be laughable.

If Clark hadn’t rumbled his suicide tactics, and if it hadn’t been for a brilliant display by Randolph, we could have been seven or eight goals down by half-time. It was all a little too late and Blackburn had switched to cruise control by the time we made a fist of it. That change was, in fairness, due to an impressive rumbustious performance by Ziggy and  spirited and heart warming displays by Hancox and a repositioned Reilly. The other bright spot was a decent cameo performance and goal by Demarai (remember me?) Gray.

One other notable benefit was that Caddis playing down the right sparked Burke into life as he, at last, had options raiding down the wing.

Do I think we’ll get relegated ? Absolutely certain if Lee Clark stays in charge. Apart from his infernal tinkering, I don’t think he is capable of inspiring the players to anything other than leaden footed performances. A new manager, any manager, would probably inject just enough belief and shape to get us just over the line but I’m not holding my breath although I do expect Clark to be given his cards anytime soon.