Yesterday night saw Neil Harris’s Lions suffer a 3rd home defeat in a week, losing 3-2 in injury time to youthful Barnsley. A good encounter throughout, with both sides playing attacking end to end football. However the result is not what we would’ve hoped for, all 3 of Barnsley’s goals came through set-pieces, the first 3 we’ve conceded in the season. You could probably narrow this down to the changes made by Harris in the back 4, with Nelson and Ferguson coming into the side. Goals from Watkins, Nyatanga and summer target Alfie Mawson made it 7 goals conceded in 2 games at home. After Saturday a lot was promised from Harris with changes guaranteed, here was the XI chosen:
Perhaps not as many changes we might have hoped for with the likes of Williams, Forde and Upson keeping their places, all 3 came under huge criticism after Saturday and each of their performances showed last night that the pressure is on. In fact none of the players looked settled throughout the game yesterday, while I agree with booing at the end of the game, getting on players backs before a game surely does no good? As Forde took his place in goal at the start of the game some were booing at him, and you could tell it was getting to the player. While I agree he has been terrible in his all round keeping for a long while, and in my opinion should be dropped, we should still be encouraging the team that the manager decides to play. Forde has been with us for a long while and last night was the first time I truly thought he was scared to play in front of his own fans, we should be pushing this stick onto the opposition and making it a timid place for them, not for our own players. The reason why we’ve played better away from home is typically the fans that will travel to Scunthorpe Saturday will be more encouraging, if we lost 3 or 4 to nothing of course we can boo and so we should, however we should at least give the team a chance.
Turning back to the game and the performance there was some positives to take going forward, one in particular is Fred Onyedinma. At 18 it’s safe to say that barring injuries we have a real talent on our books. Quick with the ball, ability to take on players, Fred truly ran our attack last night; yes we are relying on an 18 year old. Scoring 2 goals, with the latter being a header from a corner, I question how long we will be able to keep a player with so much promise at our club. Despite conceding 3 at the back I also thought Nelson had another solid game, playing in his natural position instead of full back, he looked calm when on the ball and his normal self flying through tackles and players. It’s clear why Harris wanted Webster to be a success due to his height however to stagnate the progress of Nelson will be a huge sacrifice. If Nelson, Onyedinma and O’Brien player 30+ games this season we will have much better prospects going into next season.
In case you wasn’t at the game last night, which is possible given the 7500 attendance I will give reviews of each player out of 10, along with a little description of each. If you was there last night what would you give?
Forde – 5 – Nerves clear to see after the game on Saturday, Forde didn’t seem to do much wrong, conceded 3 with only 1 save made the whole game, still would give Archer a chance to impress.
Cummings – 4 – Another that seems the pressure of playing at home has got to him, constantly dragged out of position when defending and poor in a one on one situation, was better in the second half getting forward but very poor otherwise.
Nelson – 6 – Didn’t do much wrong, as already mentioned looked calm when on the ball and attempted a couple of long range passes, would keep in the side.
Craig – 5 – Only given a 5 due to giving away the free kick which led to the goal in added time, not been a good start to his 3rd Millwall spell.
Ferguson – 6 – When in an attacking position has the best delivery of the ball in the side, corner led to Fred’s second. Naturally lightweight in the air when defending however otherwise solid. Hope his substitute was only a precaution.
Onyedinma – 9 – Two goals and a constant threat, 9 could be seen as generous in a defeat but done nothing wrong the whole game.
Williams – 4 – Bullied in the middle, would’ve personally not started him but happy Harris subbed Williams early in the second half, really needs to up his game.
Abdou – 6 – Always a 6/7 out of 10, Jimmy doing what he does best and a nuisance in middle of the park. Not a commander that I believe we need but we have a better chance with him in the side.
Upson – 5 – Not as disappointing as on Saturday, perhaps in a 4-4-2 is more suited out wide with his ability on the ball.
Morison – 6 – Perhaps could still do a job in The Championship, if given the correct service might have had a better impact. Effort up front closing down clear to see.
Gregory – 5 – Games seem to ghost by him, not been involved as much in the 3 league games gone by, would like to see him in the box where he should be instead of being dragged out wide.
Thompson – 6 – Another solid sub display, brought energy into the side late on.
O’Brien – 5 – Welcome addition back into the side, looked like he was rushed back and lacked match sharpness.
Martin – N/A – Too late in the game to judge.
If you weren’t at the game I hope this was a good report for you, and if you was there last night what did you make of my ratings? Let me know what you think with a comment below.