FOLLOWING the postponement of City’s Boxing Day game against Watford, there was an added air of importance for the visit of fellow strugglers Peterborough United to Ashton Gate three days later.
Peterborough had been in good form themselves, winning three on the trot, but City put in an encouraging display running out 4-2 winners and gaining our first win at home since August.
In truth, the margin of victory should have been more but characteristically City made errors at the back and failed to take some good chances. Nevertheless it was good to see an attacking, goal-filled performance from City and particularly good performances from Anderson and Baldock.
City then travelled to Millwall on New Year’s Day for a tricky game in South East London. I was hopeful of a result as City had done well in their last two outings and Millwall weren’t on the best form and had just lost their best player Chris Wood to Leicester City.
However, despite getting two good results with largely the same team ‘tinkerman’ McInnes struck again, making changes to the lineup and formation. Most disappointing was Baldock being dropped, despite scoring twice in the Peterborough game. This can only have a damaging affect on his confidence.
McInnes went on to describe our first half performance as ‘inept’ as we went into the break 1-0 down. Just before half time McInnes made two substitutions, bringing on Baldock and Woolford and switching to a 4-4-2 formation from a 4-5-1. McInnes has said previously that he doesn’t think he has strong enough players to play4-4-2, however the performance here was much better in the second half with that formation and again this smacks of a manager who doesn’t know his best team or formation to play them in. This is a big worry seeing as though we’re 25 games into the season.
City equalised in the second half through Stead before Millwall grabbed a winner 15 minutes from time to keep us deep rooted in a relegation battle.
A distraction from the league awaits this Saturday with a trip to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup. Blackburn had been on a poor run of late before sacking manager Henning Berg last week. They have subsequently won both games since his departure. As much as I love the FA Cup, our record in cup competitions over the last few years has been hopeless. Staying in The Championship is far more important for us and I’d be happy to see some fringe/youth players being given a chance to impress.
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