We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

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We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:53 pm

On the Ken thread, Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:41 am
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:24 pm
I fully understand the temptation to get carried away after such an exhilarating game, but Ken has gone completely bonkers and is setting a target of making the play offs!!

https://www.bwfc.co.uk/news/2017/octobe ... chairman5/
If you're gonna dream, dream big... :D

Obviously aiming for the play-offs would be a few violins short of an orchestra. But suddenly 21st doesn't feel so distant, and the four forthcoming fixtures (to the next international break) are among the more winnable options we'll get in this division.

Sat 21: QPR (H). Rangers haven't won any of their six league away games (D3 L3); indeed, their away record is only one point better than ours (they've conceded the same number). And it goes back further than that: they haven't won away in 13 attempts since February, scoring just 9. They haven't won north of Birmingham since August 2016, and they haven't won any game anywhere (including at The Tightly-Packed Loftus Road) in six attempts. Two trips ago they needed an 87th-minute equaliser to scrape a point at mighty Barnsley, and on their last away game they were held by second-bottom Sunderland. The Rs fan at work is worried, about their future and specifically about this fixture.

Sat 28: Fulham (A). The Cottagers don't like the Cottage. Their home record (W1 D4 L1) is the division's fifth-worst: 11 of their 18 points have been won on the road. They've only won one home league game in eight attempts – last time out, they were two down to Preston by half past three, and the time before that they contrived to draw with Boro despite scoring the opener in the 86th minute. Perhaps most encouragingly of all, they haven't kept a clean sheet in the last 16 home league games, stretching back to January. Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic, but it's not impossible that this might just be the return of that Parkinson special, the 1-0 away win.

Tue 31: Sunderland (A). Sunderland are a big club, but a shit team. Their home record this season is the division's worst, even worse than ours: W0 D2 L4, F4 A9. Longer-term, they haven't won in 16 home league games; they haven't even been in front there since the week before Christmas. Their goal return there, running backwards from the most recent result, is 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1. Again: it's not impossible to see a diligent defensive performance getting us a win, and not necessarily of the smash-and-grab style: they usually concede more chances than they create.

Sat 4 Nov: Norwich (H). This is a harder game: currently just outside the play-offs, Norwich have the division's fourth-best away record, although they've conceded more than they've scored. But there may be a lesson for us there: they've recovered after a tough start – they went into the first international break third-bottom, W1 D1 L3 F6 A12; they've tightened up and strung together a series of tight results - 1-0, 0-0, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0, 2-1, 1-1. So they may be a lesson in how to turn things round. Playing them won't be easy, but it might depend on the games between then and now: if we're on a roll – and if they're smarting from their own bad results (they play Ipswich, then Derby, then Wolves) - then it would hardly be the shock of the century to see us win.

Ah well, a boy can dream... but maybe not about the play-offs :D
I wasn't as far off as some might have expected with this... and FWIW, I reckon we can target 10 or 12 points from the next six games, 'cos Christmas is gonna be cold...

Fri 17 Nov: Preston (A)
Tue 21 Nov: Reading (H)
Sat 25 Nov: Wolves (A)
Sat 2 Dec: Barnsley (H)
Sat 9 Dec: Forest (A)
Sat 16 Dec: Burton (H)

FORM
Last six matches (home and away), we have the division's 12th-best form (W2D3L1): Preston have the worst (W0D2L4). Of the teams we're trying to catch next, Birmingham (+1pt on us in the proper table) and Burton (+2pts) are both W1D1L4, with the division's 21st and 22nd worst form. Hull (+5pts) are 15th in the form table with W2D1L3, but Millwall (+6pts) are 20th with W1D1L4 – and, as noted, lost to Burton.

FIXTURES
On the Friday night we play Preston, Burton have got Blades away - so we have a great chance to climb out of the drop zone. The next day, Birmingham host Forest and Hull host Ipswich, so it might not last, but the following midweek there's another chance: on Tuesday we host Reading, Burton go to Brentford and Hull are at Millwall (six-pointer alert!) - but Birmingham have to wait 24 hours for a trip to Boro.

It's not the only time Brum have to wait and watch their rivals try to steal a march. That Saturday, we're at Wolves – our hardest game before Christmas - while Burton host Sunderland and Hull host Bristol City; Brum are at Blades at tea-time. And again, the weekend after, Brum have to wait for what's already a hard game - Wolves at home - on the Monday night. Two days earlier we host Barnsley, Burton go to Derby, Hull are at Sheffield Wednesday.

Hopefully those waits will get into Birmingham's heads, especially if we (and others) get points on the board. It wouldn't surprise me if they're below Barnsley at the end of that run of fixtures. They've already played the Change The Gaffer joker and it's not worked, at least not yet: Cotterill has four points from five games, in which they've scored just one goal.

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by nelson66 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:20 pm

"IF" we stay injury free
"IF" we don't sell in January
"IF" we strengthen in January

Then we have a great chance of staying up

COYWM - WE CAN DO IT !!!

(now where did I put the rest of that ginger ale)
The Whites Are Staying Up 2020 :pissed: :grin:

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by officer_dibble » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:33 pm

I think one of sunderland and hull will go (yes the same hull everyone was fawning over when they dicked us).

Burton, Birmingham, Millwall and maybe one to drop (Preston?) will be who we should aim for. Lets face it though - they will all be pointing at us and saying ‘if we cant finish above bolton...’

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:29 pm

The Preston game seems huge. Reading are starting to improve and will be tough opposition, and Wolves are the outstanding team in the division at the moment. It feels like we need to go into the Reading game with momentum, and then out of it with some too if we are to have any chance of getting anything at Wolves. If we take only one or two points from those three, then we will be under pressure for the winnable but tricky Barnsley and Burton games.

Preston are struggling with injuries and suspensions. Hugill, their Gary Madine, and linked with an £8m move in the summer to Reading, is suspended.

http://www.lep.co.uk/sport/football/pre ... -1-8843170

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by boltonboris » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:34 pm

8-10 points is realistic from those 5 games, I reckon
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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dr Hotdog » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:26 pm

I just want to get this off my chest before I go crazy. I recall in 97-98 we changed our away strip to purple for our second stab at Premier League football. We were relegated. Not so long ago we had an all-black kit in the Premier League under OC. We were relegated. Then a couple of years back in the Championship we opted for all-black again, and were promptly relegated under Lennon. So you can imagine my horror when we announced this season's away kit as purple once again. :(

Didn't really know where to put this, but it's been naggin at my insides for ages.

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by truewhite15 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:49 pm

Dr Hotdog wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:26 pm
I just want to get this off my chest before I go crazy. I recall in 97-98 we changed our away strip to purple for our second stab at Premier League football. We were relegated. Not so long ago we had an all-black kit in the Premier League under OC. We were relegated. Then a couple of years back in the Championship we opted for all-black again, and were promptly relegated under Lennon. So you can imagine my horror when we announced this season's away kit as purple once again. :(

Didn't really know where to put this, but it's been naggin at my insides for ages.
Nonsense, man.

It's clearly the navy blue socks doing us in. When was the last time we had a successful season with navy blue socks?

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Abdoulaye's Twin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:49 am

Away with you both. 2011 was the year...and who joined us that year and is still plaguing us with (no pun intended) his 'presence'????

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dr Hotdog » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:46 am

Abdoulaye's Twin wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:49 am
Away with you both. 2011 was the year...and who joined us that year and is still plaguing us with (no pun intended) his 'presence'????
is he a Prat?

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Abdoulaye's Twin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:24 am

Dr Hotdog wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:46 am
Abdoulaye's Twin wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:49 am
Away with you both. 2011 was the year...and who joined us that year and is still plaguing us with (no pun intended) his 'presence'????
is he a Prat?
I'm not one for name calling, but I think you know who I am referring to :)

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:37 am

truewhite15 wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:49 pm
It's clearly the navy blue socks doing us in. When was the last time we had a successful season with navy blue socks?
Promotions in 1995 and 1997. You could say 1999, as we reached three semi-finals including the second-tier play-offs. But point taken.

(As Historical Kits shows, we abandoned blue socks in summer 1999; unless you count 2013/14's Whoville hoops, they didn't properly reappear until the humiliating 2015/16 campaign – we reverted to white for last season but switched back again this summer.)

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:12 pm

Jesus, this team.

Upcoming games for the bottom four:
Wed 22: Boro v BIRMINGHAM
Sat 25: 3pm BURTON v SUNDERLAND
Sat 25: 3pm Wolves v BOLTON
Sat 25: 5.30pm Blades v BIRMINGHAM
Sat 2 Dec: 3pm BOLTON v Barnsley
Sat 2 Dec: 3pm Derby v BURTON
Sat 2 Dec: 3pm SUNDERLAND v Reading
Mon 4 Dec: BIRMINGHAM v Wolves

Couple of winnable games there for Sunderland to enjoy a new-gaffer bounce. Really we shouldn't have to worry about them now but they're only two points behind us, which is the same distance as we are to safety. Had we not dropped 8pts from winning positions, we’d have been 17th and this would be largely academic. At least that means the gap isn't that large, but it looks a lot bigger when we can't get more than a point a game from the easiest set of fixtures this division can realistically serve up.

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by officer_dibble » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:18 pm

Once we lose one we’ll lose 8. That is the Parky way.

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by TANGODANCER » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:52 pm

Draws, however well earned, are beginning to feel like defeats. It was in the bag times two tonight and we still got scalloped out of two points....again. At the end we were really on fire; what happened to the rest of it?
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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:24 pm

Boro beat Brum 2-0, so we remain two points from safety.

Birmingham’s results under Cotterill: 1-0, 0-2, 0-0, 0-2, 0-2, 1-0, 0-2. Two goals in seven games, but seven points from them.

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:02 pm

Birmingham one down already at home to Wolves, ten minutes in

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by TANGODANCER » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:10 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:02 pm
Birmingham one down already at home to Wolves, ten minutes in
Get in there ... :oyea:
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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Bruce Rioja » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:42 pm

TANGODANCER wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:10 pm
Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:02 pm
Birmingham one down already at home to Wolves, ten minutes in
Get in there ... :oyea:
And that's how it's finished :)
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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:51 am

We’ll almost certainly be facing a caretaker manager in our next game: Boro have binned Garry Monk and his Palitoy hairdo.

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Re: We are (hopefully) staying up: the opposition

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:36 pm

One statistical thing to note about our recent good run is that our games have somewhat reverted to a norm of last season in that only one team might score: in the last five we've won to nil three times and lost to nil twice. This is after a very unParkinsonian run of 10 successive games in nine of which both sides scored (bagels at Preston the exception), which itself followed eight straight games in which we lost to nil.

This type of run can come about for various reasons but it basically means that whoever scores first wins. And that can work quite nicely: last season, from mid-September to Christmas, we had 15 successive league games of which only one saw both teams score (Vale getting a late consolation an hour after we went 3-0 up): we won 9, lost 5 and drew at home to Bradford, so the nail-biting worked in our favour. It did so again when none of the final eight games (W4 D2 L2) saw both sides score.

One more thing. If you think it's a little restricting, you might be right. But it hasn't hurt Burnley. Since Sean Dyche first took them up in summer 2014 they've scored first 64 times (W52 D6 L6) and conceded first 61, winning just one and drawing 16 (seven of which were during their subsequent dip back into the Championship). Of the 200 points they have won in that time, 162 came when they broke the deadlock. It makes the first goal absolutely crucial, and can lead to a terrible sinking feeling if we concede it, but it's certainly a way to win if you can keep clean sheets – an ability we seem to have rediscovered.

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