Happy Monday, Warno-brothers. Last time out, our Kidderminster side led by youngers Craig Dudley and the reborn Arnor Gudjohsen toiled in Division 2. We’re aiming for back-to-back promotions. With form patchy, it’s time for a formation change…
“It might have looked negative, but they’d have passed through us and killed us,” Neil Warnock on a tactical switch at ‘Boro.
It’s time to commit to a narrow formation by losing the full backs and making use of our array of defensive midfielders. *I search @9798Nikolai’s twitter timeline for inspiration, and settled on this one. Thank you, Nikolai!
[Side note: The ‘Pope’ on the right is American International Eddie, who joins for £50k from a minor American team. I remember him being great as a 11 y/o when playing the original. I can’t seem to get any joy from him in the patched version. It’s worth a £50k gamble, though.]
The first test for the formation is the Windscreen Shield group stage. We passed thanks to McClair junior and Arnor junior getting us underway.
Fellow playoff hopefuls Brighton leave it late to beat us at Priestfield. It’s a blow and we get another message from the board regarding league position.
Back to League Cup action, and back-in-the-box Barnsley avenge a first leg defeat with a 3-1 win. I thought once Barmby had scored we’d be back in it – but it wasn’t to be.
The board again unhappy. Could we be a risk of the sack? I hope not!
A draw at Hull and I start to twitch a little.
Time for another formation change I think… and adapting to wingers. It’s not a major switch, so I hope a small tweak will reignite the squad.
It’s only enough to draw against Chester. Come on lads!
We break the winless run by beating Swindon. Cascarino – playing on the right – gets the goal that kick start the team. 3-0 up at halftime and we’re cruising. It’s great to be able to write that [finally]!
Promotion rival Brighton batter us in the Windscreen Shied 4-1. I rotate the side, so it’s not a huge shock. Three points from 2 games is enough to see us through to the next round. Brighton may well bass-que in the victory.
The regulars come back in at Crewe and our league revival continutes. Arnor and Choccy junior proving shrewd business.
Next up, a real test for the new tactics – top-of-the-table Swansea. We hold our own, and apply pressure only to leave disappointed with a draw. Our newest recruit, Del Piero, is injured after coming off the bench.
[No, not that Del Piero! Parma central defender Andrea. He was a £450k acquisition made in an attempt at shoring up the defence. Andrea would only play one more game before Udinese poached, activating a release clause and leaving us a £180k loss… anyway..]
It’s been a while since we failed to score in a game. Fortunately, Grimsby were unable to break us down, either. We have to settle with a 0-0 bore-draw.
We play the three stooges, sorry Hughes’ against Millwall and one of them pops up with a goal! A first minute strike by Doyle silences the Aggborough crowd, but we hit back though Lee Hughes. We need a win! [Aaron Hughes played in the DMR role, and David Hughes in DMC role].
We finally break the drawing habit by beating the Orient Express, 2-0. Dudley is back amongst the goals after his early form tailed off. Nick Barmby is ever-green and I’m falling for him. Sorry, delete that.
The win means we finally break into the top 6, and I get a fax through from the board, confirming the turn-around.
Injury to left winger Lee Hughes, and a knock to Tony Cascarino means another formation tweak is needed. Robbie Savage, a ‘forward right’ is moved to his preferred position. Barmby, filling on the left is given instructions to cut inside. Eddie Pope, who didn’t play particularly well loses his place to the Republic of Ireland’s Aaron Hughes. The Northern Irish defender is still at Newcastle.
We comfortably beat Hull, despite them coming back from 2-0 down. Robbie Savage relishing a rare start and coming up with a goal.
We are able to follow up with victory at Wycombe courtesy of a late goal from Paul McGrath junior, after young Choccy gave us the lead.
The back-to-back wins means we keep our toes in the top six, and those play-off places.
Right, Colin, time to log off. Sorry it’s brief – have some real life deadlines to sort! Join us next time as we play through to game week 36, and sign a Champ Man mega star!!!
Until next time.