4:39pm Wednesday 21st August 2013
IT was a messy old game. There was no fluency, our forwards were too static, we have to do better and we need to take a good look at ourselves.
Those words are not mine. They are extracted from manager David Hockaday' press conference, and they are so very true.
In a swirling wind neither team played any quality football. Lincoln had a simple game plan- stop Rovers from playing and they did this all too easily. The home defenders were determined to get to the ball first and so often they did so, smashing it in to row Z at the first sign of danger.
This allowed Rovers many throw-ins. None were taken advantage of- yet again we saw a Rovers side being bullied and worse still meekly subsiding. I can remember only one meaningful goal attempt- a Klukowski header.
Yes we were that bad against a poor Lincoln side of limited ability and little ambition but sadly possessing more determination.
When the promised inquest takes place it must be remembered that five points have been dropped in a week. You can win promotion in April, but you can easily lose it in August. More points dropped means this will happen.
The first matter to be addressed is character- determination- general approach - call it what you will, but it is something our team lacks. When up against it we fail.
There is no means and no inclusive attempt to shake off the limitations inferior opposition can impose. Some may put this down to tactics. I would use a different word- attitude. Do we work hard enough? Are we prepared to step out of our comfort zone far enough to establish a must win mentality? I hope so, but it must happen quickly. At the moment the signs are not good.
The points I have made are generalisation and without specific details, meaningless, so here are some. Improve defending against corners and free-kicks.
Two of the three goals against us have come that way, as did too many last season. Goalie Sam- vary your distribution. I understand why you smash it towards James Norwood- he has the ability to win the ball, but defenders know this and he is closely marked, use quick throws to defenders who should be ready to receive them.
Individual players must take more responsibility. Leadership needs to be shown all over the pitch- with it will come determination and courage, and then we can make things happen.
Do not surrender! Most of us have, or had exacting working lives. We know that life can be a battle, and so can a game of football be.
You cannot turn up, thinking that as we are better players we will win. When to quote our manager "we need to take a look at ourselves" please appreciate this. We need a cutting edge and for that to happen the blade needs to be sharpened.
THE injury position does not help. So far this season Brogan, Forbes or Racine have not kicked a ball in anger.
Now Mangan and Taylor are out. Turley was unfortunate in pre-season and the Styche situation is sad for player and club.
The question must be asked however is why do we have so many injuries? The problem has plagued us for too long. It must be more than coincidence.
One other aspect worries me and was very much in evidence at Lincoln. When one of the opposition commits a bad foul our players surround the referee demanding he be sent off.
This is an unedifying sight and reflects badly on players and club. We saw against Hyde the referee can make up his own mind.
Please let him do so. If he issues a red-card as our players demand there could be accusations of succumbing to player power, leave the ref alone please! Some readers of this column will be saying "get a sense of perspective Light, remember the Hyde game."
This would be a valid view if we had not subsequently lost five points, and played badly at Lincoln. I justify this column by simply saying, "I was there".
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