Determined, professional unit.

Barrington Horne

First Team
As the games and weeks roll on I’m more and more impressed with the professionalism of our players and management. Alex Neil has an eye for detail and appears to be meticulous in ensuring that we prepare quite differently according to who we’re playing.

Changes in personnel and tactics often surprise me but it’s like he’s plotting a way very effectively round a golf course rather than just smashing it off the tee consistently and risking ending up in trouble. The full squad is being utilised and we have players returning from injury to support further.

General discipline is good on and off the field and there is absolute support, from what I see, from us supporters towards the players and this seasons journey.

The players to a man seem to have bought in to it, Gally, Hunts, Clarke, Nugent are impeccable in their attitude despite reduced game time and you don’t hear of dissent in the ranks, even on our recent bad patch there was nothing.

We have added a sprinkling of magic dust in Scotty Sinclair and straight away he’s grafting and looks like he’s bought in to the team ethos. He will only get better and become more influential, again when he got subbed on Saturday, Harrop went in to cover their right back getting forward more.

The work rate of the team individually and collectively is exceptional and being asked to adapt mid game (e.g Fisher switch to left back) is met with intensity and desire. Neil’s pragmatic approach when we go ahead is again met with a collective effort to not allow the opposition time and space and we sit back and look to counter.

Neil himself does not carry the big ego and make it about him, rather he offers in depth reasoning as to his views on the game and why he did certain things. It’s likely we’ll have the odd hiccup, this league does that to all teams, but no drama, we go again.

Most impressively there looks to be a professional calmness about us and an inner desire fuelled by the collective work rate and positive results that has cemented our belief that we just keep doing our thing and it’ll happen for us.

The core of the side seems to be now more settled and based on Rudd, Fisher, Davies, Bauer, Hughes (or Raff), with a midfield trio of Pearson, Johnson and Browne, Barky and Sinclair wide-ish and Maguire up top. Harrop, Gally, Potts, Stockley, Nuge etc. will all play their part as two or three will likely change each game around the core.

Given our relative limited resources compared to our current competitors it would only make it more sweeter if Alex Neil and the gang can further plot their way around this Championship ‘golf course’ and bring the success that we crave.

We go again on Wednesday, enjoy.
 

pnenycx

Forum Patron
Patron
I think Sinclair's arrival has galvanized the team. He has quality and determination and has provided a positive jolt to the whole team. The team looks like it believes now. Fingers crossed we don't get injuries or suspensions to key players.
 

sports rehab

Advisor to the Owner
As the games and weeks roll on I’m more and more impressed with the professionalism of our players and management. Alex Neil has an eye for detail and appears to be meticulous in ensuring that we prepare quite differently according to who we’re playing.

Changes in personnel and tactics often surprise me but it’s like he’s plotting a way very effectively round a golf course rather than just smashing it off the tee consistently and risking ending up in trouble. The full squad is being utilised and we have players returning from injury to support further.

General discipline is good on and off the field and there is absolute support, from what I see, from us supporters towards the players and this seasons journey.

The players to a man seem to have bought in to it, Gally, Hunts, Clarke, Nugent are impeccable in their attitude despite reduced game time and you don’t hear of dissent in the ranks, even on our recent bad patch there was nothing.

We have added a sprinkling of magic dust in Scotty Sinclair and straight away he’s grafting and looks like he’s bought in to the team ethos. He will only get better and become more influential, again when he got subbed on Saturday, Harrop went in to cover their right back getting forward more.

The work rate of the team individually and collectively is exceptional and being asked to adapt mid game (e.g Fisher switch to left back) is met with intensity and desire. Neil’s pragmatic approach when we go ahead is again met with a collective effort to not allow the opposition time and space and we sit back and look to counter.

Neil himself does not carry the big ego and make it about him, rather he offers in depth reasoning as to his views on the game and why he did certain things. It’s likely we’ll have the odd hiccup, this league does that to all teams, but no drama, we go again.

Most impressively there looks to be a professional calmness about us and an inner desire fuelled by the collective work rate and positive results that has cemented our belief that we just keep doing our thing and it’ll happen for us.

The core of the side seems to be now more settled and based on Rudd, Fisher, Davies, Bauer, Hughes (or Raff), with a midfield trio of Pearson, Johnson and Browne, Barky and Sinclair wide-ish and Maguire up top. Harrop, Gally, Potts, Stockley, Nuge etc. will all play their part as two or three will likely change each game around the core.

Given our relative limited resources compared to our current competitors it would only make it more sweeter if Alex Neil and the gang can further plot their way around this Championship ‘golf course’ and bring the success that we crave.

We go again on Wednesday, enjoy.
Good article.

As for the discipline point... I saw some site yesterday that had us in the bottom 6 of a table of most cards......a massive improvement on recent seasons when we've probably been in the top 3 for most cards..... [ games; yellows; reds; points per card ( x3 for red)...
20Preston North End3149152
21Blackburn Rovers3145148
22Stoke City3137140
Luton Town3140040
24Brentford3135138
 

Delaney

Forum Patron
Patron
Good article.

As for the discipline point... I saw some site yesterday that had us in the bottom 6 of a table of most cards......a massive improvement on recent seasons when we've probably been in the top 3 for most cards..... [ games; yellows; reds; points per card ( x3 for red)...
20Preston North End3149152
21Blackburn Rovers3145148
22Stoke City3137140
Luton Town3140040
24Brentford3135138
If we miss out on the play offs with a few games to go I hope we focus on smashing people in the remaining games and try and climb up this table. As much as it's definitely better him not getting booked and sent off unnecessarily I miss Pearson roaming the midfield with the clear aim of maiming the opposition.
 

JohnPNE

Manager
Good article.

As for the discipline point... I saw some site yesterday that had us in the bottom 6 of a table of most cards......a massive improvement on recent seasons when we've probably been in the top 3 for most cards..... [ games; yellows; reds; points per card ( x3 for red)...
20Preston North End3149152
21Blackburn Rovers3145148
22Stoke City3137140
Luton Town3140040
24Brentford3135138
that’s pretty impressive considering fisher has picked up eleven yellow cards this season.

Pearson has definitely improved his discipline. Not been booked in six games. Long may it continue!

only one red card too.
 
As the games and weeks roll on I’m more and more impressed with the professionalism of our players and management. Alex Neil has an eye for detail and appears to be meticulous in ensuring that we prepare quite differently according to who we’re playing.

Changes in personnel and tactics often surprise me but it’s like he’s plotting a way very effectively round a golf course rather than just smashing it off the tee consistently and risking ending up in trouble. The full squad is being utilised and we have players returning from injury to support further.

General discipline is good on and off the field and there is absolute support, from what I see, from us supporters towards the players and this seasons journey.

The players to a man seem to have bought in to it, Gally, Hunts, Clarke, Nugent are impeccable in their attitude despite reduced game time and you don’t hear of dissent in the ranks, even on our recent bad patch there was nothing.

We have added a sprinkling of magic dust in Scotty Sinclair and straight away he’s grafting and looks like he’s bought in to the team ethos. He will only get better and become more influential, again when he got subbed on Saturday, Harrop went in to cover their right back getting forward more.

The work rate of the team individually and collectively is exceptional and being asked to adapt mid game (e.g Fisher switch to left back) is met with intensity and desire. Neil’s pragmatic approach when we go ahead is again met with a collective effort to not allow the opposition time and space and we sit back and look to counter.

Neil himself does not carry the big ego and make it about him, rather he offers in depth reasoning as to his views on the game and why he did certain things. It’s likely we’ll have the odd hiccup, this league does that to all teams, but no drama, we go again.

Most impressively there looks to be a professional calmness about us and an inner desire fuelled by the collective work rate and positive results that has cemented our belief that we just keep doing our thing and it’ll happen for us.

The core of the side seems to be now more settled and based on Rudd, Fisher, Davies, Bauer, Hughes (or Raff), with a midfield trio of Pearson, Johnson and Browne, Barky and Sinclair wide-ish and Maguire up top. Harrop, Gally, Potts, Stockley, Nuge etc. will all play their part as two or three will likely change each game around the core.

Given our relative limited resources compared to our current competitors it would only make it more sweeter if Alex Neil and the gang can further plot their way around this Championship ‘golf course’ and bring the success that we crave.

We go again on Wednesday, enjoy.
Great article, fully agree. Everyone seems to be working for each other and the club, there’s no big egos here it seems.Great read 👍
 

sports rehab

Advisor to the Owner
that’s pretty impressive considering fisher has picked up eleven yellow cards this season.

Pearson has definitely improved his discipline. Not been booked in six games. Long may it continue!

only one red card too.
That in part is down to Neil playing a different style this season...... He asks Ben to sit in between the CB's and cover the full backs, allowing them to push further forward when we are in possession.

This means Pearo is chasing less balls across the centre circle area and therefore making less 50 / 50 tackles.. his interception rate is probably far higher than his tackle rate this season, hence less cards + he has probably matured too.
 

raefil

Super Duper Patron
Patron
That in part is down to Neil playing a different style this season...... He asks Ben to sit in between the CB's and cover the full backs, allowing them to push further forward when we are in possession.

This means Pearo is chasing less balls across the centre circle area and therefore making less 50 / 50 tackles.. his interception rate is probably far higher than his tackle rate this season, hence less cards + he has probably matured too.
His Mum gave him a good slapping :)
 

By Tor

First Team
big couple of games coming up first Stoke who are struggling then Millwall & Hull at home which I expect North End to get 7 points from these games...then West Brom & Fulham away at end of Feb which will be our toughest test yet ..interesting month
 

Tino

Forum Patron
Patron
big couple of games coming up first Stoke who are struggling then Millwall & Hull at home which I expect North End to get 7 points from these games...then West Brom & Fulham away at end of Feb which will be our toughest test yet ..interesting month
Stoke:

Last 8 W5 D1 L2

Last 8 at home W5 D2 L1

In the last 8 they're top of the relative form guide i.e. points per game in the last 8 compared to points per game for the rest of the season.

Extremely tough game tomorrow night.
 

By Tor

First Team
thks Tino stand corrected , meant struggling at bottom of table but didnt realise they are the form team ...wont be as easy as Deepdale game earlier this season...think they will be up for it tomorrow night
 

baldnobber

Forum Patron
Patron
A point tomorrow would by no means be the worst...however I'd like all 3.
While our away form has picked up markedly since December, our home form has gone the other way.
Combining home and away performances under AN has rarely happened...as soon as we pick up performances away we seem to drop at home and Vice versa.
Millwall on Saturday is just as tough as tomorrow's game.
I still think we need an absolute minimum of 10 pts from the 7 Feb games...currently on 4 from 2 which is a good start. Continue that and we'd be on 60 pts going in to the last 10 - a very strong position.
 

deepdale207

First Team
As the games and weeks roll on I’m more and more impressed with the professionalism of our players and management. Alex Neil has an eye for detail and appears to be meticulous in ensuring that we prepare quite differently according to who we’re playing.

Changes in personnel and tactics often surprise me but it’s like he’s plotting a way very effectively round a golf course rather than just smashing it off the tee consistently and risking ending up in trouble. The full squad is being utilised and we have players returning from injury to support further.

General discipline is good on and off the field and there is absolute support, from what I see, from us supporters towards the players and this seasons journey.

The players to a man seem to have bought in to it, Gally, Hunts, Clarke, Nugent are impeccable in their attitude despite reduced game time and you don’t hear of dissent in the ranks, even on our recent bad patch there was nothing.

We have added a sprinkling of magic dust in Scotty Sinclair and straight away he’s grafting and looks like he’s bought in to the team ethos. He will only get better and become more influential, again when he got subbed on Saturday, Harrop went in to cover their right back getting forward more.

The work rate of the team individually and collectively is exceptional and being asked to adapt mid game (e.g Fisher switch to left back) is met with intensity and desire. Neil’s pragmatic approach when we go ahead is again met with a collective effort to not allow the opposition time and space and we sit back and look to counter.

Neil himself does not carry the big ego and make it about him, rather he offers in depth reasoning as to his views on the game and why he did certain things. It’s likely we’ll have the odd hiccup, this league does that to all teams, but no drama, we go again.

Most impressively there looks to be a professional calmness about us and an inner desire fuelled by the collective work rate and positive results that has cemented our belief that we just keep doing our thing and it’ll happen for us.

The core of the side seems to be now more settled and based on Rudd, Fisher, Davies, Bauer, Hughes (or Raff), with a midfield trio of Pearson, Johnson and Browne, Barky and Sinclair wide-ish and Maguire up top. Harrop, Gally, Potts, Stockley, Nuge etc. will all play their part as two or three will likely change each game around the core.

Given our relative limited resources compared to our current competitors it would only make it more sweeter if Alex Neil and the gang can further plot their way around this Championship ‘golf course’ and bring the success that we crave.

We go again on Wednesday, enjoy.
Excellent post Bazza - I fully agree. Our transfer window, bringing in Sinclair and retaining our prized assets (unlike Hull etc) was perfect in my opinion, as many of your points might have been affected if we had "splashed the cash" on a "big name". I like the way this season is going and AN is the key to it all. Up the Lilys...
 

JohnPNE

Manager
A point tomorrow would by no means be the worst...however I'd like all 3.
While our away form has picked up markedly since December, our home form has gone the other way.
Combining home and away performances under AN has rarely happened...as soon as we pick up performances away we seem to drop at home and Vice versa.
Millwall on Saturday is just as tough as tomorrow's game.
I still think we need an absolute minimum of 10 pts from the 7 Feb games...currently on 4 from 2 which is a good start. Continue that and we'd be on 60 pts going in to the last 10 - a very strong position.
Although our home form has dipped slightly, we still have 3 in 6 wins at home. I think a big factor has been the loss of DJ. With DJ and now Sinclair I think we will put in better performances when we play the teams who sit deep. Charlton tried it and we eventually got the result we deserved.
 

baldnobber

Forum Patron
Patron
Although our home form has dipped slightly, we still have 3 in 6 wins at home. I think a big factor has been the loss of DJ. With DJ and now Sinclair I think we will put in better performances when we play the teams who sit deep. Charlton tried it and we eventually got the result we deserved.
Fair point - think I'm still scarred by the Reading and Boro games!
Good point re DJ.
Bizarrely I'm still more confident of a result tonight than Saturday though.
 

Madferret

Manager
Tonight’s game v Stoke was very, very hard on the team. AN will be rotating the squad as I don’t think all of tonight’s heroes will be fit enough for Saturday.
 

Hagans boot

Youth Team
Great article, fully agree. Everyone seems to be working for each other and the club, there’s no big egos here it seems.Great read 👍
Blade here, so glad to see you doing so well. We've exceded expectations this year, and so can you. Just don't mess it up at this stage of the season.
Our boss, Chris Wilder is God, we are so lucky to have him, and he will not tolerate any 'billy big b*ll***s' in our squad, and I think having a settled squad is half the battle.
As I posted last season it is time famous old historic clubs like your selves and us had our day in the sun.
I wish you all the best in your fight to get to the promised land.
 
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