So what needs to change?

Madferret

Manager
The squad, the manager, the formation, the training, ? Clearly our home form cannot be left unaddressed, but I’m stumped on how to turn this around.

Personally not a fan of removing the manager as at the end of the day we’re left with the same players. The are some games where we shoo shave got a result but didn’t . AN needs to quickly identify our better performances and work on improving what we did in those games. Defending definitely needs to improve obviously. Not sure who our best midfield is and stats only tell part of the story.

Maybe Paul McKenna was right when he jokingly suggested piping booing noises through the speakers!
 

HunterLionheart

Forum Patron
Patron
The playing squad has been stale for some time and needs a freshen up regardless of whether Neil or someone else is manager.

I'm inclined to agree with this, actually. Same happened with Spurs, the core of the squad was just around too long and I think everyone got a bit too settled and comfortable.

The contract situation for our midfield is gonna enforce change sooner or later.
 

Many Clouds

Forum Patron
Patron
With Hemmings running the show we aren't going anywhere apart from bouncing back and forth between league one and the championship. Above everything else, the ownership and overall strategy of the club needs to change if we have ambitions of getting promoted to the Premiership.
 

oliharg

Manager
The contract situation needs clearing up and fast, if players leave then he needs a chance to bring in quality players.

He needs backing with decisions Neil, although his tactics are poor are times like on Tuesday, to be fair I don’t think any manager would be able to tactically mastermind stopping Adam Armstrong when he’s running at Joe Rafferty and Paul Huntington who just aren’t good enough unfortunately.

Peter Ridsdale doesn’t like bringing in and out many players he has said, but Luton - brought in 10 and they’re 9th, they’ve backed Jones. And we need to back Neil.

Let him kick out the deadweight, and let him bring in players that he seems suited to the team, I mean we’ve been after a left back for 18 months, a replacement for Robinson, back up right back, another winger and potentially a striker.

Whereas what we have now is Bodin, Nugent, Moult, Huntington, Rafferty, Ripley who are in our squad who aren’t good enough, and we have youth players who need game time, including Bayliss who desperately needs a loan.

Back the manager in the transfer window.
 

Walton

Forum Patron
Patron
Bayliss is 21 and should be looking to be in our first team, the youth players are 17/18 and I don’t know how we are to give them experience.

Not sure a loan to a League two team is the answer, probably just get kicked up hill and down dale by some of the big bruisers down there.
 

Michael

Manager
The formation is the big one. He's been here 3+ years now and we're in a position where he can't make the players fit the formation. Most managers would have identified this by now and changed it up, however he refuses to do this despite the shite it results in game after game at home. I don't think its any coincidence that some of our best performances have come when we've deviated from 4-2-3-1.
 

Realistic

Manager
I prefer to read the comments of others on this subject but I was surprised by how crap that was the other night. Most want him out now (on here anyway) but I don't think we're at that stage yet ? I don't properly understand modern football (I'll hold my hand up to that) but there's no excuse at all for lack of effort and capitulation to any team, let alone Rovers. This is no time to go into a slump, he's got to gee them up somehow. if he can't do it then, that's it.
 

Thracia

Forum Patron
Patron
The playing squad has been stale for some time and needs a freshen up regardless of whether Neil or someone else is manager.
And it needs freshening up by means of signing the Big 4 + Fisher on extended deals, ditching a load of the squad crud, and adding 4 or 5 more Championship quality players.

That's assuming we intend staying competitive in this division.

Otherwise, we could "freshen it up" by offering the Big 4 + Fisher derisory deals that they'll reject, promoting fringe players and stiffs to the first team, and adding 4 or 5 more of their ilk from L1/L2 in the January sales.
 

sedgwick__7

Advisor to the Owner
And it needs freshening up by means of signing the Big 4 + Fisher on extended deals, ditching a load of the squad crud, and adding 4 or 5 more Championship quality players.

That's assuming we intend staying competitive in this division.

Otherwise, we could "freshen it up" by offering the Big 4 + Fisher derisory deals that they'll reject, promoting fringe players and stiffs to the first team, and adding 4 or 5 more of their ilk from L1/L2 in the January sales.
Yes, as discussed earlier part of the problem is continually holding onto average and injury prone players. At other clubs, players like Moult, Bodin, Ripley, Huntington to some extent, maybe even Rafferty and Hughes would have been let go/upgraded upon a long time ago. Instead our priority is the keep them because they‘re under contract, and therefore include them in our 25 man squad. This makes it very hard to freshen anything up. Hughes even got a new deal. A mediocre player with a dodgy injury record. We need to have a higher turnover of players.

Sadly what we‘ve done in terms of contracts so far in the last 6 months is extend a load of fringe players‘ contracts whilst the actual best players who command places in the manager’s starting XI on a regularly basis continue to run their deals down. It was always a danger having 15+ players OoC at the same time that we‘d end up signing the ones we wouldn‘t normally be bothered about and failed to tie down the important ones, and that‘s exactly what‘s happened.

Another way of freshening up is to actually proactively reinvest when players are sold for decent money. But looking at the way we ‘replaced‘ Hugill and Robinson, we‘ll be waiting a couple of years to replace any of the big 4 sold, whilst inferior players beneath them in the squad attempt to step up.
 

Kathryn

Advisor to the Owner
Although this is only his third job as a manager, he’s been here longer than his other two. Maybe he’s become complacent because he’s pretty confident TH won’t sack him. When does his three year contract expire?
 

From91

Manager
For me we need a complete change of recruitment. We’ve got too many of the same type of players (small, slow, like to rotate possession endlessly), the lack of pace in the team is frightening. We need players that can physically impose themselves on the game in a way gregan used to.

And a new manager, preferably someone not so 1 dimensional who puts the emphasis on attack. I’d have loved us to have been managed by Warnock at some point, he always gets his teams playing fast, direct football and usually gets results.

We’re just too safe and predictable and teams figured us out months ago.
 

diggerb

Forum Patron
Patron
Neil sadly has a very major fault for a manager, HE DOES NOT LEARN FROM HIS PREVIOUS MISTAKES, add to that, he is stubborn as hell.
We are going nowhere with him in charge. Unfortunately this will certainly suit Mr Hemmings as the championship is the limit of his ambitions for pne. For the moment i am hoping there are 3 teams worse than us in this league even with A.N. in charge, so it looks like he will see out his contract at least for this season !!
 

jumping mouse

Advisor to the Owner
This is a better squad than the team that made it briefly to the top last season.

But we are facing a toxic mix of complacency, fear and indifference.

To fix complacency we need two things:
  1. Fresh blood. Yes, they should be better than what we already have. But they should come in to shake things up too. Unorthodox and creative please.
  2. Stop repeating the same tedious God-forsaken negative tactics that still don't work. They never did. The only way we are going to beat anyone is by boring them to sleep, and quietly tip-toing past them while they are napping. Sssh! Change something. Change anything! Shake it up.
To fix fear we need belief. First person who needs belief is the manager. Alex needs to stop obsessing about the opposition. This obsession means we are beaten before we take the pitch. Show our players videos of THEIR strengths. NOT the opposition. Give them free reign to do more of the stuff they do well. Margins of victory are tight. We are consistently signing players and telling them they are not yet good enough. Or not yet old enough. Not quite ready. NO! If you're picked you are good enough. So, go and smash it!

To fix indifference: Ship out any player still stalling on a new contract. Some players are undoubtedly ready for their next move. Let them go. Some are playing like they don't want an injury to jeopardise a move. Their indifference is a cancer in the squad. Then re-invest in replacements (yes I'm a dreamer) and double down on giving the new players belief too. If we don't have replacements lined up then Ridsdale and/or Neil should resign and make way for people who understand contingency plans.

Neil can absolutely do all this. He is a talented manager. He's just as stuck in a rut as the rest of them.
 
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