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We strive for perfection - do we struggle to cope with any less?


DuncanRG
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One of the most remarkable stats this season is that we have kept clean sheets in all but one of our 10 wins. In other words, we have only once won a game in which we have conceded - and we were already *3-0 up when Hull scored against us.

 

Now, our players are an ambitious bunch. They hold themselves to a very high standard and you can tell that the whole team feels the pain of conceding goals. But it's not a 'heads drop' situation as far as I can tell - we'll usually have another period or two of dominant play after conceding but things just don't work out as often. I think our confidence in finishing is quite low sometimes and drops further when we're chasing a game. It just seems to me that things have to go really well for us to get results.

 

Is it that we open up after conceding and become vulnerable to counter attacks? That's been the case in a few games, including Spurs, Villa and Liverpool at home.

 

Do you think we lack 'character', that vague quality that managers always like to ascribe to their players when they come from behind? I think we've got a terrific spirit and fight hard, but we do struggle to get results when the momentum's not with us. It's a different sort of character we've got.

 

I'd be wary of blaming this on a single factory, be it profligacy or defensive frailty. We are joint sixth in the goalscoring charts (level with Everton on 38 goals) and joint seventh defensively (level with Liverpool on 35 goals conceded) but we're ninth on the one that counts.

 

Just some food for thought.

Edited by DuncanRG
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Fonte admitted they were down at 2-0. They all looked it. I've seen far lesser teams in terms of quality come back from 2-0 down. Just takes a deflection or mistake and at 1-2 it's game on. But that spirit was never there, not from the players, and certainly not from the fans. Not sure which influences the other more to be honest.

 

But maybe it's harsh. They've done very well over the season. We beat Liverpool when they were off form and we were on it, and now they've done it to us vice versa. Perhaps we'd have shown more fight earlier in the season, if we'd been scoring more regularly, had a bit more form, or dare I say, fewer points to make the table comfortable?

 

It was obvious at 2-0 that our players didn't have the belief or desire to get back into the game. I view the substitutions as an opportunity to give some more game experience to Victor and Sam and I expect other youngsters will get more outings during the rest of the season.

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Fonte admitted they were down at 2-0. They all looked it. I've seen far lesser teams in terms of quality come back from 2-0 down. Just takes a deflection or mistake and at 1-2 it's game on. But that spirit was never there, not from the players, and certainly not from the fans. Not sure which influences the other more to be honest.

 

But maybe it's harsh. They've done very well over the season. We beat Liverpool when they were off form and we were on it, and now they've done it to us vice versa. Perhaps we'd have shown more fight earlier in the season, if we'd been scoring more regularly, had a bit more form, or dare I say, fewer points to make the table comfortable?

If the players are aware of it, can the stat on our ability to come from behind almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy, the players almost think to themselves "well that's in then". Also the fact that we struggle to get behind defences that sit deep and just invite us on, becomes more of a problem once the opposition has got one goal.
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