Much much better. The game was in danger of getting away from us towards half-time after Burton had scored and the break suited us more than the visitors who were more than a match for us in the first half. In the second half though, we were superb and thoroughly deserved the win. I don’t expect any points from the game at Sunderland but at least now there is some hope.
I’m very excited by Whyte and Browne, for the first time in several seasons we have two pacey skilful wingers who can cross a good ball and have a great shot on them – they’re also only likely to improve given their immaturity in terms of competitive EFL matches played.
I’m also very impressed with Norman. He can look a bit naïve at times but he is strong and powerful and gets forward linking up well with Whyte. Mousinho also had a much better game now that he’s decided to hoof the ball when under pressure rather than try some Messi-esque trickery that he only has to get wrong once……
As for Mr Kettle. I thought his decisions were actually in the main ok. He gave most of the decisions to Burton when they were dominant and then most to us when we were in the ascendancy. Teams that are under the cosh give away fouls which leads to momentum for the other team etc. etc. Some around me though were close to a coronary in reaction to his performance. I’m not suggesting he is an accomplished referee but his reputation imho enhanced the reaction to him. Mind you, I do think it was a foul on Nelson for Burton’s goal and the staring competition between Mr Kettle and the East Stand was something I have never seen before from an official – bizarre and highly unprofessional.
Sensible management from Robinson. He talks in the OM about how they channelled the anger from the players into the second half performance. I’m not a supporter of winding a team up for the sake of it but the atmosphere on Saturday and feeling of injustice meant this was a good tactic which proved successful. The substitution of Smith was also timely given he was close to a sending off and Mackie had the experience to calm things down.
Ricky Holmes again was superb and his fitness could be the difference between a long slog of a season and a chance to push on from this and rise up the table. After Saturday, we have a run of games where there is a real opportunity to pick up some points.
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