Monday, 19 August 2013

Closing the game out

I did not hear why Richard Hughes did not make the squad last week against Wigan. It is always the way when you think this game is made for someone to come on now and you look at the bench and they are not there. I bet Eddie Howe would have used him if he had been sat there on Saturday, because he is such a great player at bolting the door firmly shut for us when he comes on. I thought Elphick did okay, albeit for only six minutes, but it was Shaun MacDonald that was doing a lot of the marshalling work and leading by example. Sure there was more talking at the back for that game and I was pleased to see that.

Tommy Elphick only got a few minutes against Wigan
but I was glad to see him back and involved.
It is important that we do close out close games in the Championship. We can't afford to play like we used to when we would be 2:1 up with 10 minutes to go and be lucky if we came out with just a point. I was willing the team to move up and not sit back too much in the second half against Wigan, but it is almost instinctive to do that when the other team is pushing to get an equaliser.

We do have the players to break fast and kill games off when the opportunity arises, but Wigan were very good at covering and did not really allow us too many chances to kill the game late on with a second goal. Narrow victories are going to be very important and could be the difference between a good season and a poor one. We have seen that there is very little between teams in the Championship and that you can win comfortably one week and get battered the next.

Our scoreline against Wigan should have been higher but when it doesn't happen it is vital that our players keep their discipline and their heads, especially when the other team is down to 10-men. It is strange that in both AFCB's home games that the opposition has been down to 10-men, but it is a credit to our team that we have held on in those games. It doesn't always help to have an extra player but we made it count in both of those games.

The league table looks much more healthy for AFCB now and I'm looking forward to the games coming up. As a whole I think the club has made a great start despite the heavy away defeat. Onwards and upwards!

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