Set Piece Success

Jack Ross reckons we’ve been bit shit at set pieces and it’s something he and his staff have been working hard on in training: "It's been frustrating for John and James (coaches) in particular, they do a lot of work on it. Like with anything, if you don't get the rewards for the work you can question what you're doing. One of the factors is that we have a lot less height than other teams in the league. However our consistency of delivery hasn't always been good enough. It has fluctuated. We've got a lot of technically good players in the squad, it's just getting them to deliver on the money time after time."

Two of the four goals against the Mags in the EFL cup came from set pieces. Something that delighted the gaffer: "You see the difference in the Checkatrade game. In the first half, the delivery was indifferent. In the second half all of a sudden it goes up in quality, we scored twice and had another couple of opportunities as well. We want that to continue because it is undoubtedly something we don't do enough. I can't see us being as team that ever scores a barrel-load but it would be nice to chip in with some from those types of areas. When you're dominating territoriality, chances are you'll pick up corners and free kicks in the final third. The Newcastle game was an example of that. Even though in the first half we weren't great, the game was mostly played in their final third of the pitch. So it was a good one to highlight how it important it can be for us."

Spare a Thought For Poor Man City...

In other news, Man City are having a bit of a moan over the upcoming Checkatrade game that's been scheduled for next Tuesday night. They reckon it's a bit harsh on them as they play in the League Cup Semi-Final second leg just 24 hours later, and Pep had planned on playing the kids (given how they're 9-0 up). So come next week spare a bit of sympathy for the multi billionaires who have now been forced to play some actual first team players in the Carabao Cup. Poor lambs. Some EFL guy said: “With no mutual agreement between the clubs, the decision fell to the Executive of the EFL. There is a significant amount of sympathy with the position outlined by Manchester City and the fact that the dating of this game could remove one opportunity for the club’s younger players to play in a first-team competitive game with the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg the day after."