Throwing it away. Again.

Bradford City 1
Cook 31
Crawley Town 2
Nicholls 71 , Craig 90+5

By Tim Penfold

At the beginning of the season, Bradford City managed to win three games on the bounce in fairly similar fashion. Against Oldham, Stevenage and Mansfield, City started well, took the lead and then stepped off the gas and conceded an equaliser. In each game they recovered to win – spectacularly in the Stevenage game, while coming from behind against Mansfield.

We thought we’d seen a pattern where the team could fight back from setbacks and still win the game, but that hasn’t persisted. What has persisted is the tendency of this team to play well, take the lead then completely stop playing and throw away points.

The first half was genuinely excellent. City set up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation, with Callum Cooke retaining his place deep in midfield alongside Yann Songo’o. However, there was a completely different right hand side – Matty Daly started in midfield in place of Alex Gilliead, while Finn Cousin-Dawson was a very late replacement for Oscar Threlkeld, who was injured in the warm-up.

They were in control from the start, with Callum Cooke dictating the game and getting attacks moving, but for a while this didn’t turn into clear chances. There were half-openings, blocked shots, and opportunities to shoot from distance turned down in order to try to make a better chance.

The first clear chance of the game came from a short corner routine that went slightly wrong – the initial cross was cleared by the visiting defence, but the ball was kept alive and eventually fell to Andy Cook who, off balance, lashed his shot wide. Crawley didn’t learn from this warning though, and City took the lead on the half hour mark with a fine goal.

Finn Cousin-Dawson started the move, with an excellent pass through the midfield to find Jamie Walker. He turned and fed the ball left to Charles Vernam, who drove into the box and looped a cross towards Andy Cook, all alone at the far post. Cook made no mistake, and the Bantams had the lead.

However, the fundamental problem with this Bradford City side is that they stop playing at 1-0 up, and this happened even before the half time whistle. This was the time to press on and kill the game off, but for the rest of the half City barely created anything – a couple of blocked half-chances and a couple of corners – and allowed Crawley to get to half time still in the game and reorganise.

Then, at the start of the second half, they sat back and allowed the visitors to get fully into the game.

This has been a recurring theme throughout the season – City have gone 1-0 up in fifteen games so far this season in all competitions, but have conceded an equalising goal on twelve of those occasions. Sometimes they have managed to get their game going again and win, but too often they have thrown points away doing this – Walsall at home, Forest Green at home, Bristol Rovers at home where they managed to throw away the win twice.

This is the difference between this team being a mid-table side and promotion contenders, and it is surely tactical from the manager – holding on to 1-0 leads was one of the few things that the team did well last season, especially under Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars.

There were a couple of opportunities for the home side to grab a decisive second – one, early in the second half, was created by Jamie Walker wriggling away down the right but Andy Cook’s shot from a crowded six-yard box was well saved. The other saw Charles Vernam charging forward on the counter only to be cynically fouled. Vernam limped off a few minutes later, replaced by Alex Gilliead, and what attacking threat City posed completely vanished.

Crawley grew into the game more, and after Mark Marshall was introduced from the bench to warm applause he was left in far too much space on the right to swing a cross over. Cousin-Dawson, hugely impressive up to that point, lost his man and Tom Nichols headed the equaliser.

Derek Adams responded with a substitution, but this was another tactical error. He brought on new arrival Tom Elliot to play up front with Andy Cook, but the strike force of two target men did not work. The only time I have seen a big man – big man partnership work was James Hanson and Jon Stead in the Phil Parkinson era, and even then Hanson ended up playing much wider than usual to accommodate it.

Both strikers tried to do the same thing, neither read the other’s flick-ons and knock-downs and what little football City had played up to that point completely stopped as the ball was launched higher and higher. The only chances they had were a couple of long shots that rippled the back of the net – unfortunately from the wrong side as they hit the stanchion behind the goal and rebounded back.

And then, as it looked like City were going to throw away two points, they instead managed to throw away three. Gilliead gave away a silly free kick, Crawley launched it into the box, Tony Craig beat Niall Canavan to the header and it looped into the net. Valley Parade emptied to the sound of boos and the first shouts of “Adams out” that I have heard – the rest of the Kop didn’t take up the chant, but more performances like the second half will make those shouts louder.

Adams, in his post-game interview, blamed individual errors for the defeat – particularly calling out Cousin-Dawson and Canavan in a way that you suspect he would not have done had either of these players been called Oscar Threlkeld.

It’s what we have come to expect from our manager, who has so far blamed the Sports Science team, Lee Turnbull, the players (particularly the younger players and anyone not called Oscar) and some mysterious problems behind the scenes that he of course knows all about but cannot tell us about. It’s clearly all of those things that mean we repeatedly throw away 1-0 leads, rather than a tactical approach that is so steeped in fear of defeat that it ends up causing those defeats anyway.

It’s not just that we stop attacking – it’s that we stop doing anything. We don’t keep the ball, we retreat to our own box and the only thing that stops us dropping deeper is the presence of the TL Dallas stand. And then we wonder why, when we give up the ball, the initiative and all pretence of attack, we concede soft goals.

In a way though, Derek Adams was right about it being individual errors that threw away three points today. He just hasn’t yet worked out that they were his.

Categories: Match Reviews

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35 replies

  1. Not contemplating a change of manager but Adams must stop this negativity otherwise the calls of ‘Adams out’ will only increase,this team showed in the 1st half that they can play on the front foot and if there is to be any chance of a play off push (which I doubt) he has to change but I will not hold my breath.

  2. Even before the cross which led to our goal ,we had one player in the box and five defenders i said to my mate this cross will have to accurate, it was.After we took the lead we dropped ten yards everyone behind the ball .it became a game of attack and defence. We the fan’s all could see what was going on , as did the opposition Manager. ADAMS tatical use of the subs is becoming embarrassing,how can you play two target men together with no width.Very worrying i just hope he turn it around fast .

    • He will be playing without wingers because Vernham has a hamstring injury and likely to be out a while.
      Today’s performance was typical of City. This must go down to Adams lack of tactical and motivational skills. Players will make mistakes. They are human. What is inhuman is being singled out and humiliated. How is that going to improve the players performance. Never once has Adams stood up and accepted his role in poor performances. I don’t know who’s responsible. Is it the coach? Or Adams? I believe it’s both. Adams was spouting off about the number of chances City had. The statistics tells a different story. City had 3 shots on target, Crawley had 6. Adams could see it was going wrong but he waits until they score before he acts. We know what happens then. Two big strikers getting in each others way. They was no supply because we had no wingers.
      A good manager would see this and act accordingly to make changes that have a positive impact. I can’t remember a time when Adams changes have had a positive impact.
      This cannot go on. There needs to be a change in attitude. The supporters deserves better than this. The last few years have been the worst period of underperformance by management and players I’ve witnessed. Adams needs to look at himself and ask if he can do things differently and better. Excuses do not win matches action does.

  3. The worst kind of defeat …self inflicted and against a very limited team. What made it all the more galling was that it was Marshy who tipped the balance. A positive substitution and a player who clearly was determined to make a difference unlike most of the City team.
    As for FCD ..for me he is just not equipped to play right back and Sutton is a better option. More mobile and infinitely better in possession. Lost count of the times a player was left free at the back stick culminating in their first goal. That said it was a collective failure and a craven second half effort by all the responsibility for which ultimately lies with the manager

  4. The reasons for this defeat are far more complex than two individual errors. Adams must know that and therefore putting the blame on two players was hardly fair on them. Unfortunately both these players have cost us goals this season, as have Threlkeld and Kelleher. Yet, the recent recruitment has included four attacking players, not all of whom can ever be accommodated at the same time, especially if we persevere with only one up front. I’ll be very surprised if we bring in two defenders on Monday; and not at all surprised if we don’t make any further additions. But the problem is deeper than personnel changes. Why do we so often go into our shell in the second half? It’s either exhaustion through overtraining or a tactical ploy to let the opposition commit players so we can hit them on the break. It could be both, I suppose, but it’s hard to think of other explanations. I half expected a change in system today to accommodate our new signings. I had a feeling we might go with wingbacks of Sutton and Foulds and three centre backs in order to find space for two number tens, Daly and Walker, either side of Cooke and both Cook and Elliott up top. I think however in time it might emerge that Walker and Daly can’t play together, whatever system we employ. It’s all going to get pretty overcrowded when Watt comes back, Perreira eventually makes his bow and Robinson and Lavery wait in readiness and anticipation. As ever after defeat, the only course is to move on and win the next. Yes, we threw it away today big time.

  5. Adam’s at his best is a difficult manager to like. His style of football is making it almost impossible. And the way he treats his players in the post match interview is appalling.

  6. I just cant believe we lost that game. An exciting first half where the entire team were playing well and there were many instances of good quick incisive passing leading to opportunities, to a second half where we played on the backfoot.
    To blame two players for that loss is to miss the point…that we had spent the previous 45 minutes donating time and space to Crawley and giving them the opportunity to level up on possession, shots and corners; things they had been lagging behind on by a country mile at half time. You cannot give teams all this and expect to get away with it, ultimately something will crack and we saw it did…TWICE!
    Gut-wrenching and shameful, because our first half display made it clear we have the quality to score more goals and impose ourselves on the opposition; you could say ‘we chickened out’. I usually love to watch Tuesday evening games (even more than Saturday games), yet its hard to summon up enthusiasm when you are not sure which team will turn up for TWO halves let alone one.

  7. Brilliant report, agree with everything written. Terrible leadership and very blinkered to pin the defeat on two players. Adams clearly has no idea how to motivate, inspire or engage his team, which we can see evidence of on the pitch week in, week out. He seems to have lost the dressing room and this, combined with naive, defensive tactics, does not fill me with much optimism for the rest of the season.

  8. Thanks Tim for the report. Laughed out loud to the “TL Dallas” comment – very amusing!
    I have to admit that I didn’t see the game and I’ve not seen many in recent weeks as getting up for a 2am kick off and 4am finish in Sydney wrecks me for the week ahead. This never stopped me before but watching the football being served up since earlier in the season has made my recent decisions to stay in bed way too easy! I miss getting up to watch a team having a proper go for 90 minutes and I don’t expect us to win every game either. DA naming and shaming will only end in tears as it’s a weak managerial tactic. He needs to own this and man up with some responsibility. When we’ve won recently it hasn’t always been deserved but losing recently has most certainly been deserved. DA sort it out!!!

  9. Argyle fan here. One thing you’ll need to understand with Adams is that he NEVER takes responsibilty for a bad result. It’s always someone else’s fault, often individual players (despite the fact that Adams signed them, selected them for the game and presumably gave them tactical instruction). The negative tactics/inability to see out a match rings true from his time at Argyle – even when we were promoted we had a pretty shaky defensive record.

    At Argyle his refusal to take responsibility for results eventually seemed to trigger the players turning against him, which in turn resulted in a drastic loss of form which resulted in us going from comfortably mid table, to relegated in the space of ten games. Hopefully the same doesn’t happen to you guys. He is/has been a great manager when things are going well – and overall his record is pretty good at multiple clubs, so there’s a possiblility he could turn things round at some point and get you guys promoted [and, from the outside, there’s no way a team like Bradford should be in the basement league). However it seems to me that when things start to go wrong, his management style can exacerbate this problems and send teams into a tailspin, so you could be on dicy ground if results don’t pick up at some point.

  10. Following City from Christchurch in NZ I rely heavily on these excellent match reports- they are becoming a depressing familiar read though…..
    Comment about two big men up front never works made me think about John Taylor and Dion Dublin up front for Cambridge- admittedly 30+ years ago!!! Anything to distract from the Bantams current sterility.

  11. Final straw today. I can take losing, it’s something we get used to at Bradford City. Crawley, no disrespect were a poor side there for the taking, result we sit back and try to defend a 1 – 0 home..and Derek Adams wonders why we have so many draws and dropped points.
    What I can’t take is Derek Adams failing to hold his hands up & admit he got it wrong. Instead he places blame on a young player, who 5 minutes before kick off wasn’t playing. That is disgraceful & should not be tolerated by any one at City. I know he is Ryan Sparks’ man but this season is another write off & Oldham Away is around the corner. Be careful Derek the clock is ticking…

  12. Utterly down to Adams and Trueman imo. How a side can go from been comfortable, albeit, with not that many actual chances, to letting what was a poor looking side ru all over you is a disgrace tbh. This isn’t a one off and is becoming increasingly common after an Adams half time team talk. Fans are very angry and were vocalising this at the end and coming away from the ground. Adams has not been likeable from the off really but it is now compounded by performances and tactics. A lady in front of me said don’t blame the manger blame the “board”. However i’m sorry but the board did not deploy those tactics second half today.

  13. Players come to Bradford encouraged by its ‘big club’ image and the massive support which I’m getting fed up of hearing, act like the 12th man. For all the good its having the team might as well play in front of a bus shelter. What on earth is going on? We have a manager who blames everyone else. He reminds me of the clown we have as prime minister, who seems incapable of grasping reality and blames others. His role as a tactician is limited, and his skills of motivation non existent. He is displaying all the traits of a man who has lost it. Too often we let inferior teams off the hook. We give needless free kicks away in dangerous positions. We give balls away which puts us under pressure . We fail to shoot when we are in or around the penalty area. As time goes by we allow the opposition to gain the initiative, and play with more confidence, while we slump. We don’t frighten teams; we lack the killer instinct. Too many players have injuries which keeps them out for too many games, or affects their performance. So what is going on behind the scenes? Why are we not rectifying the problems we see week after week? Why are we so negative on the pitch? On a couple of occasions when Radio Leeds have had Gary Jones co-commentating, he has shown more passion and talked more tactical sense than our coaching/management staff. He sees the problems we see week in week out. Perhaps he should be brought in as consultant. We don’t look anything like a promotion team and seem to have settled for mid-table mediocrity. I think the insight of the Plymouth fan should act as a dire warning. Too many people have suffered over the past two years, and supporting their club gives us something to look forward to. Just as we are being sold short by politicians who lack integrity, we are being served an unacceptable and disconcerting display. We deserve better from City, and we need to feel hope of a brighter future.

    • Hi Dave,
      I posted a few weeks back that Gary has no formal coaching qualifications, indeed while he was still playing he enrolled to do his B licence, but left on the first day. He told my work colleague who happens to be his ex-brother in law, that it just wasn’t for him. He turns out occasionally for Ashville FC veterans in Birkenhead, which was his junior side as a child. My work colleague was also a professional footballer, whose dad was an ex Tranmere striker, it was he who managed Gary when he was Caernarfon Town’s manager, and got him a trial at Rovers. Aside that, the real bigger part of city’s woes lies with our absentee owner. He sets the agenda, and budget etc, and nothing will change until he sells the club. We need investment, and a sea change in direction. It’s been 5 years of failure under his ownership. What really grates is other clubs with similar size support or less, progress up the pyramid after being on the bones of their arse, like Bolton for example, or Wycombe, let alone so called minnows like FGR, leading the division 10 points. I’m totally fed up with the lack of direction and a plan, being fed falsehoods over transfer windows and club matters by RS, admittedly may be acting on Stefan’s behest. Herr Rupp is the biggest problem we face, and changing the manager is easy, but the next one will face all the same issues, as did the others before. It’s Rupp we have put pressure on to sell before anything gets better.

  14. I started banging on about hamstring injuries last Autumn…less prolific but still seems to be a systemic problem they need to get to the bottom of.

    My latest fixation in recent weeks is what on earth Adams says to his team at half time. Other teams seem to come out reinvigorated. Ours seem to come out lacklustre.

    • Although to put the angst of yesterday into context, we started the day 5 points off the play-offs & 10th, and despite seeing 3 points slip away to nothing, we ended it 6 points off in 11th. In other words, most other teams are muddling through this season & everyone is beating everyone. For now, our frustration is not the threat of dropping down, its seeing another year’s promotion dream slide away.

      So whilst I share the frustration we all feel, I agree with comments below that Adams, whatever your views of him, needs to stay & try harder to make it work. Our revolving door of management became literally a national embarrassment. He’s done it before for others. We need to stick with it, even if for now, that’s through gritted teeth.

  15. City contain enough ball players to play through midfield keeping the ball on the floor and pulling opponents around to create space and chances. The first half demonstrated that yesterday.
    Cooke got on the ball. Songoo was excellent breaking up play and giving the ball to teammates. Vernam was a threat and walker coming short for FCD to play ball into his feet and link play made our play fluid. We should have been further ahead than 1-0.
    Second half we backed off and seemed to try to play on the break. Absorbing pressure at 1-0 is dangerous and we’ve proven incapable of doing this time and again. Sitting back allowed Crawley possession and they grew in confidence to a point where most 2nd balls were won by then and we start to panic and lump it long.
    Make no mistake despite what Adams said in pinpointing players for Individual errors this is on him. Adams doesn’t accept responsibility for anything and his list of reasons / excuses are becoming laughable.
    There is no doubt he has been successful elsewhere but this is about the here and now. We’re only 6 points off the play offs but I can’t see what he is trying to do. We’re consistently worse in second halves of games. To me that’s game management / tactical and the buck stops with Adams. Take some responsibility for your decisions Derek.

  16. Terribly frustrating after possibly the best 45 minutes of the season. Cooke was outstanding and all the new players looked to have an understanding together.

    However, ultimately Adams was beaten tactically in this game. In the second half Crawley’s wing backs hugged the touch lines and found acres of space as we seemed to narrow and defend the middle of the pitch. For that I disagree with Adams singling out FCD who along with Foulds had a hospital pass of a job in the second half.

    However, to say FCD was hugely impressive is just wrong. He almost cost us in the first half with a poor touch and his first touch is consistently awful. His delivery similarly so and defensively let’s the winger get in his crosses far too easily. I think there’s rose tinted spectacles as Oscar hasn’t been great and FCD is ‘one of ours’. It happens all the time and is understandable we will have a subconscious bias towards these players.

    Adams was the manager who set this team up to play so well first half but also the manager who’s team were allowed to lose momentum second half. Had Cooke put the chance away at 1-0 we’d be sat here 3points off the play offs having won 2 on the spin and there would be a different tone altogether but we have been on the wrong side of these fine margins too often.

    Most worrying was Vernam going off. At his best he’s unplayable and even when the tide turned in Crawley’s favour he was our outlet. I’m hopeful it was an impact injury from the tackle rather than the hamstring mentioned above!

  17. There is a tremendous feeling of anticlimax at the moment. Yesterday’s result is a big setback just when momentum was building and we were gearing up for a dash to the playoffs. The business we have done has sadly not eliminated the problems in defence. It will be very interesting to see who comes in or goes out. It will be even more anticlimactic if nothing happens.

  18. Adams was totally st fault yesterday. Meanwhile, Rochdale, who we outnumbered away will soon have a young exciting strike partnership promising a lot of goals. Makes you sick. Honestly think Sparks could have a decision to make on Adams soon. I can see new ST sales dipping to an unbelievable low with any more 2nd halves as bad as that. 3 year contract or not, bums on seats are what keeps this club solvent. Dip below 9000 at those prices and we’re in serious trouble.

  19. Having sat and seriously thought about yesterday’s performance I still find it unbelievable that we played two different games in two halves , at half time they were obviously told to get after us and fair play to them they got the result they begrudgingly deserved, the total lack of composure shown by us in the second half was beyond belief I still cannot believe how we capitulated so easily, ok I give Adams until the end of the season but if it’s more of the same we need to rethink where we are going . I cannot see us maintaining 15000 season tickets with this brand of football and to be fair to everyone a 25 per cent increase in prices , it’s an entertainment industry and this is not entertaining. Also hanging out players who make mistakes is not really professional

    • Just as we sit here on transfer deadline day, the club captain Niall Canavan is sold to Barrow for a small but undisclosed sum. One of 2 players that the lovely Derek hung out to dry after Saturdays debacle, instead of taking a bloody long hard look at what he’d done that changed the game. The guy seems to thrive on conflict, very unhealthy for any club, and God knows what he said to FCD and the damage its done to his fragile confidence. I couldn’t agree more Gary. However just remember dear readers, we were ‘prepared ‘ for this window as well, that’s what Ryan said. In the next couple of hours we’ll probably have another Kelleher or journeyman like Robinson sign, with a total lack thought, direction, planning and ambition.

  20. One of the most impressive 45 mins yesterday and if Cook scores his chance we are walking away with a very different tone of voice, 3 points off the play offs and 2 wins on the bounce. Football a game of fine margins and momentum. However, too regularly we are on the wrong side of these fine margins where players AND manager become accountable.

    On the one hand Adams set up the team to perform so well for 45 minutes Cooke and Vernam especially purring. Vernam’s injury the biggest concern he is at times unplayable and ultimately if he stayed on the pitch I think we win the game as – despite their dominance – he was our out ball to take pressure off. The cynical tackle summing it up.

    On the flip side their manager changed it and with their wing backs hugging the touch lines as we went narrow and defended the middle of the pitch which is where the game was won and lost. That’s on Adams not individuals and as was well pointed out by Raynor (and others) individual errors become more likely from soaking up waves of pressure.

    The one thing I can’t fathom is the love in for FCD. He was our weak link throughout – his first touch is consistently poor for a professional footballer (and almost cost us first half), his delivery equally poor and has a lack of agility in 1v1 defending. I think rose tinted spectacles with a combination of Threlkeld being a disappointing signing and him being ‘one of our own’.

    He’s not a likeable bloke but he’s not here to be likeable. He’s here to win football matches and needs to start doing so quickly.

  21. Firstly, what an excellent match report, summing up the game perfectly. A self inflicted defeat against a poor side, largely caused by us sitting on a goal lead, and not having the courage to press home our advantage.

    It shouldn’t really be a surprise to us Adams tactics though, as I still remember him coming here with Plymouth a few years ago, and getting an early goal then proceeding to defend for the rest of the game. Even in the last year’s play off final Morecambe were under the cosh for long periods, just sitting back and then got an extremely fortuitous penalty.

    Part of me says with his track record we need to give Adams 2 season, but then I think of Peter Taylor, and the managers that have been successful in my era, are largely those that tried to play good football and attacked the opposition, such as Cherry, Dolan, Kamara, Jewell, McCall (2nd spell). I think Parkinson’s football was unfairly criticised at times, but at least he was prepared to attack the opposition.

    If this season peters out, and Adams continues to sit on one goal leads, and is not prepared to take risks to win games, then the fans could turn on him pretty quickly, because I think deep down this club has always had a reputation for trying to play good football.

  22. First, Tim, that was a superb report.
    Almost always in life the failure of an organisation is the fault of those at the top. So it has been with city.
    Since the resignation of parkinson we have had 7 managers.
    That is bad for any club.
    Sparks now has a very difficult decision whether to stick with Adams.
    There is no doubt that tactics were wrong yesterday. But he should never give personal public criticism of his players.
    We have a squad good enough to succeed. Sparks needs to decide if we have the right manager.
    I don’t really envy him.

  23. Derek Adams is a dinosaur manager, he is in the same bracket as Warnock, etc. What manager cannot anticipate how the opposition will counter the tactics going into half time with a 1 goal lead? How many time’s have we seen us sit back and defend the 1 goal lead inviting pressure for 45 mins? Every manager in this league knows how the game against us will pan out and set his team up accordingly to beat us.
    The only way we will progress and get out of this league is with a manager with tactical nous. Derek Adams has not shown me so far this season that he has the management skills to take us forward as a team and a club.
    Sorry Ryan but in my opinion you have backed the wrong horse in this seasons race.

    • You’re doing Neil Warnock an immense disservice there. Derek Adams can only dream of ever being in the same bracket as such a fine manager. A manager who has achieved significant success at the higher end of the football pyramid over many decades with many different clubs.
      There are few players and ex players who have served under warnock that have anything other thank huge praise for him.
      Anyhow. Back to the matter at hand. We are an extremely average team with an average manager in a poor league with a club set up that is small time with limited resources and no experience to achieve anything substantial in the coming years

    • Easy said now. We took the manager with the best current record of getting teams out of this division and dissenters at the time were light on the ground.

      • Totally agree. We went after the supposed best man for the job and it seems we have backed him fully (with what resources are available)
        My point about him being average may have been a tad overly critical. But what I was trying to do was respond to Rick suggesting Adams and warnock were in the same bracket. They are not. could Adams get to that level one day? Well he has 20 odd years more in front of him to find out

    • i think you will find that Warnock based his squads on attackers and usually had 4 strikers in every squad. Yep his teams had to work hard but he had a good blend of direct football when required imo.

  24. Comfortable at half time, what was said in the dressing room at half time I can only imagine was along the lines of ‘don’t lose this lead’!
    It was clear to see from the stands, deeper and deeper back, it wasn’t Crawley being a better side we just surrendered the ball time and time again and did not compete, not one bit surprised we lost. Will not be posting again this season, poor manager.

  25. Great report Tim, and a great set of intelligent comments under it.

    For those who firmly believe in Adams (so excluding the silent majority who he has onside just because they can’t face another managerial change – and I can understand that), I have three questions to get you thinking.
    1) Can you name a game this season where we played better in the second half than the first?
    2) Can you name a game this season where Adams’ in-game management (tactics, strategy, subs) have earned us points from a drawing/losing position? (Mansfield away – but we led in the first place, Salford home – but Bowyer handed us the initiative on a plate).
    3) Can you name a player who has improved under Adams’ management?

    With Adams in charge, it feels like trying to drive a car with the handbrake on, it feels like he’s holding the players back. How long do we give him, the first dozen games of next season? Because he can change the personnel again in the summer, we can get a whole new XI, but if we still have the same manager doing the same things, deploying the same tactics and making the same decisions then I’m not sure it will do much good.

    The comments from our guest from Plymouth sound alarmingly similar to here and now. If we really are following the Plymouth pattern, what comes next is that Adams responds to fans’ criticism of him by criticising the fans back, and that’s when we know he isn’t long for the hot seat.

    We can criticise the players and their attitude (and oh we haven’t we just, over the last four seasons) but how demotivating would it be to play under Adams? His singling out of two young players in post-match interviews has been disgraceful (Crankshaw and now Cousin-Dawson), especially when said players have actually been trying (something you can’t always say about Adams’ favourites). And the comments about Robinson being “No Lee Angol” on the day he signed, well, how petulant and unprofessional.

    I roll my eyes when people say a job is too big for a manager, but trying to defend a 1-0 lead at home to Crawley, rather than pushing on to score 2, 3, does scream ‘small time mentality’. Remove Adams’ track record and judge him just on what we’ve seen this season and would you say “Yep, he’s the man for us”?

    • i agree that no one is defending Adam but are saying we “keep changing managers all the time and it doesn’t work”. Thats hardly an endorsement for Adams it it. City and pragmatic managers rarely get on. Only parky was allowed the grace of been pragmatic at times and i think that was the fans affinity with the players. The rest all get booed very quickly when results aren’t forthcoming.

  26. For the first time in watching City since 1965 that’s a first for me.
    We beat ourselves!
    Crawley did not beat us.
    We managed to let the other team allow us to beat ourselves..
    We beat ourselves!!
    Well Derek thats a first.

    I heard that the manager criticised two players live on BBC which is totally out of order.
    There was only one person responsible for this defeat.
    The manager.

    Last week he made two keepers strip and warm up at Walsall when Bass was playing and only one of the two could sit on the bench.
    We have seen other examples of his poor management of players.
    I have never warmed to him and now I dont like him.
    If we were winning games and near the top then maybe I would not be too bothered. But we are not and although it’s not a popularity contest, he does nothing to endear himself to the fans.
    I rather think his future at Valley Parade is going to be brief.

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