United 1 Cardiff 0 - report

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Deadbat

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Podcast links and then report below….







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United’s playoff hopes took an upward turn this week as they managed to eek out a 1-0 win against Cardiff at Bramall Lane. After a nervy first half where the visitors could have led before the Blades missed two good chances of their own, the home side improved after the break. Ndiaye’s excellent header from Gibbs White’s centre proved to be the difference. United could and should have gone on and scored more as they controlled most of the 2nd half but in the end Berge’s late shot that hit the post was the closest, they came but, in the end, saw out the game with relative comfort. With other results largely going United’s way, it now seems to be a straight fight between three sides with Millwall and Middlesbrough the other two in the hunt. The Lions 98th minute leveller could be vital in the long run but United now know that if they get 4 points from the final two games, they will be in the end of season dance.



Heckingbottom had to make one change with Baldock deemed not fit and Osborn went in at right back. The Blades boss decided not to risk Sharp from the start and went with Gibbs White and Ndiaye as the most attacking players again. Cardiff with nothing to play for continued to rotate and started some young and fringe players leaving a fair bit of experienced on the bench as Morison looked to next season.



The game began with the weather being overcast and with wind swirling around as the sun was trying to emerge from the clouds. It was another big crowd in the Lane but once again the home side looked nervous and an early cross from Leeds loanee Drameh had to be fielded from Foderingham.



Denham played a ball over the top and as Hugill helped on, Watters was clear as Egan could not make it and the Cardiff man was clear but his effort was really weak as he advanced one on one with Foderingham and the keeper made a very important save. However soon after the keeper was not as assured as he kicked a ball straight out to Watters but the striker made a mess of it again and this time could not control the ball.



United could not get going and it seemed very similar to the Reading game of just over a week ago where the home players looked sluggish on and off the ball. However, on the quarter of an hour mark, good link up saw a number of players involved as Gibbs White, Ndiaye and the Berge linked and the ball deflected to Osborn who hit it on the half volley but Phillips did well to get across and parry away.



United were seeing a bit more of the ball but making poor decisions and taking too long to move it and the game became scrappy for a spell but United then forged another chance as Gibbs White, who always looks the main threat, dinked a ball over for Berge who seemed to try and hit it first time but ended up controlling it and then trying to steer it home but Phillips gone down well to smother. It was a good chance and one the Norwegian should have done better with.



The game lacked any fluidity either way and was very stop start but Berge was starting to become more involved and his gliding run saw him get in and fire across goal but Phillips got a slight touch and managed to palm it behind.



Cardiff cleared and threatened with a break but Norwood and then Fleck managed to get touches to stop the opportunities. The passing was very inconsistent and the game seemed to have an end of season feel for both teams with mistakes aplenty on the ball. Cardiff had not offered too much since the early chance but were well in the game and United had not really had control of the midfield and despite Gibbs White’s work rate looked toothless again up top.



The Blades tried to use Robinson’s long throw but once he threw one out and another was easily headed away. The first half petered out and United knew they would have to up the tempo in the second half to get the vital three points.



Cardiff made two changes at the break as they continued to experiment with personnel. McGuinness and Vaulks replaced Drameh and Ralls.



Immediately after the break, it was clear to see that the Blades showed a greater urgency and Gibbs White nearly linked with Berge before the opening goal came. Patient football saw the ball played from Osborn onto Basham and then Gibbs White. The on-loan midfielder steadied himself before sending over a great cross and NDIAYE was able to power his header up and into the roof of the net as Phillips could not react. It was a big moment in a tight and relatively game and United’s players and fans knew this by the scale of the celebrations.



United had a good spell after this with Gibbs White prominent throughout and a few balls just came across the box evading an incoming player before Stevens took too long when in a good position. McGuiness and Ng were both booked for cynical fouls and Norwood the same as Ndiaye gave the ball away and City broke. United had moved it around better and were looking for the killer pass or moment that would surely seal the game?



Colwill came on for Watters on 66 minutes and then United made their first change on 70 minutes. Sharp replaced Ndiaye as both the youngster and Stevens went down but the full back was able to continue. The skipper got a great reception as he came onto the field, after signing a new contract and having a spell on the side-lines previously.



Cardiff had not really threatened too much but with only a goal in the Blades knew they could not relax. Vaulks long throw was headed on by McGuiness and Foderingham had to claw away with Hugill in close attendance. Sharp then had appeals for a penalty waved away after he turned in the box. United did start to sit back for a period and a few nervy moments meant the crowd were still concerned. Sharp did well twice to hold it up and then United had chances but made poor decisions on the break.



The game ticked over 90 minutes but there were 5 minutes to play somehow despite there not being many stoppages. The Blades broke in the first minute of this and Gibbs White intelligently rolled Berge in but the side foot finish hit the base of the post and bounced away. United had to stay solid and won a few headers before Sharp’s experience again helped see out the final moments and the three points were in the bag.
 

Deadbat

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United – It was far from convincing at all and against another poor side, we made really heavy weather of it. I thought it started like the Reading game and we never got going and they had a few chances including a one on one but did not have as clinical forwards as Reading. We slowly at least started to get on the ball more this week and Osborn and then Berge has chances. Berge then had another as we looked more likely but neither side were fluent at all and it was very scrappy. We made mistakes at the back and a better side may have made us pay. The build up was quite slow and lethargic and I sensed again we had little up front. MGW and Berge ended the half well but it did not quite work for Ndiaye. The midfield did not dominate like they should have doing against an inexperienced side.



After the break we immediately upped the tempo and seemed quicker with everything we did and the goal came quite quickly. Good cross and header. This settled us down hugely and I thought after this we became the team in complete control. We moved it around well and with the better final ball or moment, could have scored another that would have seen the game done. You always worry at 1-0 and they had Vaulks for long throws and have done well from set plays this season but chose not to put on some of the bigger lads (Flint and Ikpeazu) and that was reassuring for a defence that has led in a lot of late goals and at that end! They had one header from a long throw but that was not that clear and more of a half chance and actually we looked more likely on the break and Berge should have finished it. Still, we kind of saw it off comfortably and maybe the nerves more came from past events and the natural worries at 1-0 when Cardiff probably had less belief than us, they may score!



The performance was still patchy. A 1-0 win on chances and territory and the spells we had, despite the sloppy start was about right and we did deserve to win but it was not dominant and worrying against a poor side that made a lot of chances that we could not win or control things more convincingly. Still after a bad run, it was just important to get the win and with other stuttering it means we have pole position for the final slot. Shame Millwall scored late on. You sense Boro may beat Cardiff at home on Wednesday and then they are back in it too and it is a three-horse race. I think Millwall are odds on to beat Peterborough next week so for me a draw is neither here nor there as it would mean we would probably still have to get a result v Fulham. Despite all this talk of Fulham being on the beach, they have some great players who playing relaxed would be very dangerous. The game next week is the crucial one in terms of getting the one win (at least we need). We need to go there and win that game and not play cautious at all. We will not know what Millwall (will know Boro’s Wednesday score but not next weekend) are going to do and should expect them to win and pull level so we need to go and beat QPR and then we put Millwall out of it effectively. I am pleased it means it is going to last day and whilst the way we are playing does not make me thing we are going to come close to beating likes of Huddersfield or Forest, then it is still nice to extend the season and interest and I suppose you never know. We do have to find some mor energy and impetus though as despite the win today, it was rather sluggish again and a better team would have got a result.



Ratings:



Foderingham 5.5/10 – Not his best today. One dodgy kick out when he put them in and another where he parried a cross and the defence got in a mess. He did make a good save with the one on one (although straight at hie) and a scooped out one second half. Took a few crosses and generally looked in control after this.



Osborn 6/10 – Steady in an unnatural position and once again proved he does not want to use his right foot (although did 2nd half and nearly made a chance). He was ok in terms of the defensive side other than one moment where he got out of position. Had one good shot saved first half and one cross he just pulled too far back. Second half not sure we saw too much of him after initial pass on the goal but steady enough.



Stevens 5/10 – Thought he made some bizarre decisions both defensively and attacking wise. He got into good areas but often his touch let him down or he hit the first man. He then dithered when they got in once in the first half. Seems to be hesitating a lot for challenges or tackles? Second half got in a great area once but took way too long and this was a theme of his game.



Basham 6.5/10 – He offers us that attacking threat and saw this in the opening as he got down the side well and was able to stretch them. He cut out a few attacks and used his nimble feet. Second half he got into some good areas but took too long to do things a few times. In terms of defending not really threatened at all after the break.




Robinson 6/10 – One ropey moment where he mis controlled it first half and then he also let them in down the side but like the rest of the defence, he kind of settled down after this. His throws were not great as he threw one out and another failed to get over the first man. Second half he was ok and despite one stumble, did what he had to do.



Egan 6/10 – Caught out early on as the lad Watters ran through and he did not know whether to tackle or press. He got run past too easily. A few other moments he was a bit shaky but then started to bring the ball out more. Had a better 2nd half with only that one headed chance really for them and we looked solid enough although he tends to go back too deep and this means there is a gap in front of the defence.



Norwood 6/10 – He was ok but nothing amazing really on and off the ball. A few neat passes side to side and some interceptions but got ran past a few times as well and another cynical booking. At times he needs to go forward and mix up his sideways passes. He was steady but I thought we needed a b it more from him and Fleck.



Fleck 6/10 – As above. A few moments he nearly got in or showed some decent bits of link play but did not quite sit for him and then they also got away from us and had too much space. I never thought we totally controlled the ball in this area and it was a bit messy.



Berge 7/10 – Our best midfielder and a rival for man of the match with MGW. Started with a barge and thought he was up for it but then quiet before he had the two chances where he got into the box. Ended the half well and started the 2nd in purposeful form with some good passes and moments where he forced them back. He did have the late chance too and maybe was a bit too precise. He does tire in games and thought we struggled when they had some runners and he lacks fitness to last the game. Despite that, it was a better game from him and he showed some of the main moments towards goal.



Gibbs White 7/10 – Just shaded Berge for man of the match. Might be predictable to say him again but thought everything good came from him. He got into those dangerous areas, came back to get on the ball and linked with others. Trouble is we needed him to be starting the attacks and being on the end too and the lack of ‘a striker’ made it hard for us to create too much. Once again, some things do not come off but you always think he may get in and some good runs and moments led to half chances and then he makes the goal. His work rate is superb and for a loan player really cares.



Ndiaye 6.5/10 – Bit hit and miss but his mark is higher due to the goal. Other than one run that led to a corner and another where he linked for the Osborn shot, his touch came off him and he was not really in it first half. Second half he scores the great header and this gives him confidence for a spell but then tired and gave it away a few times with loose touches (one led to the Norwood booking) and once again could not last 90 minutes (cramped up again?). Still the vital match winner and a good finish with his head!



Subs –



Sharp 7/10 – Thought he made a difference with his hold up and know how. Ran a few balls down the sides, won free kicks and nearly got a penalty. Got caught offside once or twice but he gave them something to think about higher up the field. Expect him to start next week.





Manager: Heckingbottom 7/10 – It’s a win and that is all that matters. With more injuries (Baldock and McBurnie) he was down to the last men standing but Osborn did ok and then he got Sharp some minutes at the end. Ndiaye who he started instead of Sharp (preferring to bring him on after being out so long) scored the winner. He will definitely feel we can play better and the start was poor (we must address this lack of tempo and how we are beginning games at the Lane) but we did enough to win.





Cardiff – Had an odd sort of season. They have had good spells but for the most part it has not really happened. They got rid of Harris and then they brought in Morison and he was supposed to be only temporary. He improvements things slightly but they still have been very hit and miss and more miss. He did see a resurgence a few months ago and they managed to get away from trouble – think he got manager of the month. They lost a key man in Moore and have had injuries but they would have still thought they would have been higher. A poor season and losing both games in the South Wales derby is not great and the only caveat is they have brought a few young players through and not gone down! If it had not been for Barnsley, Peterborough and Derby (points deducted too – as did Reading) they may have been in a right old scrap going into the final few games but sit safe despite mostly poor form.



The side is a weird mix of some good young talent mixed with journeyman Championship types. They have some threat in the likes of Flint, Hugill (on loan), Morrison in terms of height and of course Vaulks can assist this. They also brought in Ikpeazu (another big lad) on loan and it does seem their approach takes after the one Morison used to love himself at Millwall, but they have some of the players left from Warnock and most from Harris so the style seems quite engrained. Maybe that is lazy analysis but whenever I see them, they get it forward quickly and rely on set plays a lot and the stats back it up. They also ship a lot of soft goals. Unclear which direction they are going in due to the squad with players at the polar end. They have enough experience and some talent to probably keep away from the bottom next season you would think but equally nowhere near enough and no proper goal threat really to be competing at the other end. Morison has been given a new deal but has talked about a bit of an overhaul so we will wait and see.



Today they changed things around again and had a few inexperienced players starting and made subs and changed the formation before and in game. They actually started well and had a few chances but did not take one big one and then we improved. Still, it was not one sided at all and in general play they were not that much worse than us but we just had a bit more quality and penetration at times with Berge and MGW. In the end they did not have that much of a go and today should have been how went about things the previous two against poor teams in terms of getting the lead and then seeing it out. The problem was we trailed in both those games.







Opponent Man of the Match – The lad Drameh looked quite dangerous till he went off and Hugill put himself about but on the whole, no one was that outstanding. Maybe Doyle the lad in midfield (who is on loan from Man City?) seemed to want to get on the ball and try and be positive.



Opponent Weak link – As above. No one stood out as being awful – just a lot of average, non-descript showings where they did not assert themselves but did not make tons of mistakes either. Watters maybe takes it for the poor finishing.



Referee/Officials – Oliver Langford. Reffed us for Blackburn away and Hull at home. Can’t recall him being awful or standing out for the wrong reasons? Going further back ‘did us’ in the Championship promotion season when we won at West Brom but also the loss at Derby and home defeat to Leeds. Once again nothing huge stands out? Today he was fine. The bookings all seemed about right and not sure he did much wrong. Not sure there was enough for the Sharp one to be given. The stoppage time seemed a bit long maybe at the end?





Matchday/Crowd - Flat and quite nervy throughout - pushed the team on at the end at the death.
 

Addison

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" We need to go to and win the QPR game and not play cautious at all."

If only. Can't remember the last away game we came flying out of the blocks and won? The over cautious 3-5-1-1 will be employed and we will look to nick a result. Agree MGW mom. Berge better to-day but still drifts in and out of games. Osborn at RWB stopped the impetus of every attack down the right as he looked to move the ball onto his left foot. Surely Bash at RWB and our Croation stopper inside would have added more balance enabling the ball to be moved quicker.

Too many times we were content to play Wilder ball triangles in the corner. Berge and Osborn being the culprits. We won its 3 points but Morrison did us a huge favour not inflicting Flint on us. Hopefully he'll play against his old club Boro next week.

Sharp back is a big bonus he deserves your score of 7 for just sprinting the length of the pitch to keep the ball in play. It lifted the crowd and showed the rest of the team whose legs had turned to jelly that desire counts for a lot. We will need to be better against QPR.
 
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Great report, got it spot on IMO. I thought Berge was good today, but not quite good enough for MOTM..MGW work rate is terrific.

Nervy win, but after a bad week, I'd settle for the win. It was all on yesterday, and after other results went our way, getting into the play-offs looks possible again. Big game Friday, and potentially a very nervy day after.

Well done Hecky - I didn't think we'd be having this end to the season in October when Slav was in charge.
 

blader

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Watching back I felt really sorry for Fleck. Many people could think he had a poor game but actually he collected the ball in some fantastic positions and was physical gesticulating for an obvious run which should have come but never did, so he had to turn out and go back to Norwood. I think at one point I saw him pocket dial Jack O’Connell asking him to do a shift for the last 20 mins.
 

Yewsman

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Think 5/10 for Enda is very generous. Thought he was really poor again. Appears to have no confidence. Has been awful in every game since he came back. Can’t understand why Hecky doesn’t play RND who has been miles better both as defender and also going forward.
 

blade too long

we go again
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As I keep pointing out to blade too long 4pts might not be enough Boro could still overtake us on GD by winning their remaining games
if they have big wins but dont forget if we win both our last we will score even more goals for them to overhaul

and boro are struggling to score as much as we are

if it were us that far behind in gd very few on here would give us an earthly

our lack of belief is staggering
this weve blown it before outlook is unique among football fans
we are in the oxford dictionary as an explanation of pessimism
 

Silent Blade

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if they have big wins but dont forget if we win both our last we will score even more goals for them to overhaul

and boro are struggling to score as much as we are

if it were us that far behind in gd very few on here would give us an earthly

our lack of belief is staggering
this weve blown it before outlook is unique among football fans
we are in the oxford dictionary as an explanation of pessimism
metalblade , very predictable reply!
 

blade too long

we go again
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Great report, got it spot on IMO. I thought Berge was good today, but not quite good enough for MOTM..MGW work rate is terrific.

Nervy win, but after a bad week, I'd settle for the win. It was all on yesterday, and after other results went our way, getting into the play-offs looks possible again. Big game Friday, and potentially a very nervy day after.

Well done Hecky - I didn't think we'd be having this end to the season in October when Slav was in charge.
thats the way to look at it
from where we were in october its quite a staggering turn round
just to be back as a top 6 club is enough for me
going up would be icing on the cake

unfortunately no under dog has ever won any play off ever so we cant expect to win it
 

Webding

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It’s a weird one. Said on the podcast that I can’t see is getting five results in a row to get promoted, but I hope to be proved wrong… and either way, it’s absolutely brilliant that we’re even within a sniff, let alone left with it in our own hands.

The pessimism is from years of experience though. I’d even argue that it’s realism when you look at the odds of success, regardless of the history.
 

blade too long

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It’s a weird one. Said on the podcast that I can’t see is getting five results in a row to get promoted, but I hope to be proved wrong… and either way, it’s absolutely brilliant that we’re even within a sniff, let alone left with it in our own hands.

The pessimism is from years of experience though. I’d even argue that it’s realism when you look at the odds of success, regardless of the history.
we could lose the first leg 2-1 then win the 2nd 2-0 so as its not 5 wins on the bounce needed
or draw all three play off games 0-0 and win on penalties twice

as Ive said the play offs are cruel as 75 per cent of participants get nothing
 

Webding

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we could lose the first leg 2-1 then win the 2nd 2-0 so as its not 5 wins on the bounce needed
or draw all three play off games 0-0 and win on penalties twice

as Ive said the play offs are cruel as 75 per cent of participants get nothing

I know- I said results, not wins. We could potentially lose two, draw three and still go up. But we still need five favourable results in the context of other games, even if that’s “don’t lose by many”
 

metalblade

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if they have big wins but dont forget if we win both our last we will score even more goals for them to overhaul

and boro are struggling to score as much as we are

if it were us that far behind in gd very few on here would give us an earthly

our lack of belief is staggering
this weve blown it before outlook is unique among football fans
we are in the oxford dictionary as an explanation of pessimism
So you now say if we win our two remaining games, yesterday you were saying a win and a draw would do it. As it stands if we draw one and win one 1-0 then Boro could win there remaining games 2-0 they go above us. I'm not saying it is going to happen but it could, only Sheffield pig fans book hotels before the results are in.
Predictable reply from Silent Blade
 

Deadbat

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To me the far easier game is QPR. Yes Fulham are at home but they've got a summer off so no need to rest players. They've absolutely smashed teams this season at times (not us!) and some of their technical players being relaxed is as worrying!

We simply have to go for a win next week...if we draw going for the win then that's different but if we play cautious next week I will be annoyed. I'm not saying go gung ho from the off but we have to impose ourselves. Our away form is wretched so it's about time we got a win.

I fully expect Boro to win two home games v Cardiff & Stoke and Millwall to win a gimme next week v Posh but there has been some odd results so maybe it won't be as straight forward as that. To me United have to seize the initiative and treat Friday as a must win.

If we go draw next week we could easily be behind Boro if they have two good results this week.

I will be interested in the approach and attitude next week. Bit of a defining game for the team after such a good recovery around Xmas after the dreadful start but then the patchy form recently.

If we fail to win then unless Millwall and Boro make a dogs bollox of their games then I don't like our chances of even getting a draw at home to Fulham due to the attacking threats they possess. I can see us still dipping out if we don't win next Friday. I really don't buy all this Fulham are a ideal side to play. They are the best team by a mile. We have the worst fixture of anyone the final day. I think I'd rather even go to Bournemouth like Millwall knowing they will be nervous and may need a result.

We need to start Sharp and play first hour like it's the last hour of the season. Put it all in. If we go a goal up will QPR be that arsed?

Of course not convinced we look anywhere near good enough to beat Hudds and Forest over 2 legs but football does not always work like that. We get in and who knows?

My usual negative prediction is:

Boro win 2 home games and draw at PNE
Millwall win next week and draw at Bournemouth...home side will already be up or need a point at most
Us draw at QPR and lose to Fulham


6. Boro 71
7. SUFC 70
8. Millwall 70

Wilder pipping us seems like the 'United' way!

The next 2 could decide it though. Boro fail to win Weds and we win Friday and we are in.

Hope the latter comes to fruition!
 

Deadbat

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Another scenario is a Burke goal to put us out of it. You wouldn't be surprised! Whilst we have one fit striker. Not saying we should have kept him but he's scored 2 crucial goals for a rival. I do wonder the logic of loaning players out to divisional rivals. Remember Unsworth? Suppose likes of Lowe, Freeman and Burke were not in the picture.
 

Revolution

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I think we will make it now. We won’t win the playoffs of course but getting there is something after the season we’ve had.

We were more positive and were better than last time out at home. Berge had a good game, shaded MOTM for me from MGW.

Osborn showed his usual energy but is so obviously in the wrong place. Stevens is so negative: would it kill him not to pass back in a first half?

I said after Reading I didn’t want to see Davies and Hourihane again and it’s clear that their absence, together with that of McBurnie, is addition by subtraction.

Having said all that, we were helped by Watters’ poor finishing - he is playing a division too high - and the baffling decision to only let Vaulks take one throw in despite the chaos it caused.

If we take the game to QPR we will beat them.
 

Silent Blade

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To me the far easier game is QPR. Yes Fulham are at home but they've got a summer off so no need to rest players. They've absolutely smashed teams this season at times (not us!) and some of their technical players being relaxed is as worrying!

We simply have to go for a win next week...if we draw going for the win then that's different but if we play cautious next week I will be annoyed. I'm not saying go gung ho from the off but we have to impose ourselves. Our away form is wretched so it's about time we got a win.

I fully expect Boro to win two home games v Cardiff & Stoke and Millwall to win a gimme next week v Posh but there has been some odd results so maybe it won't be as straight forward as that. To me United have to seize the initiative and treat Friday as a must win.

If we go draw next week we could easily be behind Boro if they have two good results this week.

I will be interested in the approach and attitude next week. Bit of a defining game for the team after such a good recovery around Xmas after the dreadful start but then the patchy form recently.

If we fail to win then unless Millwall and Boro make a dogs bollox of their games then I don't like our chances of even getting a draw at home to Fulham due to the attacking threats they possess. I can see us still dipping out if we don't win next Friday. I really don't buy all this Fulham are a ideal side to play. They are the best team by a mile. We have the worst fixture of anyone the final day. I think I'd rather even go to Bournemouth like Millwall knowing they will be nervous and may need a result.

We need to start Sharp and play first hour like it's the last hour of the season. Put it all in. If we go a goal up will QPR be that arsed?

Of course not convinced we look anywhere near good enough to beat Hudds and Forest over 2 legs but football does not always work like that. We get in and who knows?

My usual negative prediction is:

Boro win 2 home games and draw at PNE
Millwall win next week and draw at Bournemouth...home side will already be up or need a point at most
Us draw at QPR and lose to Fulham


6. Boro 71
7. SUFC 70
8. Millwall 70

Wilder pipping us seems like the 'United' way!

The next 2 could decide it though. Boro fail to win Weds and we win Friday and we are in.

Hope the latter comes to fruition!
You predicted last week that Millwall would beat Birmingham!
 

Revolution

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One thing to look out for re Fulham is the goals Mitrovic needs from the last 3 games for milestones. He has 41 now.

2 more sees him beat Guy Whittingham’s 1992-3 total, which is the most in the top 4 divisions in the last 50 years.

3 more sees him beat the Fulham single season record, set in 1931-2 by Frank Newton in Division 3 South.

6 more sees him beat Derek Dooley’s post war second tier record, set for Wednesday in 1951-2.

Hopefully he has 47 before he plays us!
 

Addison

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I think we all agree going for it from the off in the QPR game is the right approach. The problem is we've got our noses in front again and that is when we are at our worst, this season especially.

I'm confident in saying that we won't do this because the evidence to date proves that firstly PH is a cautious manager as proven by his recent formations of 3-5-1-1. The only time he tried to mix it up recently was to play Osborn as a 10 against Reading and that back fired spectacularly. Secondly picking the right team. We all agree with Sharp coming back but the obsession of playing Osborn out of position limits our attacking threat. Thirdly the players mentality, they are just so inconsistent. One decent second half performance against Cardiff is likely to be followed by another first half no show or second half fade out at QPR not helped by our poor conditioning.

Our only hope is that QPR are on the beach now. I'm hoping for a point on Friday. History tells us it will go down to the last day where we have a dismal record of getting over the finishing line or failing to stop ourselves falling into the abyss.
 

Revolution

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I think we all agree going for it from the off in the QPR game is the right approach. The problem is we've got our noses in front again and that is when we are at our worst, this season especially.

I'm confident in saying that we won't do this because the evidence to date proves that firstly PH is a cautious manager as proven by his recent formations of 3-5-1-1. The only time he tried to mix it up recently was to play Osborn as a 10 against Reading and that back fired spectacularly. Secondly picking the right team. We all agree with Sharp coming back but the obsession of playing Osborn out of position limits our attacking threat. Thirdly the players mentality, they are just so inconsistent. One decent second half performance against Cardiff is likely to be followed by another first half no show or second half fade out at QPR not helped by our poor conditioning.

Our only hope is that QPR are on the beach now. I'm hoping for a point on Friday. History tells us it will go down to the last day where we have a dismal record of getting over the finishing line or failing to stop ourselves falling into the abyss.
You know it’s funny…we have a dismal playoff record, but I think I’m right in saying that every time we’ve gone into the last day in the playoff zone, we’ve stayed there.

In fact I think there are only 2 seasons where we were in the playoff zone and could have fallen out: 1988, where we held the spot by winning at Huddersfield when a loss and a Reading win would have relegated us, and 1998, when we lost to Stockport but made it as Birmingham didn’t beat Charlton.

1997, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2015 we were secure before the last game.

We have failed to get in when it was mathematically possible (eg 2004, 2005, 2008) but i don’t think we’ve dropped out when we were top 6 with 1 game to go.

I think Birmingham in 1998 were the last team who had a chance to deny us something on the last day of a season and failed. Every time since other results have gone against us.
 

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