TALKING TACTICS

Pic by Jimmy Griffiths/Griffiths Photographers 'NPower Championship, Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol City v Burnley 05-11-11
Pic by Jimmy Griffiths/Griffiths Photographers 'NPower Championship, Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol City v Burnley 05-11-11
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SCOUT Phil Smith has been impressed with Hull City caretaker manager Nicky Barmby

Emotions among the supporters have no doubt been heightened by the injury-time strike from Chris Burke on Tuesday night. The result extends our run of defeats to four and to be totally honest that is absolutely unacceptable.

I have been adamant all season that the current squad are more than good enough to sustain a challenge at the business end of the table.

Take a look at our squad and I certainly do not see a poor player amongst them.

Granted, we may lack a conceived big name such as Chris Eagles or Robbie Blake, but the talent is certainly available to the manager.

I fully accept that my views will be shared by few, given our current position in the table, and performances turned in of late. However, with adequate research, preparation and tactical instruction, this team is more than capable of surprising the doubters out there.

“I thought we had done enough to earn a great point” explained Eddie Howe in his post-match interview on Tuesday night. For me, such an attitude may go some way to explaining our current predicament. The aim of this football club should be to achieve success in each and every fixture. I may ruffle a few proverbial feathers here, but one should never describe a point as “great”. To be satisfied with anything less than a victory smacks of mediocrity, and in my book that will never be classed as acceptable.

Burnley have conceded at least twice in each of their last four outings. Our goals against column is evidently a cause for concern. Some may suggest a change in defensive personnel, and given the quality of Ben Mee and Andre Amougou waiting in reserve, they may hold a valid point.

Our season has stalled since the victory over Lancashire rivals Blackpool and, make no bones about it, needs to slip back into fifth gear at the KC Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

I fully expect Hull City to adopt an exceptionally fluid system, which in the main resembles 4-2-3-1.

“I don’t want to treat them like robots where we say a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 and you stay in position. We don’t want that” revealed caretaker manager Nicky Barmby when pressed on his tactical preference.

It is critical that pressure is applied in the first, second and third phase. Their opponents last weekend, Derby County, opted against this tactic, and the game resembled a training session. Hull City must not be allowed time on the ball.

The three in this formation resembles a core of attacking midfielders behind Fryatt. The ability to interchange positions will render concentration imperative among out defensive unit, particular during runs from deep. Any lapses in concentration will be punished.

This formation will have the upper hand over a rigid 4-4-2.The utilisation of Robert Koren in a central attacking midfield role will pose problems during our defensive transition. He will pull one from Bartley/McCann/Edgar/Duff out of position as he drifts between the defensive and midfield line.

Serious consideration must be given to not only matching the formation of our opponents, but also deploying Rodriguez in the central attacking midfield role, in order to facilitate our attacking transition. His movement between the lines can prove the difference.

For example, if an opposing central midfielder drops deep to track him, McCann and Bartley will be afforded time on the ball. However, if a central defender follows Rodriguez, space will be left for Treacy and Wallace to expose with a penetrative run.

Football is all about playing the percentages, and this certainly provides the greatest chance of success