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dalianwasexciting added 17:38 - Jan 4
Well the anger at such an inept performance has subsided a little...but quite honestly that was the worst performance I have witnessed since the Duncan days. Was McCarthy's plan to lose to concentrate on the league? We were woeful against an organised but hardly dynamic Preston side. Should we have lost? YES!

Player ratings are perhaps the only way of tackling it, but an additional rating for manager nous and tactics may need airing.

Loach - I was personally pleased to see him back, but all that he proved today was that he is as poor as the alternative and the goalkeeping position needs urgently addressing (Wayne Hennessey perhaps?). Twice defenders came to his aid today with goal line clearances, not sure he can be blamed for the goal but overall 4/10.

Mings - Young but clearly not good enough for this level, and that's against League 1 opposition. 4/10

Cresswell - Not his assured best, hardly our worst player but some passing wide of the mark. 5/10

Chambers - Probably the pick of the team today, showed desire and good to see him back at CB. Should NOT have lost the armband irrespective of Edwards being back. 6/10

Berra - Steady, but not one for the long term. 5/10

Edwards - Invisible man....did little and certainly not showing leadership qualities. 4/10

Hyam - Yes the fans have been on his back, but clearly there is justification. Seems to have no idea how to go forwards and some passing woeful. 4/10

Wordsworth - If he ever pulls on the Ipswich shirt again it will be too soon. He had the chance to impress, passing hopeless, forward play - hopeless. Was subbed far too late. 1/10

Tabb - Anonymous, not helped with high balls to him. Gave nothing to the team. 3/10

Nouble - Ran around like a headless chicken, won virtually nothing in the air. His only good moment was a late cross with was unlucky not to be converted. 4/10

Ebanks-Blake. Clearly not fit. Seemed decent for the time he was on, but that amounted to a single long distance shot. Unfair to judge and lets hope the injury is not too severe.

McGoldrick - Well he scored, it was a poor penalty again but he was following up as he should and tucked the goal away. We did not look likely to score otherwise. He was unlucky at the end after Nouble crossed. It did at times feel like a one man team. One does wonder whether he will still be a town player by next week. 6/10

Taylor - Looked bright and inventive, potentially our man of the match and only on for 20 odd minutes which speaks volumes. Good football but that does not fit in the McCarthy long ball game. 7/10

Tunnicliffe - Seemed to have a point to prove when he came on, again scored far higher ratings that the midfield he came into. 6/10.

Sorry if this sounds negative and it may be the Town Management secretly wanted to be knocked out as we were of the League Cup. Manager rating - 2/10 tactically wrong, long ball or no ball. Why have a midfield and keep bypasasing it. When I saw the team it was not a good sign and even winning the toss and shooting towards the North in the 2nd half did not help. I think a debate about whether MM has done as much as he can is the way forward, yes we are in a play off place but that is more a statement of how the division is than how good we have been.
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Hegansheroes added 18:29 - Jan 4
Woeful, worse than the Duncan days. MM changed from 351 to 442 very early to nullify Preston, surely it should be us making the opposition change their tactics, we should be taking the game to them not just trying to stifle a team from a lower division and believe it or not we were the home team. Very low attendance which will continue to drop under MM. We are in a very false position in the league, playing non football. Pay up MM & get a football manager in.
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unstableblue added 18:30 - Jan 4
Well 13,000 plus brave souls made it along to the increasingly undervalued FA cup tie. Hats off to the impressive PNE following, who will make the long trip North buoyed with their performance and the prospect of a home replay.

It's almost pointless putting up a match report on TWTD these days, any criticism is shot down - "we're 6th", "look how far we've come", "get some perspective", "second string team put out", and often slightly more abusive feedback. But you gotta post what you think. I am particularly concerned by those who claim that our long ball is 'effective' and that we aren't being technically outplayed on a regular basis - Leeds, Leicester, Charlton (2nd half), Huddersfield, to name a few. And now Preston. What I mean is that we may outfight teams but ultimately success comes from passing on the floor and movement, fact.

Mick and TC have done a magnificent job, but we need to start to see a plan in terms of shape, system, formation and momentum. You can focus on the changes today, but changes need to fit into a ethos and system. I'm not sure what our plan is anymore, and it gets worse and worse to watch.

But the big negative today was our predilection to go long in the first half, and the performance of Wordsworth and tabb. Edwards was also terrible first half. But upped his game in the improved second half. Wordsworth - Jesus wept. The vitriol around me in the North was very strong, and indeed to Tabb, and the long ball blind devotion to Ipswich on TWTD is not present in the stands or the fans I speak to, people are unhappy with our style. In the first half we punted it long 6 times in the first 20 mins with the player not looking. At this point PNE moved the ball around, players moved off the ball. And yes it was a footballing lesson.

But it wasn't all negative today. In the second half once we had our quality players on McG, Taylor, tunners and cresswell, and linking. I thought we would steal it. Another positive was Mings, yes a few errors, but his runs and passing were excellent - he was on the right as well - perhaps he could fix that problem issue.

But the biggest positive was Taylor. Once on he was just quality. They couldn't get the ball off him. Everything he did ended in a positive pass. And he was so effective in the box. A chip cross at the end should have been scored by hapless Frank - albeit Nouble crossed really well to McG, who should have scored.

My concern with Taylor, is why isn't he starting. Yes he is unfit, but he was awesome until a knock in the first half against charlton. Why are talking about SEB and his rehabilitation? We have a multi million pound player of quality, who has consistently performed when started, and yet it's all about SEB.

SEB had moments, but he was being punted to, and the service fro nouble was poor. He then pulled something, maybe a hamstring, and I assume that gamble is over for a month or two.

I love this club and team; and mick is now talking the playoffs in his programme notes. But we need to now settle on a system and to use our best players. Taylor needs to start. And we need to cut out the long ball.
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mrmorisato added 19:29 - Jan 4
This was Towns poorest home performance this season so far. A paltry crowd of 13,500 watched Town struggle against a lower league outfit that are enjoying a good run of form of late placed 3rd in league 1. Preston showed that they are an organised team composed when in possession of the ball proving to be a stubborn opponent to break down, the town boss made multiple changes with Sylvan Ebanks Blake, Anthony Wordsworth, Tyrone Mings, Carlos Edwards and Scott Loach all making rare starts. After a hectic Christmas and New Year fixture congestion it was predictable that the game was going to be starved of high octane end to end football and instead played at a near pedestrian like pace, at times felt like watching an exhibition match. Preston had chances to however, I wouldn't say that they created enough to deserve outright victory.
It was town that scored first from the penalty mark punished by a blatant handball, luckily for McGoldrick he had a 2nd bite at the ball when he saw his spot kick initially saved by the Preston keeper. Unfortunately for town the lead didn't last very long as Kevin Davies capitalized on a defensive error neatly slotting the ball low past Loach about 4 minutes later. Town have shown that with the central defensive partnership of Berra and Smith this season don't concede many goals although with Chambers being utilized as a right back makes the back line look uneven.
I think the match stats will show that both teams didn't create many scoring opportunities and rightly so because the ball spent most of the time in the air or bogged down in the middle of the park. Town must do a lot better if they're going to pick up any points against QPR in a weeks time as this was definitely one that town fans can quietly forget about although having not lost away from home in more than 3 months can be encouraged about the replay.
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muccletonjoe added 09:16 - Jan 5
As Mick has admitted. There were too many changes made to the starting 11 as a result the play was disjointed and completely lacked attacking emphasis. Midfield is a particular concern , while we manage to get by with skuse, hyam and Tunnicliffe there really is very little alternative. The best 2 players today imo were Mings , who actually looked like he enjoyed the game and chambers who realy did ook assuring at centre half.
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Pilgrimblue added 12:33 - Jan 5
Yes it was very poor MM but it was your team selection policy that to blame. Undoubtedly the team has done well in the league but to bring out Tabb Edwards and Wordsworth at same time was asking for trouble.
We have so little attacking midfielders but to play that quartet yesterday beggered belief. Not one of them went forward and as a result relied heavily on the defence, who in the end just punted the ball forward to two hapless forwards.
Mings did ok but was clearly finding right back a problem. Shame we didnt have Hewitt available!!
I still dont like our keepers much. Both prefer to launch the ball when any decent keeper will try to keep possession by throwing or passing out to OUR players. Long balls invariably end up with the opposition. Plus yesterday Loach should have got Mings off the pitch.
Despite looking second best, the arrival of Taylor changed everything. Here we had a player that not only was prepared to fight for the ball but then went forward at pace to put them on back foot. It was so pleasing to see but he too hasn't played much but he performed better than the 3 muppets put together. Why Hunt wasn't playing was also a mystery, He was clearly fit form the warm-up and would have at least got some crosses over (something Tabb failed to do).
It was clearly not a good idea to try SEB, if anything he could have come on for last 10 minutes. Much better if Taylor had started or Marriot even!! Although not sure either would have got much support from Nouble (his signing still baffles me when there is so much talent around)
I trust MM will get the team right for the replay otherwise its another early exit from a competition we badly need to play in as we aren't likely to get much else thsi season.
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Facefacts added 17:00 - Jan 5
Wow it was a tough journey down the A14, only when the 'Welcome to Suffolk' sign emerged on the flooded road and overhanging gloom did the weather 'fine up'.

It is better to be away from home in the F A Cup because the atmosphere is so woeful at home - unless the crowd gets riled by an early injustice.

The Blades took all 6,000 tickets for their away tie at Villa Park - what a game that must have been!

Back to reality, a home F A Cup tie for us against 'lower level oppostion' is nowadays like a practise match. Yesterday our team was poor, but Mick McCarthy had always said he would make changes. Perhaps to say the team was flat would be a fairer description. Our support is worse than the team. The pink ball seemed to be too heavy to kick.

SEB still has his Wolves fluorescent orange boots, and came over to the touchline for a drink after 20 minutes. When he came off 10 to 15 minutes afterwards, he received sympathetic applause. Haven't seen any other articles/blogs/news, but isn't his career over? I did not see a challenge on him, he had just sat down and waited for the trainer. Maybe he fell awkwardly. His replacement was David McGoldrick who injected some urgency.

The atmosphere was still dead until late in the game when it was clear both teams were trying to win it in the last 10 minutes after multiple substitutions. The supporters have to take responsibility and be the twelfth man for the whole match, as at least they did when shouting handball for our penalty - however blatant, the referee may not have 'seen' it without some 'help' from most of Portman Road.

In a way, it shows how well the manager has done, on limited resources, to get this group of players to sixth in the league, when he has to give top players a rest and bring in the second string. Preston's goal was a farce, a real sickener to concede such a soft goal. Mings was unfortunate to get a knock but where he was lying on the pitch gave their experienced striker Kevin Davies the chance, ungentlemanly conduct though it arguably was, to request the ball in a position in advance of the defensive line, knowing he would not be flagged offside. An experienced defender would have got himself off the pitch to beyond the goal line so that he couldn't affect the game. As it was, I'm afraid Mings cost us the win.

The 300 or so Preston fans had two songs: 'Yellow' (a one-word song, if you don't know it, think Norwich), and something about we'd gone quiet after their equalizer.

Let's hope for better in the replay, with a promise of filling the whole away end at the City Ground as a reward for scraping through at Deepdale. If we do get through, let's take our whole ticket allocation for Forest, and create a proper atmosphere. Subsidise it and bus the people to Nottingham who want to come for £5 each just to get a proper away following. Those who saw us win 1-0 at Forest in the John Lyall era with Jason Dozzell getting the winner will remember the kind of atmosphere I'm talking about.
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3 AugBurton A0 - 16
10 AugSunderland H1 - 19
13 AugLuton Town CCA3 - 12
17 AugPeterboro A2 - 28
20 AugWimbledon H2 - 17
24 AugBolton A0 - 52
31 AugShrewsbury H3 - 02

3 SepShrewsbury H2 - 16
14 SepDoncaster H0 - 07
17 SepMK Dons A0 - 16
21 SepGillingham A0 - 12
28 SepTranmere H4 - 12

5 OctFleetwood A0 - 14
8 OctGillingham H4 - 05
20 OctAcc. Stanley A2 - 08
23 OctRotherham H0 - 26
26 OctSouthend A1 - 34

5 NovRochdale A0 - 12
9 NovLincoln City FACH1 - 11
12 NovColchester A1 - 00
20 NovLincoln City FACA0 - 10
23 NovBlackpool H2 - 24
26 NovWycombe H0 - 02

1 DecCoventry City FACA1 - 11
4 DecPeterboro A1 - 12
7 DecCoventry City A1 - 12
10 DecCoventry City FACH1 - 23
14 DecBristol R H1 - 25
21 DecPortsmouth A1 - 06
26 DecGillingham H0 - 02
29 DecLincoln City A5 - 36

1 JanWycombe A1 - 110
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11 JanAcc. Stanley H4 - 14
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25 JanLincoln City H1 - 03
28 JanRotherham A1 - 01

1 FebPeterboro H1 - 44
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15 FebBurton H4 - 14
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