Rushden & Diamonds 1 Hayes 3

Match Report courtesy of Unofficial Rushden & Diamonds Website (1997-2001)

Vauxhall Conference

29.11.97 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2167)

Diamonds Team : Smith, Cotterill, Cramman, Kelly, Branston, Whyte, Butterworth, Bradshaw, West, Collins, Hackett, Subs: Capone, Chapman and Rawle.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : o.g mins.

Webmaster Diamonds Man of the Match : Gary Butterworth

Match Report : Another disappointing performance from the Diamonds team, and yet another lesson to the team on how to pass accurately and move forward quickly from defence to attack. The frailties of the Diamonds defence were again highlighted after only 5 minutes when Nathan Bunce put the visitors ahead. Call it a lapse in defence if you wish, but Diamonds players again standing heavy footed in their own penalty box, letting opposing players get first to the ball. We don’t seem to learn from previous mistakes however often we make them. Diamonds pushed forward to get the equaliser and had a few chances, the best falling to Gary Butterworth with a superb header that the keeper saved with his foot when the ball looked destined to hit the back of the net. As usual Diamonds were punished for not taking their chances as immediately Hayes pushed forward, some neat interpassing and in the blink of an eye the ball was nestling in the net and Diamonds found themselves two down and struggling. Only Gary Butterworth seemed to be having a reasonable game, and even he gave away some loose possession that could have been even more costly against better opposition. The Hayes right back pushed forward at every opportunity and the front men, Boothe and Randall proved a handful for Chris Whyte and Guy Branston.

At half time Hackett was substituted and Mark Rawle entered the fray. Diamonds proceeded to make their chances, with new boy West shooting just over the bar from outside the box, and Butterworth and Collins coming close with volleys. In fact midway through the half Collins had a shot cleared off the line by a defender with the keeper for once beaten. Gary Butterworth had a couple of screamers whistle past the post but it looked as though Diamonds were down and out when a quick break down the left from Boothe again left the defence split and lacking for pace. The ball was crossed superbly for Randall to ram home an unstoppable shot and a great goal. Diamonds were given a life line with seven minutes to go as Hayes conceded an own goal, but a result for Diamonds was never in question.

Over a couple of jars afterwards the talk was about how far away from being a good side are Diamonds. We have now used nearly forty players this season, and the team looks nowhere near a settled format. Possibly due to injuries and suspensions, but nevertheless not functioning as a team. There seems a lack of vision within the team as the opposition know exactly where the next pass is going and intercept easily. We move forward to slowly and when chances do arrive we spurn them. I set off back to Bedford knowing exactly what to write in this report, heard what the new lads had to say on Radio Diamonds and then pulled over to hear Brain Talbots comments on the game.

I have great faith in Brian, in what he is trying to achieve at Diamonds, and we all know that he doesn’t pull his punches or his words. Though my opinions differ from some of his, he persuaded me that this defeat could have gone either way if chances had been taken early on. The plan has always been to have a team capable of challenging for promotion in 3 years. He urges patience as the rebuilding continues. Brian also answered his critics who think that Carl Alford could do a similar job to that which Colin West has been brought in to do, ie hold up the ball and act as playmaker.From Brian’s comments its unlikely that we will see Carl turn out again for the 1st Team. Most of the fans that I speak to would suffer the defeats like todays if they could see a better performance from the players. We have lost some great games where the performance deserved a win, but which didn’t happen, and the players have been cheered off the pitch. We saw what looked like a gelling of the side in the first half against Kidderminster, but this has been followed by more inconsistency. I think we have all got faith in Brian’s ability to sort out the problems but it gets rather hard to pick out a man of the match these days at Nene Park. Its a good job we’ve still got Butter’s.

Rushden & Diamonds 1 Hayes 3

Match Report courtesy of Unofficial Rushden & Diamonds Website (1997-2001)

Vauxhall Conference

29.11.97 – Nene Park  (Attendance: 2167)

Diamonds Team : Smith, Cotterill, Cramman, Kelly, Branston, Whyte, Butterworth, Bradshaw, West, Collins, Hackett, Subs: Capone, Chapman and Rawle.

Webmaster Diamonds Man of the Match : Gary Butterworth

Match Report : Another disappointing performance from the Diamonds team, and yet another lesson to the team on how to pass accurately and move forward quickly from defence to attack. The frailties of the Diamonds defence were again highlighted after only 5 minutes when Nathan Bunce put the visitors ahead. Call it a lapse in defence if you wish, but Diamonds players again standing heavy footed in their own penalty box, letting opposing players get first to the ball. We don’t seem to learn from previous mistakes however often we make them. Diamonds pushed forward to get the equaliser and had a few chances, the best falling to Gary Butterworth with a superb header that the keeper saved with his foot when the ball looked destined to hit the back of the net.

As usual Diamonds were punished for not taking their chances as immediately Hayes pushed forward, some neat interpassing and in the blink of an eye the ball was nestling in the net and Diamonds found themselves two down and struggling. Only Gary Butterworth seemed to be having a reasonable game, and even he gave away some loose possession that could have been even more costly against better opposition. The Hayes right back pushed forward at every opportunity and the front men, Boothe and Randall proved a handful for Chris Whyte and Guy Branston.

At half time Hackett was substituted and Mark Rawle entered the fray. Diamonds proceeded to make their chances, with new boy West shooting just over the bar from outside the box, and Butterworth and Collins coming close with volleys. In fact midway through the half Collins had a shot cleared off the line by a defender with the keeper for once beaten. Gary Butterworth had a couple of screamers whistle past the post but it looked as though Diamonds were down and out when a quick break down the left from Boothe again left the defence split and lacking for pace. The ball was crossed superbly for Randall to ram home an unstoppable shot and a great goal. Diamonds were given a life line with seven minutes to go as Hayes conceded an own goal, but a result for Diamonds was never in question.

The talk afterwards was about how far away from being a good side are Diamonds. We have now used nearly forty players this season, and the team looks nowhere near a settled format. Possibly due to injuries and suspensions, but nevertheless not functioning as a team. There seems a lack of vision within the team as the opposition know exactly where the next pass is going and intercept easily. We move forward to slowly and when chances do arrive we spurn them.

Speaking afterwards Brian Talbot assured fans that the plan has always been to have a team capable of challenging for promotion in 3 years. He urges patience as the rebuilding continues. Brian also answered his critics who think that Carl Alford could do a similar job to that which Colin West has been brought in to do, ie hold up the ball and act as playmaker.From Brian’s comments its unlikely that we will see Carl turn out again for the 1st Team. Most of the fans that I speak to would suffer the defeats like todays if they could see a better performance from the players. We have lost some great games where the performance deserved a win, but which didn’t happen, and the players have been cheered off the pitch. We saw what looked like a gelling of the side in the first half against Kidderminster, but this has been followed by more inconsistency. I think we have all got faith in Brian’s ability to sort out the problems but it gets rather hard to pick out a man of the match these days at Nene Park. Its a good job we’ve still got Butter’s.

Rushden & Diamonds 1 Kettering Town 0

Match Report courtesy of Unofficial Rushden & Diamonds Website (1997-2001)

Vauxhall Conference

25.11.97 – Nene Park (Attendance: 3867)

Diamonds Team : Smith, Hackett, Cramman, Kelly, Branston, Whyte, Butterworth, Bradshaw, Barnwell, Collins, Underwood, Subs: Capone, Rodwell and Rawle.

Webmaster Diamonds Man of the Match : Darren Bradshaw

Match Report : This was a match that was always going to be of great importance to both teams. Not just because it is the most eagerly awaited clash of the season, but because in this instance Kettering needed three points to ease their relegation worries, and three points for the Diamonds would leap frog them over Southport and into sixth place in the Conference.

Unfortunately for Diamonds, although they collected all three points thanks to a Darren Collins goal on 43 minutes with a low shot driven hard into the net, after a clinical pass from the right edge of the box to his feet, it was Kettering Town who came away from the match with all of the credit. Throughout the game they outplayed and outfought Diamonds. It was only the lack of a clinical finisher and the width of the woodwork that saved this game for the Diamonds.

In the first half it was twenty minutes before Diamonds saw anything of the ball. Kettering battled away in midfield, hustling and bustling Diamonds for every challenge. Diamonds, as always, content to be second to the ball. Chances were spurned by Pearson upfront for Kettering which were later to prove costly. Diamonds must have felt slightly lucky to be going in to half time one nil up.

The Diamonds defence it the first half had looked ragged. They had been exposed by the nippy Pearson on many occasions and this continued in the second half. Capone and Rodwell came on for Underwood and Kelly, the shape of the team changed, but the performance did not. Again all of the pressure was from Kettering. Diamonds looked good going forward on a few occasions, but the final ball always let them down. Indeed Hackett could have scored Diamonds second when clear through, but he shot at the keeper.

Kettering hit the woodwork again, and it looked as though the Diamonds were leading a charmed life. Diamonds only had one other shot of note on the Kettering goal, a free kick from Cramman that the keeper saved brilliantly. A poor statistic indeed for a team that is now lying in sixth position.

Where do Diamonds go from here? Team changes forced on BT don’t help matters, but there seems no consistency of performance from the team OR individuals. Last season Gary Butterworth was man of the match on numerous occasions. His passing this season is poor, and he seems to lack concentration. However Gary is Gary and still warrants his name first on the teamsheet. Brendan Hackett doesn’t seem to want to get involved in the game, telling team mates to pass to someone else, and unwilling to even take or receive a throw in.

Jamie Barnwell, after the euphoria of his goals against Kiddy has settled down, has not yet proved that he is worth keeping after his loan period is up, and Julian Capone scores one wondergoal, but is not yet upto scratch at Conference level. Results have gone well in the main for the Diamonds as their League position bears out. But wouldn’t it be nice to see some good team performances on a regular basis. However the defence is tweaked, they always look shaky and lack pace. They are certainly not strong enough to grind out results away from home, as the lack of draws achieved by Diamonds this season demonstrates.

Full marks to Kettering though after last nights performance. They certainly look too good to go down, they probably need a good striker though. And, though I hate to admit it, their fans deserve a good mention. They cheered their team all through the game, cheered them off at the end, and their noise during the match swamped any whimperings from the Diamonds supporters. Well done Kettering. Any suggestions on how to get some atmosphere into the Stadium. Maybe a big bass drum beating out from the half way line, like the old days at Loftus Road.

Morecambe 3 Rushden & Diamonds 1

Match Report courtesy of Unofficial Rushden & Diamonds Website (1997-2001)

Vauxhall Conference

22.11.97 – Christie Park

Diamonds Team : Smith, Hodson, Cramman, O’Shea, Branston, Whyte, Butterworth, Bradshaw, Barnwell, Collins, Underwood, Subs: Capone, Ndekwe and Wooding.

Webmaster Diamonds Man of the Match :

Match Report :

In the first half Diamonds were given a footballing lesson by their hosts with Brian Healy dominating their mid-field. Morecambe’s centre defence gave nothing away, while up front their leading scorer John Norman and new signing Andy Milner posed plenty of problems for the Diamonds.

After only 11 minutes Healy chipped the ball over Diamonds defence and found Norman who had plenty of time to control the ball, and fired past goalkeeper Smith. This was again the fault of bad marking, which has been seen so often in the Diamonds defence this season.

Danny O’Shea started his first league game for the club, and Simeon Hodson was also called in to play his first game since August. The squad had been weakened because of Mison and Kelly being sidelined through starting 3 match suspensions each. Also Tim Wooding and John Hamsher failed last minute fitness test.

Diamonds continued to battle but had very little possession. Both Darren Bradshaw and Darren Collins came close with headers, but just before half time Mark Shirley scored for Morecambe. This may have been a suspected off-side, but it also showed up poor marking again.

At the start of the second half Julian Capone and Brendan Hackett came on as replacements for O’Shea and Underwood. It was Hackett who made such a change to the pattern of play, and he caused many problems down the left, but Diamonds did not have the luck that was needed. Guy Branston volleyed a cross from Hackett but unfortunately it went very high, and a Collins header went wide.

However Capone scored a goal that was something special. After collecting the ball from the half-way line he accelerated his way to about 30 yards from Morecambe’s goal, shot and scored a goal that will possibly be the goal of the season. Diamonds were then in with a chance for at least a draw as there was still 10 minutes to full-time. Unfortunately with only 5 minutes to go Chris Whyte diverted a cut back from Milner past Mark Smith into his own net. This clinched the match for Morecambe.

******************************

Brian Talbot made no excuses. “Besides Wooding, Hamsher, Kelly and Mison we were without Adrian Foster our leading scorer, and that meant we had players missing for every department – centre of defence, out wide, in mid-field and up front,” said Talbot. “And to go to a place like Morecambe, who are one of the best teams in the league, and expect to get a result under such circumstances is asking a bit much. We certainly did not get it right in the first half, but I changed things around and afterwards thought we were a lot better. We had 12 shots to their 4.

“But while the injuries and suspensions didn’t help us I’m not using that as an excuse. I’ve maintained all along that our squad isn’t big enough and this proved my point. As everyone knows I’m always on the look-out for fresh faces. But it is no use bringing in someone if they aren’t any better than what I have already got. There’s no point in signing players for the sake of it. I’m prepared to wait until the right man becomes available.”

Kelly will be available to play against Kettering, but Wooding and Hamsher will have late fitness tests.

Rushden & Diamonds 4 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Match Report courtesy of Unofficial Rushden & Diamonds Website (1997-2001)

Vauxhall Conference

15.11.97 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2234)

Diamonds Team : Smith, Wooding, Cramman, Mison, Branston, Whyte, Butterworth, Bradshaw, Barnwell, Collins, Underwood, Subs: Capone, Ndekwe and Wooding.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Underwood 19 mins.
Webmaster Diamonds Man of the Match : Jamie Barnwell

Match Report : This was always going to be a very important game for the Diamonds.A win would take them to sixth in the table, and a good performance will silence some of the critics, like myself, who are disappointed in the lack of vision and commitment, that has been evident at the last few matches at Nene Park. Though the result is always important, it would be nice to be able to report what a great display of attacking football the Diamonds showed.

First Half: A superb first half from the Diamonds in which they could easily have been five goals up. Collins, having a superb game could have put the home team ahead after only three minutes but blasted over the bar from close range. Barnwell was put through on 4 minutes with only the keeper to beat but missed a glorious chance to put the Diamonds ahead. Diamonds totally dominated this half with Kidderminster being limited to a couple of long range shots. Mison missed an opportunity on 6 minutes and proceeded to get booked on 7 minutes. Barnwell was through again on 8 minutes but another chance went begging.

The breakthrough came on 11 minutes when a Mison cross from the right was headed home by Barnwell for his first goal for the Diamonds. Relentless pressure failed to find the net again in this half but more chances went begging. Just before half time a sliding tackle from Collins took the legs from Talbot on the touchline much to the amusement of the crowd behind the dugout. If Diamonds continue in this vein a fine victory should be on the cards.

Second Half: The second half opened as the first finished with Diamonds pressing forward. Then the unthinkable happened. A lapse of concentration in the Diamonds defence, and Doherty put the visitors level. Was this going to be another disappointment for the Diamonds. Kidderminster gained heart from the goal and pushed Diamonds back. On 62 minutes Arnold had a shot saved by Smith.

On 66 minutes Jamie Barnwell was put through, and in a clash with the keeper and a defender somehow the ball looped into an empty net. On 68 minutes with Kidderminster pressing from the right, a superb cross in found the head of the centre forward who flicked a neat ball into the Diamonds net. The gods must have been looking down because the goal was disallowed for a hand ball. Surely this was going to be Diamonds day. Kidderminster were then awarded a penalty after the long legs of Whyte up ended the attacker, but up pops Smith again to come to Diamonds rescue saving the penalty superbly.

On 77 minutes Jamie Barnwell was put through again and placed a superb ball to the right of the keeper and into the net. Collins continued to play excellently up front with Barnwell and it would have been a travesty of justice if he had not got just reward for his efforts. Late in the match Mison made a dazzling break down the right, round the defender at the by-line and cut back a superb ball for Collins to tuck one away in the right corner. The crowning of an excellent performance, and a great game. Arnold showed today that he is still one of the classiest players in the Conference and I am sure that Kidderminster will be doing all that they can to hang on to him. Diamonds moved smoothly up to sixth and must now look forward to a trip to Morecambe next weekend, confident that a result should be there if they play and graft as they did today.

What a difference it makes to have Gary Butterworth back in the side. He and Bradshaw both impressed in midfield. Chris Whyte had another great game and young Guy Branston did well in marking Ian Arnold. Arnold is an difficult man to contain and for most of the game Branston stayed tight to him and did a great job. Hackett came on for Underwood shortly after half time, but made no great impression. Underwood seems out of sorts, and it was no surprise when Talbot took him off. He seems unable to get in the telling crosses that we saw in the first matches of the season. Smith had a few shaky moments in goal but is turning out to be a great acquisition, especially when faced with penalties. Cramman was again in and out of the game, but the stars must have been the lads up front. Jamie Barnwell was given the man of the match and collected the match ball for his hatrick but all credit to Darren who seemed really up for this game.

Welling 0 Rushden & Diamonds 1

Match Report courtesy of Unofficial Rushden & Diamonds Website (1997-2001)

8.11.97 – Park View Road / San Siro

Team : Smith, Hackett, Cramman, Mison, Branston, Whyte, Kelly, Bradshaw, Barnwell, Collins, Underwood, Subs: Capone, Ndekwe and Wooding.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Underwood 19 mins.

Diamonds Man of the Match : Darren Bradshaw

Match Report : Diamonds crept away from Welling somewhat fortunate to have sneaked a 1-0 win, but in this game the all important factor was coming away from Welling with the three points and an improved performance. Results from previous weeks had been disappointing not just from the fact that we were beaten convincingly, but that we were lacking any commitment. Today at Welling the commitment was there from most players, particularly the defence. Chris Whyte , Guy Branston and Warren Kelly all had good games, though MIchael Mison again looked out of sorts. A personal view is that his game has been suffering knowing that just one more booking and he will suffer a three match suspension. Unfortunately for Mison he collected his 5th booking in the second half for kicking the ball away. A senseless offence which now means that he misses three matches commencing two weeks Monday. With Warren Kelly also now missing for three games as of this Monday, Brian Talbots players are letting him down with their poor disciplinary record. But on to the match itself.

The first half opened with Diamonds playing the ball around on the floor and looking sharp and impressive going forward. Barnwell was winning good ball in the air and holding up play well, while Underwood was pushing deep into the Welling half down the left flank. In the first fifteen minutes Diamonds had chances to be three up as first Underwood, and then Collins twice failed to capitalise on poor defending from Welling, and either blasted wide or over. Another one on one between Collins and the goalkeeper ended with Collins shooting lamely and missing the target.

The front runners appear to put a lot of effort into their running, without actually getting anywhere. It seems sometimes that as the ball evades them they stick out a leg now and again to make it look as though they made the effort. In the early stages the Diamonds midfield were in control, Bradshaw showing why BT has faith in his ability. Bradshaw suffered a lot of criticism last week but put all of that behind him at Welling with an impressive display. The goal came on 19 minutes and was somewhat fortunate as it came off the thigh of Underwood and flashed into the net. The remainder of the half was in the main dominated by Welling who had chances to go in to the interval with a lead after they hit the bar, and blasted at least three shots either high out of the ground or way wide of the goal. The very tight ground necessitated the introduction of numerous new balls throughout the half, much to the amusement of the crowd. There were also a number of occasions when the ball was rejected by the referee for being soft, and shouts from the crowd that the Manager should check the pressure of his balls went un-heeded. The half finished with the Diamonds going in rather undeservedly one up.

The second half proved to be more entertaining than the first and more nerve racking as Welling put pressure on to peg back the score. As we all know Diamonds are never safe at 1-0 up, even at 4-1 we have problems. So this was always going to be a strong test for the Diamonds defence. The Welling front runners were a constant threat and on a few occasions were clean through but wasted chance after chance. They hit the woodwork again and you just started to feel that Diamonds had someone looking after them today from “Up High”. The final 15 minutes were very shaky. Chris Whyte was forced to retire after a knock on the head. Julian Capone was brought on and a slight re-organisation took place at the back to try and stem the tide of Welling pressure. The Welling made their three substitutions in the latter stages in a last ditch effort to rescue a point, but it was all to no avail. Diamonds sneaked it.

Diamonds problem now has got to be how to improve things up front. Whilst it is easy to criticise Darren Collins, you can bet that if he had tucked away his first opportunity, the others would probably have followed. He seems to lack confidence now, and few other players on the pitch in the last few games have been willing to take the responsibility and have a crack at goal. Brendan Hackett was conspicuous by his absence for most of the game, though BT had obviously given him instructions of how and where he wanted him to play, Kenny Cramman drifted in and out of the game, while Barnwell up front never really had an opportunity to put the keeper under any pressure. His approach work looked good but who is going to score goals for the Diamonds?

We now have a great opportunity over the next two weeks to pick up mega points from the next two games. A position in the top six must be what we are to aim for this season, and to do that we must get some consistency in our performances. The signs were there today, but we can do without losing any more players due to suspensions the result of which is an unsettled team.

Rushden & Diamonds 0 Slough Town 1

Match Report courtesy of Unofficial Rushden & Diamonds Website (1997-2001)

Vauxhall Conference

1.11.97 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2193)

Diamonds Team : Smith, Wooding, Cramman, Mison, Branston, Whyte, Kelly, Bradshaw, Foster, Collins, Underwood, Subs: Capone, Hackett and Jamie Barnwell.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Nil
Webmaster Diamonds Man of the Match : Guy Branston

Match Report : One is tempted to just repeat the match report from the Boreham Wood game and insert it for this game against Slough Town. Brian Talbot introduced to the squad two new signings, Darren Bradshaw from Blackpool who has a one season contract and Jamie Barnwell who is on a loan period with the Diamonds from Cambridge United. Bradshaw was brought straight into the side to replace the injured Gary Butterworth.( I spoke to Gary before the game and he was fairly buoyant that the matter was not too serious although it was a mystery what the problem with his knee is.) Barnwell was on the bench and Brian Talbot spoke at his pre-match talk saying that he hoped having a rated striker on the bench would spur Foster and Collins on to good performances.

The first half was a fairly even game, a few scrambles in the Slough goalmouth, ricochets of defenders etc, but not a great deal to trouble the keeper. Smith coped well with anything thrown at him, the central defence of Diamonds looked adequate though Lloyd Owusu for Slough looked to have great pace and skill and would prove to be a constant threat. Bradshaw on his Conference debut struggled to get in the match in midfield where Butterworth would have taken control. Foster and Collins worked hard upfront with Foster covering every blade of grass as usual, never giving up a lost cause. He had a couple of half chances which were blocked, and it looked as though the first half would end up goal-less. But enter the Diamonds Kamakazi show again, a collision on the edge of the box between two Diamonds players not looking where they were going let in the Slough winger who whipped a cross into the box, an initial block of a great shot from a Slough forward fell to Paul Hardyman who finished sweetly. Diamonds go into half time one goal down.

The second half was another inept performance from the Diamonds. Brian Talbot brought Brendan Hackett on for Tim Wooding at half time and within a few minutes of the restart took Collins off and brought on Barnwell. Foster continued to work hard upfront but similar to the Boreham game Diamonds seemed to lack any punch going forward. The Slough keeper was never put under any pressure from shots, and if you don’t shoot you don’t win prizes. Capone came on for Cramman but made no impact other than a few stupid challenges. Slough looked much the better team, in defence and going forward. The back three seemed solid, the midfield strong and the front players looked sharp and skilful. As the match wore on there was only going to be one winner and Diamonds deserved nothing from the game. I said in a report earlier in the season that Slough were likely to hover in or around the relegation zone, but on this showing again today it is Diamonds who need to worry about their league position.

Sure they are sitting in ninth spot at the moment, but it looks as though the confidence is draining from the team. Talbot admits the wins against Woking and Hereford were fortunate and one should not read too much into them. The Diamond team without Butterworth lacks vision. The team is still carrying players who have not proved that they can perform at Conference level. In the latter stages of this game Slough could have wrapped up the game well and proper if they had not come up against an in-form Mark Smith who saved a twice taken penalty after the Diamonds central defence up ended Owusu after he had turned them inside out. Talbot is having to change his team to resolve injury problems, but we have fielded 30+ different players in the Conference this season and dont really look like having a settled side, especially in the back/right positions. Two weeks running now we have seen sides attack us down the flanks and pull the side apart at will. Warren Kelly looks a good buy at £8000 from Stevenage, and I think we need to look at spending more money to solve the problem on the right.

Three points today would have set us up nicely for the coming weeks. With four home games in November we could have pushed nicely up the table, and todays game should have been the platform to build on. Brian Talbot has got a hard job on his hands to sort out these problems. One thing is for sure, he will not shirk any hard decision making. And I think the time for hard decision making is now as there are players who are not performing for him or the club!

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