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Lots to ponder for O’Neill

Michael O’Neill would of seen lots in last nights defeat to Cardiff, to give him ammunition for training.

Firstly, the lack of movement was there for all to see. No one showed for the ball and on the few occasions the attackers did come short to receive a pass they failed to take on their man, resulting in the ball been lost or going all the way back to Danny Batth.

As for Batth, his passing isn’t good enough to be continually starting the attacks. Last night was compounded by not having his usually outlets in Tom Edwards & Peter Etebo. Edwards the majority of games is among our sides top passer in the game, last night it was Danny Batth who only managed to pass to a Team mate with 68 out of 91 passes.

I cannot critique Batth that much as it’s not his game & his team mates should no that. The likes of Allen, Woods & Ndayie should of showed more for the pass from him. Unfortunately non of those three are happy receiving a pass under pressure, infact Peter Etebo is the only player that can receive a ball with a player on his back and be able to turn to start an attack. Last night every time Batth played the short ball into midfield, the ball inevitable was back at his feet within 4 passes of the ball, resulting in Batth playing it long to Gregory who has got little chance against Flint in the air.

Last night highlighted the lack of pace, urgency and ability to run with the ball at the oppositions back 4 without James McClean on the pitch. Who’d of thought that with all the grief James McClean & Sam Clucas have had to endure, that they are the only shining light so far from Micheal O’Neill’s management

What is needed in January to help Michael O’Neill with his task of keeping Stoke in the Championship

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