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Getting it right


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by Malcolm

I didn't go on Sunday and I usually do against Blackburn, as I had a previous engagement, but I followed the match from my mobile via the BBC text update every 2 minutes.

First off I read the teamsheet and thought spot on Martin, no Agathe, no Ridgewell, he'd kept faith with Bouma and Hughes and they, it seems, did him proud. Judging by the number of times their name was mentioned anyway.

Additionally McCann was back, big smile for JC, I thought, and Sutton was in for Baros, good move, we'll see how he does from the start and how long he can last.

We won, and showed we can now take advantage of the lucky break, even if the opposition weren't at their best, and we ourselves floundered at times.

Good result, one needed as we were under the threat of free fall down the league with the next 3 matches all away from home against in-form sides.

Having seen the various highlight shows, Sutton looked to have the presence up front O'Neill so likes. His shot after the penalty indicated he's still got something as did the way he kept giving away fouls. Better defences will find him easier than Blackburn, but so what, such defences aren't in the majority. I liked the way he kept bossing his own team mates too, we've needed that for some time.

Still for me the two highlights in the highlights was the way Barry and Angel put away their goals.

Knowing Friedel's recent success rate (he gets lots of practice it seems) Barry showed not only bottle but a decent amount of kidology too. He kept it hard and under the bar and smack on target too, nice one.

Angel showed a superb awareness and his finish certainly wasn't the sort you'd expect from an out of form or low on confidence striker, maybe Sutton taking on some of the responsibility really helped.

The age of the team with Bouma, Sutton, Laursen in, goes up, as obviously does the experience, the side on paper at least, looks more balanced too, and for once we had a bench worth something, a bench with real options.

I'm assuming there was no need to change things, and as match fitness seems to be the big question mark over some players, why not.

Good win, one we needed, with Everton and Wigan away coming up, two games which could cement, or otherwise, our top 10 position.

Plenty of positives too - the team that was put out, Angels and Barry's finish, the good performances from Bouma and Hughes, McCann and Sutton playing virtually a whole game, Laursen proving he is the player O'Leary thought he was, Mellberg benefitting as a result and best of all 3 points not 1.

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