Brizzoli and Carl-Isles. Beat by Newport at Home derby (Brovers v Carlisle)

shoddycollins

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So we face our third south-west based team in succession, hoping to get a third win in succession.

I guess when Bristol Rovers were beaten at home by Newport the other week they were beaten by a resurgent Newport under a new manager, whereas we were beaten by Terry Butcher for his only league win at Newport. However Rovers were thumped 4-1 and their home form has been incredibly poor this season. They have the biggest discrepancy between home and away form I've ever seen, being only 1 point off relegation at home, but a point clear at the top away.

Our form away from home has been pretty good, not brilliant maybe, we're not necessarily better away than we are at home, but we go away from home with a different attitude, tighten up our play and look to put in a professional performance in contrast to the more open, entertaining brand of football we play at Brunton Park. We have inflicted the first home defeats of the season on three different teams (Orient, Plymouth and QPR) while also inflicting on Hartlepool their first league home defeat.

Usually now, people will say that we're experts at ending team's poor runs, point to Newport as a example and predict a Rovers win, and while it seems to me that almost every team's fans think they're the specialists at ending bad runs (because those are the times defeat sticks most in the memory) I do have a certain lack of optimism about this. If given money and told I had to back a team to win I would still put it on us, but have a sneaking suspicion this might be a score-draw.

We could be without a number of key players on Saturday. Michael Raynes is suspended after reaching 5 yellow cards while Luke Joyce serves the third of his three game ban for his red card at Wycombe. Alex Gilliead is away on international duty while Antony Sweeney and Danny Grainger face fitness tests after being subbed at Plymouth. On another day all five of those could be in our starting line-up. Jabo and Angelo Balanta have both resumed training and may feature for their first starts in a while, though I feel with the strength of options we have up front Jabo's first game back could be off the bench rather than in the starting line-up, which could be what happens on Saturday.

Curle has been dropping hints about Hanford challenging Gillespie for the No.1 slot. I would be absolutely astonished if he meant that though, Gillespie is one of the best keepers at this level. Curle probably just wants to build Hanford up after giving him a run out in the cup, maybe he thinks he might make Hanford his cup-keeper for however long we can last in the FA Cup this year. If you want my opinion on Hanford, in opposition to most United fans, I think he's among the better reserve keepers in League two. He may not be the most dependable in the world, and his kicking is poor, but he has decent decision-making and command of his area. I don't know what people really expect of a keeper happy to spend most of his season on the bench at this level, for him to be able to slot in interchangeably with the No.1? If Gillespie was to suffer a long-term injury then we'd probably do what every other club at this level would do, and bring in a loanee keeper.

Fortunately I think Curle's tactic of having a big squad and rotating it will prove beneficial as we needn't fear too much if we have to play Alexander McQueen in place of Danny Grainger, we've looked more solid at the back since Atkinson returned and Ellis arrived while Archibald-Henville and Gillesphey remain a decent options.

If Grainger and Sweeney are both out, then I think we might go with:

_______________________Gillespie______________________
__________Atkinson______Ellis_____Troy________________
Miller_______________________________________McQueen
_______________________Dicker_________________________
____________Balanta______________Kennedy____________
________________Asamoah_____Hope___________________

Bench: Hanford, Gillesphey, Thompson, Brough, Hery, Jabo, Wyke

I like our squad at the moment, even with five potential starters missing, the squad we can name looks far from bare-bones
 

GasAttacK

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We'll also be missing a few on Saturday that would have been certain starters had they been available. Ellis Harrison and Tom Lockyer are away on international duty and Daniel Leadbitter picked up what looked a nasty injury against Chesham last week. We may also be without Lee Mansell in midfield as he wasn't in the squad for the Southend match last night.

We should still be able to field a decent starting 11 but we haven't got the biggest squad so the bench won't be very strong.

-------------------------------Nichols---------------------------------

Clarke------------Parkes-----------McChrystal----------Brown

Bodin--------------Lines---------------Sinclair-----------Gosling

----------------------Taylor-------------Easter-----------------------

Bench: Mildenhall, Little, O.Clarke, Montana, Kilgour, Lucas, Blissett

It's been 3 month's now since we last won at home in league 2 when we beat Barnet in mid August. It's a mental thing now and our last 2 matches at the Mem don't suggest we're about to turn the corner anytime soon, a 4-1 thrashing by bottom team Newport and a 1-0 defeat against minnows Chesham.

In our last 5 league games at the Mem we've managed to score just 1 goal and even failed to find the net against Chesham last week. Carlisle are one of the highest scoring teams in the league and I fear if they get the first goal we could be looking at another Newport.

We're surely due a home win but it's going to be extremely tough against a strong Carlisle side that could finish the day in the top 3 if they back up their impressive 2-0 win at Plymouth in the cup with another 3 points on the road.

It will be interesting to see Balanta back at the Mem. Was with us last season but barely got a look in and only made a handful of substitute appearances.
 

shoddycollins

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In our last 5 league games at the Mem we've managed to score just 1 goal and even failed to find the net against Chesham last week. Carlisle are one of the highest scoring teams in the league and I fear if they get the first goal we could be looking at another Newport.

We're surely due a home win but it's going to be extremely tough against a strong Carlisle side that could finish the day in the top 3 if they back up their impressive 2-0 win at Plymouth in the cup with another 3 points on the road.

It will be interesting to see Balanta back at the Mem. Was with us last season but barely got a look in and only made a handful of substitute appearances.

I never noticed we were only two points behind Pompey until you mentioned that, though we can't in practice get into the top 3 on Saturday as Northampton and Mansfield play each other and both have far superior goal difference. A draw or Cobblers win will put Northampton 5 or 3 points ahead of us, while a Mansfield win will put them 3 points ahead of us.

I don't think we will thrash you a-la Newport, even if we do win. We're yet to win a League game by more than a single goal this season... won a lot of games 3-2, and lost a couple by the same scoreline.

Be interesting to see where Balanta stands in the squad at the moment, if considered fit. He hasn't been in the top 11 players for us this season, but with the rotation he's still had his chances and impressed me with some good skills and box-to-box performances as a central midfielder. However his last outing before injury he gave away a penalty and in his absence this seems to have been what he was remembered for. I didn't even know he was injured, I thought he was dropped.
 

Gashead

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I fully imagine Balanta will score if he plays. He was utterly useless for us most of the time.

We're awful at home (there are two teams worse than us?!) and I predicted us to do okay against Chesham. We didn't do okay. So I'll have very low expectations on Sat, but it'd be nice to get a win to boost our confidence. Carlisle are no mugs though.
 

GasAttacK

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I never noticed we were only two points behind Pompey until you mentioned that, though we can't in practice get into the top 3 on Saturday as Northampton and Mansfield play each other and both have far superior goal difference. A draw or Cobblers win will put Northampton 5 or 3 points ahead of us, while a Mansfield win will put them 3 points ahead of us.

I don't think we will thrash you a-la Newport, even if we do win. We're yet to win a League game by more than a single goal this season... won a lot of games 3-2, and lost a couple by the same scoreline.

Be interesting to see where Balanta stands in the squad at the moment, if considered fit. He hasn't been in the top 11 players for us this season, but with the rotation he's still had his chances and impressed me with some good skills and box-to-box performances as a central midfielder. However his last outing before injury he gave away a penalty and in his absence this seems to have been what he was remembered for. I didn't even know he was injured, I thought he was dropped.
Balanta only ever played on the wing for us and showed moments of quality but they were all too fleeting. He only started 3 games all season with another 13 appearances from the bench.

I don't think the Conference suited him to be honest and I wouldn't be surprised if he fairs better in league 2.

Did you make a lot of signings in the summer?

The reason I ask is that you're clearly a much improved side from the one that finished 20th last season. To go from a relegation dog fight to automatic promotion contenders is quite a turn around.
 

daviejones

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Curle says Jabo will be back in the squad, oh fucking yes. Jabo and Hope up front would be incredible IMO, however I reckon Hope might get shifted onto the wing if Jabo starts what with it being an away game. Hopefully having playing in the Fleetwood friendly Jabo will be able to start instead of coming off the bench - Curle seems to have been emphasising that he only wants him back when he's completely fit and ready to start matches straight away so I would imagine it's possible.

Gillespie
Miller Atkinson Ellis Gillesphey Grainger
Dicker Hery Kennedy
Hope Jabo
 

cufc17

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I can't see a Newport-style thrashing, I'd be delighted with a 1-0. I knew Rovers' home form wasn't up to much, but I didn't realise it was that bad.

I like Balanta too, though that performance at York might have shed him in a bad light to a few fans. We've some good options in centre midfield this season, so I think he'll return on the bench this weekend.

I'd like to see Jabo start too, though wouldn't be surprised if he starts on the bench.

I'd take a point right now, but Bristol Rovers will be looking to bounce back after last week (and yesterday).

Gillespie
Atkinson Troy Ellis
Miller Dicker Hery Kennedy Grainger
Hope Asamoah
 

shoddycollins

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Balanta only ever played on the wing for us and showed moments of quality but they were all too fleeting. He only started 3 games all season with another 13 appearances from the bench.

I don't think the Conference suited him to be honest and I wouldn't be surprised if he fairs better in league 2.

Did you make a lot of signings in the summer?

The reason I ask is that you're clearly a much improved side from the one that finished 20th last season. To go from a relegation dog fight to automatic promotion contenders is quite a turn around.

I think it could be he has a grittier side which you didn't get to see playing him on the wing. I presumed he'd be a flair winger when he came in, kind of like we have Kevin Osei who has some skills but doesn't impose himself much, but he went straight into the middle and I'm not sure if I've seen him on the wing yet.

We released 7 players I think and a further 5 contracted players departed (including the sale of Potts and Dempsey), and then brought in 10 players (off the top of my head) and now 4 loanees... but there have also been turnarounds from the likes of Sweeney and Dicker who went from transfer listed to an integral part of our current squad.
 

daviejones

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Balanta only ever played on the wing for us and showed moments of quality but they were all too fleeting. He only started 3 games all season with another 13 appearances from the bench.

I don't think the Conference suited him to be honest and I wouldn't be surprised if he fairs better in league 2.

Did you make a lot of signings in the summer?

The reason I ask is that you're clearly a much improved side from the one that finished 20th last season. To go from a relegation dog fight to automatic promotion contenders is quite a turn around.
The easy answer to this is that Keith Curle is a footballing genius and should be managing Barcelona within 2 years IMO.
 

GasAttacK

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I think it could be he has a grittier side which you didn't get to see playing him on the wing. I presumed he'd be a flair winger when he came in, kind of like we have Kevin Osei who has some skills but doesn't impose himself much, but he went straight into the middle and I'm not sure if I've seen him on the wing yet.

We released 7 players I think and a further 5 contracted players departed (including the sale of Potts and Dempsey), and then brought in 10 players (off the top of my head) and now 4 loanees... but there have also been turnarounds from the likes of Sweeney and Dicker who went from transfer listed to an integral part of our current squad.
That's a lot of changes! Curle has obviously made some excellent signings and done a great job getting them playing so well together almost immediately.

We have basically only added 2 outfield players to the team that won promtion at Wembley last May. James Clarke from Woking is our back up full back but is likely to play as Leadbitter is injured, and Bodin who has recently forced his way into the side. We also signed Lines but he was already with us on loan last season.
 
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hellogregory

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I had a great thread name lined up but it was too long.
 

hellogregory

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I had this in mind for a win or at the very least a point...until last weekend.

As soon as I saw Bristol Rovers 0-1 Chesham, that was it, I knew this was certain defeat. By then I'd already bought my ticket for it.

Honestly it would be typical Carlisle to give Bristol Rovers a much needed confidence boost after last weeks horror result.

Bristol Rovers 1-0 Carlisle United


Team:
Hanford
Miller Atkinson Ellis Grainger*
Hery Dicker Kennedy
Hope Ibehre Asamoah

*Gillesphey if Grainger is injured.
 
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ComeOnIrene

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I wouldn't have been very confident going into this if we didn't play in midweek, but thankfully we put in a good performance last night against Southend and that has given me renewed belief. We deserved so much more than the 1-0 defeat we suffered against a League One team and there was an impressive substitute performance from Cristian Montano, who will hopefully now get given a start in place of Jake Gosling on the left wing, as he will most definitely have a point to prove.

We will miss Lockyer and Leadbitter, but I think we have more than enough about us to turn our home form around. Carlisle will be really difficult opponents and they have some good players, so they will be confident they can get something from the game. Balanta is destined to score, unfortunately.

I'd love for us to nick a narrow win, but who knows how it will go..
 

TheGas

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We'll dominate. Taylor and easter will miss loads of chances, we'll have 17 corners and lose 1-0 to a goal keeping error
 

worried womble

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RefWatch; Ref for Rovers v Carlisle (played 34 times, Gas won 13, Carlisle won 12, 9 draws) is our favourite Leeds supporting taxi driver, Mark Brown, 40, from Humberside. FL ref since 2010. Keeps the game rolling along, but some players say he's not very fare. Bit thick, got a 3 week ban for slagging off Stevie G & Liverpool on Twitter in 2011, plus he got in trouble for singing 'Marching On Together' with the crowd after reffing a Leeds win. Clever boy. The 'Secret Ginger' called him 'horrific, the worst ref ever' after an Oxford v Gas game a couple of years ago. Reffed Gas twice; 3-1 home win v Cobblers in '12 (6Y &1R), & 1-0 win over Oxford in the Ginger's game in '13 (4Y). Hates Carlisle - reffed them 7 times, drew 3 & lost 4 (12Y & 1R), most recently the 3-0 home loss to Bury (my, how we miss them) in Sept last year. Hates them.
Attacking stats; Rovers have 70 shots on target with 19 goals - low; Carlisle have 68 on target with 29 goals, low shots but brilliant conversion rate - Jabo with 8 of those. Foul stats; Rovers have conceded 135 fouls, very low; Carlisle conceded 143, also low. Mansfield are the worst with 225 fouls, the worst in the entire Football League. Dirty, dirty Mansfield. So lots of goals & very few fouls for Carlisle, must be great going to Brunton Park this season to watch the flowing football, big change from last year, well done Keith Curle. Brown's home win % is exactly 50%. In 34 games last season he gave 79 Y & 7 R - average.
AnagramWatch; Mark Brown, Humber = Oh Mr Bum Wank. Rank Whore Bum. He Wank Mr Bro Bum. Warm Her Bum Knob. Broken Bum Harm. Keith Curle = Pep Guardiola.
 

BigDaveCUFC

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We need Jabo back in this starting 11 or we'll lose.

I think losing Gilliead is a big blow as he takes 2 men to mark at times so it means the opposition have to think, at least if we have Jabo back he will take 2 men to mark so causes Rovers the same problems. I am looking forward to next week when we have a front 3 which consists of Jabo, Gilliead and either Hope/Wyke/Asamoah.....then teams have to either double mark both Jabo/Gilliead and risk gaps or leave one with space and room.................that prospect reminds me of 2006 when teams either had to leave space to Bridges or to an in-form Hawley or mark both and leave huge gaps.

Hope Grainer is fit, I am not fussed at his defence but his offence support is excellent, a superb crosser of ball, other losses could be minimal.

We will go to Rovers and attack so I expect chances, I expect us to score 1 maybe 2 goals, its just a question of whether Rovers score the 2-3 goals needed to win.
 

BigDaveCUFC

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Balanta only ever played on the wing for us and showed moments of quality but they were all too fleeting. He only started 3 games all season with another 13 appearances from the bench.

I don't think the Conference suited him to be honest and I wouldn't be surprised if he fairs better in league 2.

Did you make a lot of signings in the summer?

The reason I ask is that you're clearly a much improved side from the one that finished 20th last season. To go from a relegation dog fight to automatic promotion contenders is quite a turn around.

I didn't see us last season to know the changes in personnel, but I think a big reason we've improved is Curle has just took the shackles off this season and let his team express themselves, I've not seen many managers ever do this and it could have been disastrous, but he has just 'went for it' in just about every single game home and away this season, we are not at all afraid to go 1 or 2 goals down in a game and we always know we'll probably score at least a goal a game.

granted he's certainly added some good players, but I think a big reason its worked at present is that has boosted confidence in the team, made them not needing to fear anyone, we don't approach a game at all thinking 'well best we can get is a 0-0' we risk going a goal down but its installed a massive confidence we can get back into games very easily and we work extremely hard, plus I think players are really enjoying it here because he's taken shackles off, no longer told to sit back and defend and nick off corners, no longer told they are not good enough to win at teams etc, etc.

it could have gone so wrong, we could have been thumped by Cambridge, thumped by Barnet, maybe lost Wimbledon....had a horrendous start, lost confidence and struggled, but in the end its boosted confidence of a squad with none, brought confidence in our attack, now just need to boost confidence in defence.
 

GasAttacK

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We need Jabo back in this starting 11 or we'll lose.

I think losing Gilliead is a big blow as he takes 2 men to mark at times so it means the opposition have to think, at least if we have Jabo back he will take 2 men to mark so causes Rovers the same problems. I am looking forward to next week when we have a front 3 which consists of Jabo, Gilliead and either Hope/Wyke/Asamoah.....then teams have to either double mark both Jabo/Gilliead and risk gaps or leave one with space and room.................that prospect reminds me of 2006 when teams either had to leave space to Bridges or to an in-form Hawley or mark both and leave huge gaps.

Hope Grainer is fit, I am not fussed at his defence but his offence support is excellent, a superb crosser of ball, other losses could be minimal.

We will go to Rovers and attack so I expect chances, I expect us to score 1 maybe 2 goals, its just a question of whether Rovers score the 2-3 goals needed to win.
Seems a bit unlikely. Since beating Barnet 3 month's ago we've managed to score just 2 goals in our 5 league games at the Mem, drew a blank against Southend on Wednesday and even failed to find the net against Chesham last week. We'll also be missing one of our 3 best strikers as Harrison is away on international duty.

We just don't score enough goals, particularly at home. Take out the Barnet match and we've managed 2 in our 6 league games at the Mem.

I think the last thing we need right now with confidence rock bottom after losing to Chesham is to be playing a team who have just won away at top of the table Plymouth and who average nearly 2 goals a game.

If there's ever a game when we needed the first goal it's this one, although based on your ability to come back from behind even that probably won't be enough.
 

Bs14gas

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Keith Curle sums up Rovers,sold him to Torquay for 10K as a poor winger,signs for Bristol City,where he plays as a central defender. Goes on to sell for millions and played for England,albeit poorly.
 

hellogregory

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I expect Jabo Ibehre to start, but even to have him coming off the bench could still be a big plus. If he starts, he'll probably be fucked after 60-70 minutes after not playing for 2 months. But say he's a sub and it's 0-0 on 60 minutes or we're 1-0 down. Bringing a fresh Jabo on could be really beneficial.
 

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Gilliahead is on international call up so he misses this one, however I have full faith in our team without him to get us a result. As long as Hanford doesn't play, he's a liability.
 

shoddycollins

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Gilliahead is on international call up so he misses this one, however I have full faith in our team without him to get us a result. As long as Hanford doesn't play, he's a liability.
I don' think Hanford's a liability, he's just a reserve goalie who isn't as good as the main goalie, everyone in this division has one, but I'd say ours isn't a total 'we're losing this game if we have to put him in nets' goalie.
 

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I don' think Hanford's a liability, he's just a reserve goalie who isn't as good as the main goalie, everyone in this division has one, but I'd say ours isn't a total 'we're losing this game if we have to put him in nets' goalie.

Last season Hanford was Sunday League standard, his kicking was atrocious and many goals he conceded were down to his lethargic attitude and poor handling.
 

GasAttacK

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Last season Hanford was Sunday League standard, his kicking was atrocious and many goals he conceded were down to his lethargic attitude and poor handling.
Still think our keeper is on course for 'Error of the Season' for his clanger against Newport.

 

hellogregory

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Hanford isn't that good, Gillespie is much better... , but hanford is much better than our previous number 2, Greg Fleming. Now he was evostik standard (at best).
 

cufc17

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Brough, McQueen, Balanta, and Thompson all start. Don't like the look of the team, but hopefully they prove me wrong. Jabo starts on the bench.
 

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