'Pool Lose: Find Your Feet, Ben!
Any team that loses three quarters of their first choice back four in a day are going to struggle against the best home team in the league… and that we did. I doubt anyone would've expected much from the game with a fully fit squad, let alone a depleted one.
The two enforced substitutions that Larry had to make hampered us not only in personnel, but in flexibility after half time, when we could only make a solitary change to try and influence the game. What that substitution did do however (when McPhee replaced Burgess) was make us far more mobile up front. Ben had a nightmare again, and perhaps would benefit from a rest, or some like-for-like competition on the bench to step up his game. I remember a few seasons ago we signed Njazi Kuqi on loan when our strikers at the time - Murphy and Parker - were misfiring and 'Pool were in serious danger of going down from League One. Kuqi, although not brilliant, applied some pressure on the front two, Parker especially, who took this challenge on and scored a few goals in this time.
Competition from the bench has seen Paul Rachubka return to form. After a poor few weeks, Rabs played brilliantly on Saturday, as he made a string of great saves, came out for plenty of crosses, foiling the Ipswich attack on numerous occasions, with Paul Gerrard waiting in the wings.
John Hills had a decent game, and was probably my man of the match. Claus Jorgensen put himself about whilst Green looked good on the ball, but not match fit. Dickov again kept running and running, taking his goal well and Southern performed amicably at the back.
We'll need some loan signings at the back obviously, but I'd like to see another added up front as direct competition for Burgess. 13 games to go - anything above ten points will see us safe.