Often Partisan

A Rejigged Defence: Brighton Preview

Blues return after a ten day break to action with a trip to the south coast and Oscar Garcia’s high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion.

Brighton

Brighton lie seventh in the table, just outside the playoff places having gained seven more points than Blues in seventeenth. They have done well of late, taking eleven points from their last eighteen in the league and haven’t lost at home since the 2-1 reverse to Barnsley at the start of December.

Club captain Gordon Greer may not be restored to the starting line up with Adam El Abd potentially preferred whilst on-loan Spurs striker Jon Obika (who got six in a reserve game against Charlton last week) could make his debut.

Blues

Blues come into this game with problems in defence due to the recall of Dan Burn along with the injury to Kyle Bartley. Both Will Packwood and Hayden Mullins could partner Paul Robinson in the centre of defence with Mitch Hancox fit again to slot in at left back. Jesse Lingard and Aaron Mclean have both returned to their parent clubs meaning Andrew Shinnie could well continue in midfield although there is a possibility that Shane Ferguson could be recalled to the team.

Tom Adeyemi still remains on the injured list and thus Olly Lee will likely once again partner Callum Reilly in midfield although Wade Elliott is also pushing for a recall in the centre of the park.

This could be the start of a tough run for Blues with so many first choice players being stripped from it. Clark has got a tough job in rejigging the defence and I suspect it will be the experience of Mullins given the go over the youth of Packwood. If Blues can continue their unbeaten run with an away draw I think I’d be more than happy.

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69 Responses to “A Rejigged Defence: Brighton Preview”

  • Sh!t on the villa says:

    Gutted i will miss another game due to work tonight-tomorrow morning. Travel safe guys.

    Glad mitch is back fit and hoping that we have a hancox-fergie partnership on the left tomorrow! I think packwood will need to get a run out and if it is from the bench, subbed on with half hour left?

    And as always, would like to see the young arthur and gray make the bench! KRO

  • Chris W says:

    Another trip to the South coast and since we enjoy more freedom away from home I would think a draw is the least we are capable of. I would be more worried if we were playing Brighton at home, so 1=1 for me.
    KRO+DNM

  • EDD77 says:

    I thought adeyemi was fit to play I noticed him in the squad in the bham mail.

  • Mario says:

    Well this is a way to pay for next seasons season ticket! I’m going to lump on Brighton to win with this defence we have no chance

  • sutton apex says:

    losing all those players is a huge blow – we look a poor team now i’m afraid, 2-0 brighton

  • East Sussex Bluenose says:

    Much as I hate to say it I think we might get caught out today. Big test for defence Brigton 3-1

  • pierre says:

    according to the London press burn will be allowed to return to blues after the cup tie

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I agree that Mullins and Robinson will be the starting centre backs, with Packwood starting on Tuesday against Bristol Rovers. My head says Mullins, my heart says Packwood
    I would also prefer to see Ferguson start ahead of Shinnie, but Lee Clark is the boss and I bow to his judgement.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    A tough game. I worry about Robbo and Mullins lack of pace. Balls over the top will cause real problems and I think we could suffer a heavy defeat today. Callum and Lee look a little too lightweight in the middle for me and we’ve been missing the muscle of Ade recently. I’m normally a positive guy but I don’t see anything other than a defeat. It’s all about Yeovil at Stans next week today as I’m writing this one off.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    If I had to pick the team, I’d change the personnel slightly, to try to cover the weakness defensively. I’d go for:

    Randolph

    Caddis Packwood Robinson Hancox

    Mullins Reilly

    Burke Novak Ferguson

    Zigic

    Mullins and Reilly protecting the middle, with Burke and Ferguson protecting the flanks. I’m sure this team could come away with at least a draw.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I would agree with that team. We need some height at the back so Packwood should start. Mullins and Reilly sit in front of the back four to provide protection and we can hit them on the break then.
      I would be very happy with a point today with Yeovil to come at home.
      I really hope he doesn’t have Mullins and Robinson as the centre backs. That is asking for trouble. I bet Shinnie is in though instead of Ferguson.

  • andy says:

    They say attack is the best form of defence so hopefully Blues will come out flying, having nothing to lose. So long as the boys are giving everything they have, we should be more than happy.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m glad Lee Clark didn’t get manager of the month. Derby got a pasting last night I see.

    • DoctorD says:

      Good spot Staffs.

      Brighton’s last two home league games have been draws — so this smells like another 0-0 or 1-1.Having said, it’ll probably be something crazy like 4-0 either way.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        It’s possible that we could have Bartley and Burn back together soon, so it’s a case of plugging the holes until then. We have to protect our goal first and foremost… but we have the players to hit teams on the break too. I think that’s the best way of protecting both our back 4 and our unbeaten run. I suspect that taking it to Brighton might result in a walloping. That we don’t need.

    • Chris W says:

      Usually happens after winning MOTM. On your earlier post Re: team selection apart from Mullins I’d go the same defence, but then I thought Adeyemi was fit to play. I still think we have enough to come away with a draw.
      KRO+DNM

      • StaffsBlue says:

        From what I read in the BM, Adeyemi won’t be ready until Leicester, which is why I opted for Mullins with Reilly. We need to stay tight, and the likes of Lee, Elliott and Shinnie don’t give us that.

        • Chris W says:

          I agree, I missed the part about him being out till Leicester.
          I was interested in what LC had to say about Scott Allen, seems it is down to the players attitude and whether he wants to play or not, Similar to Ravel Morrison.
          I’m going for a 1-1 draw today, Brighton are having similar problems at home to us and with our away form, even without Burn and Bartley, we play without fear and seem more flexible and adaptable which has been one of strengths away from home.
          KRO+DNM

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    Worryingly if Brighton play with the right shape I feel we could be on the end of a drubbing. Hope I am wrong!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Academy midfielder Charlee Adams given a squad number ahead of the Brighton game apparently.

  • mark says:

    Sorry I am staying positive, the sun is out surprises,surprises……….over confident seagulls like it…….come on you blue boys………..lets bring the three points home…..kro………excited seeing other bluesnoses……..

  • dave mann says:

    guys guys, we have a good record at brighton and won 1-0 there last season after a 5-0 home
    drubbing by barnsley so why should we pick a team to combat there strenths and not play to
    ours which is pretty much staffs team but i would play lee instead of mullins because mulllins
    hasent played for a while and lees done well and was very good at bournemouth when we
    were under the cosh most of the time, stop making the game to technical and complicating the
    issues, its a simple game played by simple people….i should know i played it at a good level and
    have a level 2 coaching coarse pass….stop worrying and pick your best team no matter what
    the opposition are…..2-1 blues for me because confidence counts and weve got it particuly away
    from home!!! KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Stop messing about and say what you mean dave. ;-)

      Seriously though, I’m pretty confident about this one. I’ve said we’ll either draw, or possibly win. I’m only going slightly defensive to combat the perceived ‘weakness’ in defence… although, to be fair, we won’t know until after the match how much we’ve missed Bartley and Burn. Whatever, I’m not even thinking about defeat.

  • sappy dsd says:

    ….it doesnt matter who lc picks in this squad they are all
    winners….super blues

  • kneesup mother brown says:

    I also agree with staffs team …try and snub out their attack..nick it with a free kick screamer ! (Well , thats what I dreamt last night)

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That was what I thought, keep it tight, then hit ’em on the break with Burke, Ferguson, Novak and Zigic.

  • Royalblue says:

    Thankfully some positivity! I get bored with the doom mongers on this site.
    We are more than capable of at least a draw.

  • dave mann says:

    i think were win staffs if we play our best team available and stick with the formation, some
    fans say its a weak team without the loanes and bartleys injury but were have robinson and
    packwood at centre half hopefully and ferguson comming in for an out of form lingard, the
    goal threat of in form novak and zigic so were see how it goes and lets hope we shut a few
    up who think were going to get stuffed…lets think possetive.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Absolutely positive mate. Brighton are far from unbeatable. Every team goes up a notch when a new manager takes over, then it levels out.

      I do think Packwood needs to play, to at least give us some height. But, if Mullins does play alongside Robbo, then I’d stick Packwood in front of them. I think he’s played that position before.

      • Chris W says:

        I believe Packwood has played there, but personally, as you say, we need some height and centre of defence is where he reckons he is happy and comfortable with. As Dave Mann says the doom and gloomers are the ones who haven’t been to the away games, I love the atmosphere, banter and how freely and relaxed we play. I just wish we could bring the same factors back to St Andrews.
        KRO+DNM

        • StaffsBlue says:

          While we’re not playing particularly well at home, our players are, at least, making up for it with their away form. They have to take enormous credit for that. But, the home form is the key to us taking off. Imagine where we’d be, if just 2 or 3 of those draws had been turned into wins.

          • Chris W says:

            I would be happy to be a few points higher and though we all want Premier football until CY and our financial position is sorted and we can compete or at least buy some players I will be happy with mid table. All I wish for this season is to finish 10 points clear of the bottom 3 places, then if it still goes belly up at least we will stay in the Championship.
            I just wish we could sort out our home form, can it still be the fabled “gypsy curse”?
            KRO+DNM

  • dave mann says:

    what annoys me most is the fans who havent been to the last 6 away games are propably
    the ones who thimk were get stuffed….4 wins, 2 draws and played very well so because
    we loose a couple of players were suddenley crap…..get a grip and voice your oppinions
    on fact not gut feeling…we could loose but it wont be a stuffing….ide put my paxo on that.
    KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Word on Free Radio, is that Darren Ambrose could be going out on loan to a Greek club.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Lee Clark has just said that Ambrose is on his way to Athens for a medical.

    • Chris W says:

      I feel LC got his selection wrong today, the run has come to an end and though we stay 17th, the teams around us made ground on us.
      We appeared weak in midfield and lacked height, which was feared, in defence. Randolph kept the score to 1-0 but it could easily been considerably more.
      Once again we finish the stronger but fail to capitalise on crosses into the box from Hancox and Burke.
      Back to the drawing board for Tuesday and though it looks likely we will get burn back we still need a plan B. For me Will Packwood has to start in defence and we need some strength in midfield, Elliot was not the man to replace Adeyemi or Shinnie, in my opinion it should have been Ferguson from the off.
      On reflection a fair result, but our weaknesses are blatantly obvious, both defensively and in attack, we have the midfield players, but LC needs to play the right combination, Hancox with Ferguson and Caddis with Burke.
      KRO+DNM

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I agree. This was always going to be a tough one but that wasn’t the strongest side we could have put out today. Anyway in a way it’s good the unbeaten run is over because in that situation teams can worry too much about not losing and be negative. It’s better to lose today and beat Yeovil next week than draw both. Hope we put a strong side out Tuesday night. Good chance to put a stop to the bad home form and we definitely don’t want a replay.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          You’re right about the unbeaten run. The longer it goes on, you can be sure the next team will be even more determined to end it. It wasn’t the best performance today, but again, we could have got something out of it. I agree, we played the wrong players in certain positions, Ferguson needs a run in the team to get his form back.. and young Brown did well when he came on. I think both should start against Bristol and maybe Packwood too. We had a good run, let’s put today aside and go on another run.

        • Chris W says:

          I suppose the good news is we didn’t get turned over like so many thought we would, LC tried something different and it didn’t work so hopefully he will look at it and realise where he went wrong.
          LC’s work ethic is second to none and he is always analysing games and players, hopefully the phone will be busy on Monday with new loans and Dan Burn will be back in time for Yeovil.
          As good as it is for morale, the run coming to an end takes of the pressure slightly, if we can get two wins at home then the players might relax too. Supporters need to get behind the team and stop this negativity at home, those who travel make more noise away than all our home supporters put together, starting Tuesday lets hear nothing but noise and frighten Bristol Rovers to death before they even come onto the pitch.
          KRO+DNM

    • Richard Granfield says:

      It looks like Ambrose is joining Apollon Smiryni of Athens, They are managed by Lawrie Sanchez the former Wimbledon player and Northern Ireland Manager.

  • DoctorD says:

    They are welcome to Ambrose – he’s been nothing for us. The fact that a Greek top club wants him shows how strong the Championship is and how ell we did in the Europa League.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’d hate to be him when he’s asked who he plays for… Gymnastikos Syllogos Apollon Smyrnis. Get your laughing gear round that one Darren. :-))

      • Chris W says:

        Hopefully that is one wage bill less and will allow LC to dabble into the loan market.
        I expected more from Ambrose, not sure what is going on with some of these players.
        You would think they would be biting at the bit even if it was to prove to other clubs they can still do a job, it seems they are just happy to pick up a wage at BCFC.
        KRO+DNM

        • StaffsBlue says:

          We’re actually getting far more out of players that have made a step up this season. Long may it continue.

          • Chris W says:

            Totally agree, the academy players are certainly showing some seasoned pros they want it more.
            Brings back memories of our youth policy in the 60’s and 70’s.
            We produced some great players then who went on to play international football and some top teams of the day.
            LC is certainly getting the best out of them and more in some cases.
            KRO+DNM

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Thankfully, there are a few players out of contract at the end of the season. Hopefully, we’ll be able to bring the average age of the squad down a bit more… and the enthusiasm and work rate up to match.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Hope the Ambrose deal has gone through. He has done absolutely nothing for us except pick up his money. Maybe the slower pace of the game over there will suit him because on the rare occasion I have seen him turn out for us he he has looked pedestrian. Hopefully this will free up some wages to get someone more motivated in.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Even if Dan Burn does return, I still think we should be looking to bring in a longer-term centre back. This past couple of weeks has shown how thin the squad is when stripped of it’s regular performers. At the end of the season, when Bartley and Burn are gone… what then? And how much longer can Robbo remain the No.1 centre back? We should get someone in now and begin to forge a new central defensive partnership ready for next season. Can Will Packwood be part of that new partnership? Time will tell.

    • Chris W says:

      Hopefully he will play there Tuesday, We need to start looking at permutations, Robbo is only a booking away from 2 match suspension.
      Not sure how long Spectre is going to be out for but maybe he and Packwood could forge formidable US partnership. They can both play a bit too and would add strength and depth to our fragile midfield.
      KRO+DNM

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Spectre is unlikely to be back until the end of February/beginning of March. As well as Mullins and Robbo did yesterday, they’re not the answer. Packwood has to be tried at some point. Lee Clark has to be brave enough to stick him in against Bristol Rovers.

        • Chris W says:

          They can certainly be paired and ready for next season, even if they play in the central defence with either Bartley and/or Burns, just to get some extra experience.
          I was hoping Robbo would be booked yesterday, we have some tough games after Yeovil and will need his leadership and experience.
          Tuesday is certainly a game to experiment against strong opposition,as nice as a cup run would be and a money spinner v Swansea, losing against Bristol will not be as bad as going on a run of losing games and slipping down the league.
          Our number one priority is survival in the Championship with the next stage being eleven points above the drop zone.
          KRO+DNM

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I deliberately named him Spectre (instead of Spector) because we haven’t seen him for months. :-)

  • steve says:

    Great weekend,not a great performance.Brighton had won only 2 of their last 8 games at home in all competitions,so i was hoping that we would get at em.I don’t know if it was the sea air and beer,but i can’t remember us having a shot on target.Imo,only two players come out with a bit of credit,Randolph and Mullins.I think we went for the draw where we should have had a go.We might have got something.Poor show by team and manager.

    • Chris W says:

      LC got his selection and tactics wrong on this one, he may be looking at the bigger picture with Mullins, personally I don’t like him and certainly think he is not the answer.
      Packwood has to start with Robbo on Tuesday with Ferguson coming in for Reilly or Mullins.
      I can see an unwanted replay coming up since our home form is not that great, we need to start winning at home especially as we have some big tough games coming up.
      KRO+DNM

      • steve says:

        Until Burn and Bartley return,Mullins deserves to keep his place.He deserves it.Why change for the sake of it?I,m sick of all the tinkering.He played well,leave him in.

        • Chris W says:

          This is enforced tinkering, as I said, in my opinion I don’t think Mullins is the answer to our defensive problem, again my opinion, I don’t rate Mullins, but obviously LC does.
          KRO+DNM

          • steve says:

            Atm he is the problem to our defensive problems.Nobody is talking about long term.He did enough on Saturday to keep his place on Tuesday.As for Clark liking him.He would be a regular if that was what it was all about.I,m not a fan of Mullins,but for the sake of a settled back 4,he deserves his place.Burn played in the League Cup so i don’t see why Fulham would have said no if he hadn’t been called Back.United are out,so Lingaard would play.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        It could be just the game for our home form to take off. The loss of players was bound to have an effect, so we have a chance now to get back on track. I think it will depend on the personnel selected. If Clark chooses right, we could do a job on them, if he gets it wrong, we could be looking at a replay, at best.

  • steve says:

    Whatever team we put out,even with our home form.I expect us to beat Bristol Rovers.The only player we will miss is Burn.Lingaard and McLean are no big loss imo.They need replacing for the numbers.But i don’t think they will be missed individually.

    • Chris W says:

      They wouldn’t have been allowed to play anyway, so it is up to the fringe players to step up and be noticed, we should beat Bristol Rovers but this is BCFC and we don’t do the simple things.
      I’d like to see Lingard back as he did offer options and looked like he could make things happen when he had the ball.
      McLean is use to playing as an out and out striker so didn’t fit into our style.
      We need a defender or two and possible another striker who can play behind Ziggy with Novak.
      KRO+DNM

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Andrew Crofts, the Brighton midfielder who was taken off in yesterday’s match, will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his cruciate ligament. Best wishes to him for a full and speedy recovery.

  • mark says:

    really pleased how blues acquitted themselves at brighton, caused brighton some problems towards the end. one nil is certainly no disgrace by the team……………………….. rise reece brown……..agreed with staffsblue its unfortunate when any player who suffers a major injury………hope he recover well……kro


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