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Don’t waste last week’s result - 05/11/2003

Don’t waste last week’s result
Right to hold back Jardel
 
Links:
 Players:
   James Beattie
   Kevin Davies
   Kevin Nolan
   Kevin Phillips
   Mario Jardel
 Managers:
   Sam Allardyce
 Clubs:
   Southampton
   Tottenham Hotspurs

The 1-0 away win at Tottenham was a fantastic result – no doubt about it, but we need to build on it, and Saturday’s game against Southampton is very important. A win against Gordon Strachan’s men would be worth more than three points due to the momentum and confidence created by two successive wins. Southampton will provide a very stern test, their centre forwards in Beattie and Phillips are excellent – and would test any defence. The first goal is crucial, we’re good at sitting on leads – very hard to breakdown, although we’re not so good at chasing games when we fall behind.

The 90 minutes at Tottenham were the best this season, it’ll be nice to carry this forward to the Reebok. Jay Jay Okocha was simply fantastic, without doubt his best form since last season and he honestly ran the show. On form like that, he’d unstoppable. There’s certainly no coincidence that when Jay Jay plays well, so does the team as a whole. He can be instrumental – and hopefully he’ll continue this form from now on in.

The only concern was that we didn’t score more than the single goal. Kevin Davies’ goals seem to have dried up a bit, and with the other Kevin (Nolan) getting the winner in North London, we’ve only two players scoring 3 goals or more. Mario Jardel stayed on the bench last week – and that tells it’s own story. It wasn’t a game to build fitness and Sam was right to hold him back. If he’d played then that would have enabled Spurs to have played from the back, Mario doesn’t track back. He’ll be playing in the reserves tonight – and with that, will be that much closer to fitness. I’ve said back in August that it’d be December at the earliest before he’s fully fit, that looks likely to be the case. He’s a player though, and the wait will be worth it!


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