The next step

Antony Moxey

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Given this season we'll finish between 7th and 9th - potentially our highest ever league finish, and potentially our closest ever finish to the play-offs and possibly Championship football, what do we need to do to make that step to achieve second tier football?

We've had a few rickets along the way - Huddersfield, Yeovil and Hartlepool immediately spring to mind - and those three games could have been nine more points in the coffers which surely would have seen us in the play-offs.

Or is the step bigger than that, is it simply cutting out the stupid mistakes that have cost us so dear, or is it more than that? If we did cut out those daft mistakes and did make the play-offs, and then went up, how would our players stack up - would that step be exponentially bigger again?

We can all see where we've slipped up at times this season, so could we really make the Championship, and could we really last there too, or is it, at the moment with the current squad - and manager if you like - just a step, or steps, too far?
 

memoman

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Our defence is the problem. It's no coincidence that we've conceded the joint third most goals in the league.
 
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Two or three players away from being good enough to go up. We will never eradicate all the stupid mistakes - no team can - but we do need a better defence for starters.
 

iscalad

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Given this season we'll finish between 7th and 9th - potentially our highest ever league finish, and potentially our closest ever finish to the play-offs and possibly Championship football, what do we need to do to make that step to achieve second tier football?

We've had a few rickets along the way - Huddersfield, Yeovil and Hartlepool immediately spring to mind - and those three games could have been nine more points in the coffers which surely would have seen us in the play-offs.

Or is the step bigger than that, is it simply cutting out the stupid mistakes that have cost us so dear, or is it more than that? If we did cut out those daft mistakes and did make the play-offs, and then went up, how would our players stack up - would that step be exponentially bigger again?

We can all see where we've slipped up at times this season, so could we really make the Championship, and could we really last there too, or is it, at the moment with the current squad - and manager if you like - just a step, or steps, too far?
I would think the problem would be more financial than the management/playing staff.
Also the ground would need major investment..which we are still waiting to hear about.
 

Oldsmobile-88

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In RaWZ we trust....Amen.
We are one of the smaller clubs in the division & to improve on this season will be very difficult.
Expectations will be raised again for next season,but i fear without a serious injection into the playing budget,that top 6 place will be a mirage..
Jamie Cureton has been a great addition to the squad,but can he get another 20 next season?(or someone else) which will be requred if the Grecians are to push on..
It is at the back where the improvement perhaps needs to come...Alarming that Matt Taylor has missed a few games through injury recently..
 

grecIAN Harris

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In the drivers seat..........
I'd suggest it's about having better quality in the ranks to cover when the first choices are unavailable. How many times have we bemoaned the complete lack of cover for Tulls when he's not been available or the lack of a direct replacement for Dunney when he couldn't play? There are of course certain positions we could improve on by either by getting the mix right (ie individually players are good enough but the mix doesn't gel) or by just getting better personel in. Some players, much as we love them, can only take us so far. Again, like every other close season, we wait, we see and we wonder.
 

crocks

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Alarming that Matt Taylor has missed a few games through injury recently..
I think more alarmingly is that because of his injury (back I believe), he is not the player that he once was. The defence actually looks stronger without him in it at the moment.
 

LOG

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My only joy is a cuddly toy.
It's not easy to say because how many of us really know how the bottom third of the Championship compares to the top third of L1?

Going on where we've seen weaknesses this season though, the defence is the stand out area for improvement. Across the first 11, we only seem to be a few players short. We have also been lucky with injuries this season and need more strength in depth, but luckily that hasn't really been tested that much. Players like Cureton need to be replaced sooner or later and that will be no mean feat.

We're always going to be up against it financially though and that's probably the biggest stumbling block. We don't offer fantastic wages and we don't offer 3 year contracts so there is always likely to be a highish turnover of players. From what we hear though, many players have said how impressed they've been with the set up and add in Tisdale's growing reputation, it's those kind of factors which can attract the better quality.
 
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arthur

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We need to improve two things:

1. The defence personnel - Taylor is past his best and Troy's left foot means he can't be expected to play as left CB for anything other than a stopgap. We need a good left footed CB to replace Dan and Sir Rob. Also a new RB to cover/replace the ageing, slowing but still brilliant Steve Tully. And a permanent Ben Hamer would make a huge difference

2. The midfield mistakes - assuming Noble, Dunne and Sercombe all stay there's nothing wrong with the line up. However I don't know if it's just me, but these three all seem to have a tendency to concede possession needlessly thereby inviting pressure on our defence. The first half against Huddersfield stands out as the exception that proves the rule - Marcus, Bertie and Sir Rob gave a masterclass in keeping the ball; OK they didn't accomplish that much but they didn't let Huddersfield accomplish much either...
 
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rustle

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Agree with the defence problem, maybe Try A-H could learn what to do with the ball after he's won it (as he so often does).

An argument in another thread (sorry can't remember which) was about the likelihood we'd come straight back down if we went up but the counter argument was that at least it would generate income.

Is our ground up to championship standard anyway? I don't know what's expected.
 
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