Five things we learned on the opening day…

I’ve not been able to put together a well described, in depth piece about the opening day draw against Accrington due to another laptop disaster at home. But I’ll be trying to keep things in order on the blog for the next couple of weeks as things are fixed.

Instead of the essay I had planned, I’ve put together five things that we learned from the Accrington game, in which a 0-0 draw, perhaps inevitably, kicked off our 2011/12 campaign…

1. Jake Robinson looks GOOD!

The new signing from Shrewsbury was the stand out performer of the new recruits, particularly in the first half. He’s got a nice close control and always looked a threat. I would like to see him more of a partner to Bayo rather than a part of an attacking midfield but his performance still caught the eye on a day of many debuts and second debuts.

2. Ashley Corker causes slight concern

I’m trying not to be too harsh on the lad who is still learning but I’m worried about Corker when we comes up against the better wingers of League Two. There were a couple of occasions when he was caught out and looks lightweight at first glance. Hopefully experience will improve him but against Stanley I always felt a little concerned when he was faced with an attack.

3. The Sixfield atmosphere still doesn’t change

There was still a pre-season feel about Sixfields on Saturday with fans waiting until action happened before getting into it. We appeared to need a bad decision (the Accy keeper could well have been sent off) or a dodgy challenge to set us off and that needs to change. Fair to say we’ll see how a first home game is done when we visit Aldershot on Saturday.

4. The formation needs time to click

The 4-2-3-1 formation is going to take a while to get into gear I feel. At times there was a sense of players not knowing where they were meant to be but given a few games, particularly after a grueling first couple of weeks in which we play some Tuesday night games as well as Saturday, it should start to bear fruit. Arron Davies was frustrated at times but came close with two decent efforts from range.

5. The defence is more solid than some have predicted

Despite my comments on Corker, the back four did well for the most part. John Johnson and Byron Webster are a solid first choice centre back pairing. Johnson could sit out of Ipswich on Tuesday night so Ashley Westwood, his replacement late on Saturday, could get a start. With Andy Holt still missing as well there’s still some need for cover for at least a month.

So on the whole. not bad but not Barcelona style play quite yet. A tough looking away treble of Ipswich, Aldershot and Bristol Rovers is pretty daunting and we could have done with picking up three points against Accrington. As always though, by this time next week we could be a whole lot happier!

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