It was another great and well deserved win against Leicester City at the weekend.
There wasn't much between the two teams during the 90 minutes and the game could have gone either way. Poor finishing from the hosts and some great goalkeeping from Julian kept us in the game.
We started the match with a 4-4-1-1 formation with Jordon Mutch in the number 10 role and Dwight Gayle replacing Yaya Sanogo as a lone striker.
The manager obviously wasn't happy with the performance and after 45 minutes decided to make a change tactically. Scott Dann was injured in a collision with Wes Morgan and Brede Hangeland replaced him, but Sanogo came on and partnered Dwight up front as we changed to a 4-4-2 formation.
The manager said Brede was the man of the match and he seemed to be everywhere, playing an assisting role in Joe Ledley’s headed goal. Last week I went to see the under-21s play at Tooting and Mitcham FC, and I spoke with Brede in the car park and his approach was he treated it like a first-team game in preparation of getting back in the first-team. He showed he has a lot to offer with his second half display.
Leicester applied a lot of pressure in the second 45 minutes and overall they had 12 shots with seven on target. We sank deep but held a good shape and showed great discipline and determination as Leicester pushed hard to get back into the game, but in doing so they had to take chances. What was disappointing for me was that when they pushed players forward it left them susceptible to counter attacks, and when we did counter we never punished our opponents.
Sometimes is was the pass selection or lack of it, but it's important that we take advantage of those breaks and be unselfish and play for the team. Wilfried Zaha once again showed his ability to open up defences, if the manager can get him doing it more consistently he could be one of the signings of the season. Dwight’s delivery on set pieces was excellent and we looked dangerous and threatening from them, with Damien Delaney, Brede and Sanogo giving us real presence in both 18 yard boxes.
We can talk about tactics all we like but towards the end of that match it was desire, guts and a willingness to not surrender that won those points.
We can never complain when we get three points but we need to keep the ball better and deny our opponents possession - that way they can’t build momentum and pressure. We've seen some big changes in formations in the last six matches, from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-1-1 to 4-4-2, and the manager will have Yannick and Mile back to choose from for the Newcastle match along with Pape Souare and former Toon favorite Shola Ameobi, so I'm really looking forward to it.