By Mike Courtney
Following the late late defeat to Reading on Wednesday night, it's back to Elland Road today for the visit of Burnley. It took me a few days to get over the disappointment of that defeat and the manner of it. This was the first time since BMAC took over that I had felt so deflated. I could have written this on Thursday but it would have been a far more negative article so I took a deep breath, looked back at the season so far and discovered its not all bad.
Our away form has been quite good actually, with 7 points taken in the four games. Oh how we longed for such form in the Warnock days. Its actually our home form that has been a slight let down with only 4 points in the three games so far. Our two defeats have come against teams that were in the Premier League last season and if truth be told we should have got something out of both games. So things are not as bad as they might seem.
There is still plenty room for improvement of course and though defensively we've been looking a bit more solid it's on the attacking front that we have been lacking. Six goals in seven games is not the kind of return many of us expected. The lack of creativity and a proven goalscorer has been well documented. The loan window needs to be utilised to strengthen in this area. That won't be done before today's game so we've got to make do with what we have and what we have isn't half bad.
I think we've been too cautious at home and we need to be more attack minded and get at teams. Maybe a change in formation is called for and today is the perfect opportunity to try that. With Stephen Warnock suspended and Peltier doubtful, could we see the likes of Byram and White back in the matchday eleven? I hope so and I hope BMAC gives them the license to get forward. Aidy is not at his best defending but he has the pace to keep the opposing full back occupied and though Sam is better defensively then Aidy he is a real threat going forward also.
With this in mind I would love to see both of them start and play as wing backs in an attacking 3-5-2 formation. You could have Lees, Pearce and Wootton as center backs with Rudy playing the holding role in midfield protecting the back three. You would then have Luke Murphy and Tonge pulling the strings further up the field with RossCo and one out of Hunt, Varney or Poleon up top. This formation would give us the width we have been lacking and keep our best scoring threat, RossCo, closer to the goal instead of dropping deep to try and create stuff. White and Byram would have the pace and stamina to get back and help the defence when the need arises but would predominantly be an attacking outlet which ultimately would and should create more chances for our strikers.
Anyone who has watched us of late will have seen that though we have had plenty of possession the chances created have been few and far between, with only one shot on target at Reading, and this needs to be addressed and what better time to do so than a home game in front of 25k plus and a Burnley side that we have a good scoring record against. I think the 3-5-2 could work and would see us create more then the 4-4-2 or 4-3-1-2 that we have been playing to date. Will it happen? I don't think so, we might see Aidy in for Warnock and Poleon for Hunt and maybe the chances will come with them in the side, we certainly will have more pace, but I would like to see us try something different and get at sides more, particularly at home.
If we continue in the same way that we have we will continue to lose games, like the QPR and Reading games by not taking our chances and being caught out late on by sucker punches. Three points today is imperative, we need to be more clinical at home, and by being more attack minded we can get the faithful roaring us on to a convincing win.
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