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Saints At Ipswich Town The Verdict
Wednesday, 14th Jan 2015 22:07

Saints marched on in the FA Cup 3rd round replay at Ipswich Town, but it wasn't without its price as Victor Wanyama is the latest to look like missing a few games with injury.

Saints current side remind me very much of the team of 1983/84 in the way in which they keep it tight at the back and break with precision and quality.

This was very much the case at Old Trafford and it was the same again at Portman Road where they cruised to a victory in a performance that given the changes made in both formation and personnel must have pleased Ronald Koeman greatly.

The game was won by the BBC Man of the Match Shane Long and was a fitting testimony to his work rate in this game continuing to harass the Ipswich back four, his goal though was somewhat fortuitous in that an Ipswich defender in making a sliding tackle slid the ball to Long who swept it in in one quick movement squeezing it in at the near post, it was so quick many in the crowd thought it had gone wide.

If Long thouroughly deserved his MOM, he was run close by Jose Fonte who was immense at the back and dealt with everything that Ipswich threw at the Saints defence, once again it was food and drink to Fonte and his fellow defenders and Ipswich only had one effort on target, a rather weak effort that Fraser Forster had no trouble with.

Saints only had one effort on target themselves but unlike Ipswich they did look a threat when they broke and really should have put the game completely to bed with one of a number of breaks they failed to capitalise on.

When Ipswich got the ball down and played they looked dangerous especially in the first half as Saints struggled to get to grips with the changes in the team, but too often they reverted to trying to lump the ball forward and in truth with 20 minutes to go and David McGoldrick limping off injured Mick McCarthy seemed to give up the ghost and seemed resigned to a defeat and was instead looking to the weekend.

This was not a game without a price though and that was losing Victor Wanyama to a hamstring injury in first half injury time, it looked a pull but hopefully with the player going straight down and not aggravating it further it might not be as bad as expected, Jack Cork returning could not have happened at a better time and that could have played a part in Koeman keeping Cork on the bench and keeping him fresh for the weekend.

All in all another good night at the office for Saints and we need to complete a good week by getting three points at Newcastle before taking on Crystal Palace in the next round of the cup.

Photo: Action Images

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geezershoong added 22:12 - Jan 14
Fonte was MOM.

IWOZTHERE added 23:15 - Jan 14
Did enough, a win's a win and all that... but I was a bit worried for bits of the match cos there were times when Tadic, Pelle, even Fonte looked as though they were over elaborating and not playing the percentages. Don't celebrate stardom too soon boys!

A1079 added 23:19 - Jan 14
Yes a win is a win and we did what we had to do but it was pretty awful to watch. Not one for the neutrals. Worrying number of injuries again. But, Cork back at just the right time.

WestSussexSaint added 07:53 - Jan 15
Fonte (who was the MOM) is fast becoming our most important player. Cleared everything without fuss against a very physical striking team. Koeman again got his tactics spot on as the back 3 countered Ipswich's front two well. We did loose a bit going forward as a result but once ahead the team just shut the game down. This didn't make for the most interesting game but boy was it effective.

Finally I've said it before but Harrison Reed impresses every time I see him. He didn't give the Ipswich midfield a moments piece and was the anchor last night allowing Wanyama and the Davis to get forward. I think he will partner Cork while Vic and Morgan are absent.

schatfield added 08:48 - Jan 15
crap game. cracking goal.

that's all that needs to be said!

Consigliere added 09:50 - Jan 15
Many years ago a mate bought a new Mercedes Benz (this was in the days before they were ubiquitous) and proudly showed me the instruction manual. It read something like this: "To start the car, turn the ignition key through 45 degrees and release. Your Mercedes Benz will start". Just that. No hyperbole. No caveats. No excuses. Just the quiet confidence that the car would start, every time. I was reminded of this watching our back line yesterday evening. There were no dramas and thankfully no excitements. Just the quiet confidence that they were going to close down the opposition every time they got near the goal. So yes, it wasn't a spectacle, but we didn't want it to be. With Long up front harrying the opposition all the time it was just a matter of time before we scored, and thereafter it didn't feel that there was much risk of Ipswich getting back into the game.

Now for Newcastle, where we will need to be the creative Ferrari rather than dull but reliable Mercedes!

TimSaint added 10:06 - Jan 15
Fortunately we didn't experience the harsh weather that was forecast and there certainly was no storm on the pitch. We did however weather the early Ipswich storm and did enough to win at a canter - with probably only Shane breaking into a sweat with all his running !!
Pity for Vic and ironic that it is at a time when Morgan is also out again - but hey, Jack is back !!
Shame Saints didn't sell out and surprised by the number of empty seats in the upper tier, but I guess it was on TV, a storm was due and it was a long way for a game we should have put to bed in the first game !!
So on to Palace in the next round and hopefully we don't pick up any further injuries on Saturday for the 4th round.

Whatsforpud added 10:42 - Jan 15
When it comes to deciding who was man of the match, we all have our opinions, but the BBC Man of the Match was Fonte, Nick.

Was hoping Cork would have been given 15 or so minutes, but maybe Koeman feared that he might have to play another half hour extra time. But we need him to have some part in the Newcastle match.

Fordy added 10:45 - Jan 15
Surprised that Cork wasn't given at least 15 minutes last night to try and get a little bit of match fitness back. I thought he would have been the logical replacement for Wanyama.

Also, it didn't really work with three at the back with Targett and Bertrand. Bertrand clearly looked a little uncomfortable in the back three and Targett looked indecisive and lacking in a little quality higher up the pitch. I would have thought it was more logical to play Targett in the back three and Bertrand further up. Either way, I would be very surprised if we don't go back to a back four against Newcastle.

davepid added 11:16 - Jan 15
Schatfields succinct comment plus yet another game where we didn't lose from a leading position says it all.

CovSaint added 12:02 - Jan 15
Fonte was official MOM as declared by Lawrenson 2 minutes from time. Also, I can't remember ever seeing the Portman Road pitch in such poor condition for a long time. It's always had an excellent reputation as a top playing surface... perhaps the 'tractor boys' nickname is more justified than we thought!

BaselSaint added 12:12 - Jan 15
Lest we forget what a dour and joyless grouch Lawrenson is when he's commentating Thank god he hardly appears anymore on MOTD.

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