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What Happened In Second Half?


EuanG

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Two games on the trot we have bossed the first half only to loose momentum and passion in the second half. This is a worrying trend and though we salvaged a well earned draw for 25 minutes in the second half they were all over us. Our midfield was missing and I am not sure Hemmings gives us an outball when under pressure. Shows the importance of Thomson, for McGowan for all his energy was not a fitting replacement. We need to learn to take our chances and play for 90 minutes.

Still well done the boys for getting a point. Should have or could have been three though.

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We took 15 minutes to adapt as we lost the best player on the park. No surprise given how influential Thomson was.

The more important issue is that we NEED to start putting teams away. Ruthless streak badly required.

We could have given them a real doing last night. They're poor.

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For me, in both games the opposition have made two substitutions at the same time and these have swung the game in there favour as we have failed to adapt to the new formation that is now against us and the other team then have us on the back foot. It also shows that while going forward we are looking good/sharp we still have a few defensive frailties when put under the cosh and our full backs need to defend better and we have to become stronger in the tackle and stand up to those who are scrapping for the ball, we lose a lot of 50/50 challenges.

We also dont seem to have any sort of plan B. However hopefully yesterday showed that Nicky Low could be the man to cover for Thomson if hes missing, when he came on he was willing to get stuck in but also showed he can pick out a pass and make space for himself and is comfortable on the ball. He's maybe not match fit yet but when he is I think he will be a key player for us.

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McGowan for all his energy was not a fitting replacement.
I like McGowan but he is very one footed and because of this good moves often break down.He takes the ball in with his back to goal but then has to run round in a big circle to face the opposition and by then the pass and goal scoring chance is gone.Did it on Saturday and again last night.Same with the shot he had.Great play to open up space but it was a left foot shot all day long but McGowan had to hit a weak effort with outside of his right.

Being a bit critical maybe but it's just something I've noticed about him.

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Clear to see that we still need to find a way to play without KT.

Another stunning performance form him before he went off injured.

Completely controlled the midfield and allowed our attacking boys to create and miss more sitters :(

Hopefully Low has the ability to stamp his authority on the middle of the park like KT as he will probably be brought in to cover.

As much as I like McGowan, he's not a like for like replacement for KT.

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Agree about the substitutions charging the game before we adapted. Also that's 2 games running we've lost 2 goals in 5 or so minutes. Think we're set up a bit too adventurous with Hemmings and Loy with Greg just behind. We looked much better when we brought on Low for Hemmings. Guys were complaining about taking off a forward when we're 2 down but it meant 4 in midfield with Greg and Loy up top. PH has been criticised for his lack of tactics but this saved us. McPake scored in desperation but I hope PH learned from his good decision.

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I think there are several reasons for the change in performance in the 2nd half. It wasn't just down to Thomson going off or the two substitutions. Utd were at least matching us if not slightly holding the upper hand before Thomson picked up his injury. They changed a player position or two and their shape slightly when they came out in the 2nd half (Jackie not a complete numpty after all.) Thomson going off rattled the rest of our players it gave Utd a lift. Low should have been the direct replacement for Thomson in my opinion but to be fair the loss of a player of Thomson's quality would be a disadvantage to any team in the SPL. Utd's two subs again changed their play and again we took a while to adapt. Last but not least, we still aren't match fit yet. We give it 100 miles an hour trying to blow teams away in the first 45 minutes and I dont think we quite have the legs yet to keep up that tempo. Hartley will either have to get the players to pace themselves a little better or believe he can up the fitness levels to keep them playing at a high tempo longer. If not, then we have to score at least two of the many chances we make in the first half.

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Yes, we have been dominating games playing great stuff then fall apart as soon as the other team gets stuck in.

Holt, Ross, Harkins, Stewart, Hemmings suddenly look ordinary players.

Obviously Stewart conjured up a goal out of nothing, identical to the goal and time perhaps he scored v Hamilton at Dens last season to get us a point. But he wasn't getting much joy otherwise.

Thought McGinn had a great game BTW, though he can improve that final ball of course.

Hope I'm wrong, but it could be a real roller coaster ride this season, with more up than downs I hope. Should be fun!

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