Date: 22nd November 2017 at 9:39am
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This morning, we should be talking about a Bolton win and finally getting out of the relegation zone. But two goals in the last 15 minutes meant we yet again have dropped two points, for the fourth time in seven games. A seven game unbeaten run sounds good, but two wins and five draws sounds less so when it could have easily been six wins and a draw. All we needed to do is keep all of them out in the last 20 minutes, and we would have been around 16th.

I think the amount of possession we have in a game is a massive factor. Now, lots of possession doesn`t necessarily equate to good. After all, Reading had 80% of it in the first half last night, and mustered a single shot on target. When we got our chances, we took them. Reece Burke came in for the suspended Mark Beevers and scored at the other end, then Darren Pratley doubled the lead minutes later.

But after half time, we stopped playing. And this is where the possession thing comes in, if you`re 1-0 or 2-0 up but hardly have the ball, and especially when it`s happening all the time, you`ll get tired. If you`re winning, you don`t actually have to do anything with the ball, just try and keep it. Instead, we`re either unable to, or just happy to clear it.

Phil Parkinson needs to also look at when he makes his substitutions if this is the case. Adam Le Fondre, Craig Noone et al, aren`t going to do much if they never get more than 10 minutes. Players will get tired. It wasn`t much surprise that the equalising penalty was given away by Mark Little, who had been an injury doubt.

We are in a better state than six weeks ago. At least we`re scoring goals and picking up points. But there is a trend here that is standing, screaming out. We`re now getting ahead in games on a regular basis. We need to quickly learn how to manage them, before the teams just above us start to get away from us again.

 

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