What do you say about what we saw on Saturday afternoon? The words appalling and disgraceful don't really describe just how poor the players were for large portions of the game. The team saw us not feature a striker, both Marc Antoine Fortune and Oriol Riera dropping onto the bench; the Spanish striker returning from injury. The midfield saw Don Cowie grace the pitch as well.
That though was the most exciting facts that we had from a first half which most of the time was worse than watching paint dry. The team looked lost of coherence and fluidity that we have become expecting to see with the quality of players that we have in the team. It defiantly showed why we are in the bottom three with such a performance.
It was marred by tactical and individual mistakes from the start. Initially thing looked good as we were getting the ball forward. Not necessary in a very good footballing way, yet the ball was in the opposition half and we were putting some pressure on the opposition box. We didn't really test the keeper though.
Down our end the defence was being stretched way to easily. The back four looked full of holes. James Perch for me put in a man of a match performance and was all over the place covering for defensive lapses of our sloppy back four. Emmerson Boyce and Leon Barnett showing no understanding, if Boyce got pulled over Barnett didn't cover. The other way around and Boyce would have too over compensate as Barnett charged out of position.
A back four should be a fluid system which moves as a team, not individuals moving about the pitch causing each other having to be caught out.
That situation led to Rotherham's goal. Leon Barnett and Andrew Taylor both going for the same ball and thus getting in each others way. Taylor trying to lay the ball back to Scott Carson completely fluffed it and we ended up with the Tom Lawrence getting onto the ball and calmly slotting it home.
That made it 1-0 and that is how the teams went in at half time.
Second half and those defensive problems continued but we slowly start to get a foot into the game. Ben Watson and Chris McCann starting to get more involved allowed us more concentrated possession in the Rotherham half. This led to getting the ball wide and crosses into the box. There was though no one in the box.
On came Oriol Riera and Marc Antoine Fortune as we went 4-4-2, finally! That started to create more pressure and we pulled level as Ben Watson headed home from a corner. Right get your foot on the ball and be solid lads.
Well a foul in our half, a Rotherham cross into the box and it was 2-1. The foul was curious, the cross a good one, the keeping poor, yet the Rotherham finish worth of a goal as 3 year old Alex Revell got their second. The ball itself was in the 6-yard area, which is where you are shouting for your keeper to come out and collect the ball. Carson was glued to his line.
Chances came in the second half as we finally found a second gear. Oriol Riera hitting the cross bar and the putting the ball on a plate for Marc Antoine Foturne 8 yards out; Fortune smashed the ball high and wide over the goal. Riera made a difference though a player who can play in the final third and can create something. In the long run his return can only be good news.
The break down from the game as to be poor defensive line up, not much going forward unless you use a striker. Comes down to two things for me, Mackay doesn't seem to know what he is doing, and the players have a completely and utter lack of confidence.
Boxing Day we have to hope will give us better news.