And while our home form looks good, we’ve suffered a few stutters in the last few games, so Chris Hughton will undoubtedly be looking to buck the recent trend and get back to winning ways. In order to do that, we’re going to have to start scoring goals, and preferably not at the death to rescue a point.
Hughton has some difficult decisions to make, with a number of options upfront and the obvious decision to be made whether to go with a 4-4-2 at home. Having come on and created Carroll’s late equaliser, Leon Best has given Hughton food for thought, who said of Best’s performances:
“You always want substitutes to have an impact and Leon has done that”
And when you considered he will be up against his former side and Hughton will feel like there is something to prove having brought him in, we shouldn’t be surprised to see him partner Carroll. Best got a bit of stick from the Coventry fans before he left, and no doubt he’ll have something to prove. Speaking about the impact he had when coming on against Swansea he told the official site:
“When you look at that match it was a point gained. We’re top of the league now.”
“I was pleased to make a contribution. Whether I’m on the bench or starting I want to be part of it and part of a winning team.”
“To come on and set Andy up is a pleasure. I enjoy it just as much as a goal. We need to do that more, we need to get balls in the box and let Andy feed off them. We’ve got strikers who can score goals.”
“I was here a couple of weeks ago with Coventry and they just passed us off the park. We got a draw and were happy with that. In a way it’s kind of the same feeling. We fought back and got the point, so it’s a positive in the end.”
“It’s a tough place to come because they’ve got good players who keep the ball and work you. They make you tired chasing the ball.
“We want to win every game. We want to win the league and we will win the league. But when you come to places like this, you’ve got to look at a point as a good result.”
Nile Ranger seems destined to spend the season primarily on the bench, while Lovenkrands struggled to make any impact in the game against Swansea, having been largely starved of the ball for long periods. Shola may be fit in time but would be likely to start on the bench if involved at all. And athough he had an otherwise poor game on Saturday, the fact that Carroll’s goal will be fresh in the mind and that Hughton appears happy with his overall contribution this season, should ensure that he starts.
I know who I’d like to see upfront but then I’m not picking the side, and frankly as long as someone is putting the ball in the back of the net, I’m not that fussed. But in order to score goals, strikers need chances and I guess as most us are acutely, therein lies the real problem. But is it simply that the forwards aren’t getting the chances, or is it about the midfield and forwards not working together effectively?