Stephan Roux returns from an international break spent eating strawberries and drinking prosecco to proffer his thoughts on Town's 1-1 home draw with Birmingham. Read on to find out why Steph is backing Steve Mounie in the polls and whose ghost he thinks is haunting the Terriers training ground...
2pm Saturday and the usual notification that town have released their team sheet come through to my phone. Scrolling through the names of the first XI and I begin scratching my head, how the bloody hell does this work? Only two recognised defenders on the team sheet? And one of those making his first league start of the season, this could be a long afternoon. Maybe three at the back with Trev? I don't think any of us would've picked Bacuna and O'Brien as the fullbacks but so it was and in the Cowleys we trust.
As the game started it became clear that the game plan was essentially to go for it and keep Birmingham on the back foot and the pressure of a makeshift back four, and it seemed to be working.
The first half was one of the most dynamic and attacking halves of football Town have produced for years. When is the last time town had 7 shots on goal in 45 minutes?
Sadly the 3 on target went nowhere but into the hands of the Blues ‘keeper. Kachunga again missing a gift of a header to break the deadlock and double his tally for the season.
Kacha is one of my favourite humans let alone Town players, his desire, work ethic and willingness to give his all for the team is never in doubt, but his confidence and sharpness that made him towns top scorer in that wonderful 2016/17 season is sadly missing this term.
A second headed opportunity passed him by and with it the chance to close out the game and take the three points. Which leads me to what is an unpopular opinion here at TerrierBlog, Steve Mounie.
We've seen very little of Stevie the squirrel this year but in a couple of cameos in blue & white, he's looked much sharper than he did last season. His ability in the air is second to none (stats don't lie) and I for one am 100% certain he'd have put both those chances and the game to bed.
Now, he's never going to be a winger and his running is debatable but in an area, that Town are clearly lacking he has it all. With Pritchard and Grant in the front three, we’re missing around 3ft of height and an aerial specialist.
We have that on the bench in Stevie. The rumour is he wants away and will be sold in January but a couple of goals would reinvigorate him and raise the price we might get. Alongside Grant and Pritchard's running and inventiveness a few Beninese knock-downs could easily add to Towns tally. However, the Cowleys don't seem to have seen enough from him so I'll leave this here for now.
Second half and a great team goal by our very own Frazier Campbell and Town looked good for their lead. However, something seemed to drop or the goal riled Brum up, the lead never felt safe enough without a known backline. Cue another Kacha miss and it was time for the appearance of Siewert’s ghost.
A set-piece and a sloppy goal saw Town players screaming at each other led by a returning Jonathan Hogg (who picked up his customary booking early on) scenes we've not seen too much of under the Cowleys, but highlighting the woeful defending and drilling that Town had under Jan, definitely work to do on set-pieces at both ends of the pitch to irradicate these basic mistakes and take advantage of free kicks in the offensive third.
Talk after the game was that Diakhaby on as a substitute left Bacuna somewhat exposed, while true, I don't believe that cost us the two points rather it was Siewert’s legacy of poor set-pieces that allowed the Blues to draw level. A good performance from Town across the field with players out of position deserved more and but for those missed chances would've got it too.
Special mention for Prichard who kept the game going forward and ran his little Lego boots off by all accounts. Happy to have him back and looking forward to seeing more of his impact in the crowded Christmas fixture period.
Overall I'm okay with a point, disappointed that a sharp and forward-looking Town team didn't do better yes, but also this is a game we'd have lost and lost badly a few months ago and that is progress. Swansea awaits on Tuesday night so we can make recompense quickly with a decent performance against the Swans giving us the opportunity to pull further away from the bottom three and continue to look upwards.
It ain't cheap this blog business, ya know? It costs just under £300 to keep this site going every year, and that's before you factor in the cost of time in writing, running and maintaining the blog.
Now before you get out the world's tiniest little violin, consider this... You could help us out by donating the cost of a pint once a month, via our Patreon page... If throwing a couple of quid our way sounds like a good idea, you can check out how to by clicking HERE.