Blackstock Rises to Challenge

I like many was worried that with the log term loss of Assombalonga, we would struggle for goals. In the two games since he got injured, we have scored 8.

Dexter Blackstock

One thing it has done is forced a change in playing style. Whereby we looked to play in behind, and got him running onto balls and scoring, the target is now Dexter Blackstock, and his game is entirely different.

Blackstock was a choice I worried about. Not always popular, because hes not a prolific striker he also has an injury ravaged past. What we needed was goals, and he has never provided them in abundance.

But what he can do is provide for others. And as we decried the lack of midfield goals (save for Antonio) we now have plenty flying in. Burke, Lansbury, Gardner & Osborne have all started chipping in with goals. Which is where we fell flat earlier in the season.

Now with balls up to Dexter being taken down and played off to another man, the midfield get to support attack and contribute more in the goals front.

I admit, this is largely based on the back of one game, and perhaps Fryatt will be in tomorrow night. Maybe Freedman assesses his requirements based on knowledge of the other side. He knew Bolton inside out and knew their game. Maybe that’s why Dexter got the nod.

But what I think it shows is an evolution of our game to a different style, more depth and clever to it. With Pearce it was get it up as quick as possible and for Britt to chase. It worked early on but was quickly found out.

Now its broader. We can play over the top and Antonio chase, we can play it up and support with hold up play from Dexter. Its allowed Burke to blossom.

All in all I'm possibly being premature. But I was so pleased to see the way we played adapting to a different way and idea of playing. Playing to a target man, rather than to a chasing striker was a major change. It worked however