You can probably guess, that I am not best pleased right now and that first-half "performance" didn't help. You really have to wonder what's going on in the dressing room and how Phil Parkinson goes about motivating his teams. We were abject at home yet again. Preston spent the first half probing for an opening on the flanks from which to feed Grizzly Parkin (has he put some weight on or what?). Our back four (Youga, Hudson, Ward and Butterfield) coped easily enough, although Youga was all over the place. Butterfield got a great last-ditch block tackle in after 25 minutes or Preston might have tested Rob Elliott seriously. Other than that they did little.
Trouble is, we did even less. A couple of lone Shelvey runs aside, there was nothing else to talk about. Ambrose, trying to earn a new contract, did nothing on the right flank to strengthen his case and him even starting matches now is annoying. He's on big wages, contributes very little and is surely to be released in the Summer. Why didn't Lloyd Sam start today? He will be relied on come August. Nicky Bailey had a quiet first half on the other flank but received very little from Youga to be fair. Racon struggled to impose himself on the midfield and his partner, Shelvey, spent a lot of the first half roaming for space. Zheng Zhi was playing in behind Kandol and he had a busy half without really playing with Kandol. I can't see ZZ playing in League One, so, again, why aren't we looking ahead and trying something else? Maybe Phil Parkinson is thinking solely of Number One and is so desperate to get a third win to improve his appalling record, that he's selfishly putting out the best side he can? Either way, they haven't been playing with any conviction for months and we've become accustomed to conceding goals and losing matches. It's high time someone intervened and told him that the game is up and we need to be planning for August, if not to put him out of his misery and finally give us some optimism of a change for the better.
It's an international weekend next weekend and then Southampton away, so we don't have to endure another dire performance until Birmingham City on 11th April. If we are not relegated at Southampton, we will probably get the opportunity to actually witness it at the Valley. That would be the final kick-in-the-teeth. Mrs Peeps has just come in and tells me that the second-half was just as bad as the first. A few late chances but the crowd go home disappointed yet again.