If I’m honest, I wasn’t really that impressed with the first half against Sheffield United, but I think the reason why is because we didn’t play quick enough. We’d get into good positions and then go backwards and not commit people, but the second half was much better as we dominated the game. I was happy for Moussa Dembélé to get on the scoresheet. Obviously he’d had a bit of a frustrating night, but the good thing is that he kept getting into positions to score goals, and I’m glad that he got off the mark.
Strikers are confidence players, so I was pleased Ross McCormack got two goals as well – hopefully that’ll kick-start his goals in the league campaign. He got off the mark with a good penalty and his second goal summed him up – a great feint to take it inside the defender and he smashed it in, so that will be a big boost to his confidence and hopefully he can go on a run of scoring goals now.
We had our first glimpse of Tim Ream on Tuesday and he had a solid debut. I was with Tim a little bit at Bolton when he first signed from New York Red Bulls. He’s a very good defender who gets touch-tight to his man, he’s got a nice left foot and he’s very comfortable on the ball, so he’ll be a great addition to the squad.
It’s nice to advance in the cup but attentions quickly turn back to league matters when we face Rotherham on Saturday. We’ve got to get into the habit of winning games consistently so we can build up that winning mentality. It will be a tough, tough fixture but it’s obviously good to go into that game having kept a clean sheet and scored three goals.
We’ve got to be looking at getting three points, but then again they’ll be looking at us and targeting a win as well. I think we need to go there and not concede any silly goals, be tight, hard to beat, and with the players we’ve got going forward, if they can start using their energy to commit people and get their passing in the final third that bit sharper, I’m sure we can go on to win the game.
Last week we suffered a massive blow with the news that Marcus Bettinelli and Matt Smith will be sidelined for a while. That’s the highs and lows of football, though, because Betts had just signed his new deal and then got his injury. I’m not too sure as to the extent of the damage, but we wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully he can get back as soon as possible.
For me, Matt started the season well, I thought he’s a massive threat. With Jamie O’Hara spraying balls around, Matt’s perfect for knocking those down for runners or even getting a header in at goal himself, but now there’s an opening for Moussa or Cauley Woodrow to make that striker’s spot their own. I’m a big Cauley fan – I think if he gets a good run in the team he’ll score goals. It’s a big season for him – obviously he came on in the last league game and scored a goal and got himself in good positions. So whether Kit will rotate now and put Cauley up there with Ross, we’ll have to wait and see. But both Moussa and Cauley will have their sights set on getting in that starting line-up and keeping that shirt, because it’s a big season for both of them.
Kit said after Tuesday’s game that he’s hoping to get another two or three new faces through the door. If I was in charge of transfers, I’d be looking at getting a left-back, a holding midfielder, and I’d like maybe to see a little bit of pace on the wing, because pace kills people. Tom Cairney’s come in and done a fantastic job, Ben Pringle put in some fantastic balls on Tuesday, but sometimes you just need that little bit of pace to stretch the opposition so we can play our nice football. If we could get two or three of those in it’d be good.