So tonight we’re in Riga, and on paper this should be a straightforward enough tie. Unfortunately, football isn’t played on paper.
If we’re going to go through we need to be on our toes. We need to work hard and we need to concentrate.
Getting over the line tonight is everything. We don’t need to be brilliant, although it would be nice to see brilliance and it would raise morale.
In the end though, we just need to win. Going out tonight is unthinkable. Going out in the next round is unthinkable.
So tonight we’ll settle for a battling display which gets the job done. We’ll settle for the worst goal ever scored to win the game and see us into the next round. We’ve had our early season dose of European trauma already and it’s enough for one campaign.
Lennon will have most of the first team squad available tonight, including Edouard. There really is no excuse for not winning this one. Comfortably would be nice; get the job done early and then rest certain key players for the weekend.
There are a couple of people I’d like to see start nevertheless.
Why not go with a midfield including Soro and Turnbull?
Why not play Klimala up front?
These guys have to get starts eventually, or we’re just paying them to sit around doing nothing.
If Soro, in particular, isn’t capable of playing against a team like this then we’ve wasted money on him, haven’t we? Get him in the team tonight and let’s see what he’s got.
This should represent no risk at all. This doesn’t underestimate the opposition one bit. These are members of the first team squad and we should be seeing a lot more of them than we are. Drop Scott Brown, play the Ivorian and we’ll find out if we’ve got a player here.
Lennon should be willing to rotate; this game should be winnable regardless.
But above all else it has to be won. That is non-negotiable.
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