An impressive first half on the road wasn’t enough for any points for the Imps, they’ll be looking to bounce back at home in a very winnable game against Crewe. Here are some things to look out for:
1) A response
Danny and Nicky won’t be at all happy to have come away empty-handed after a dominant first-half display. One of the hallmarks of our teams under the duo have been their strength in the second half. Last season, 59% of our goals came after the break and the figure so far this campaign is 62%.
Tuesday really bucked the trend, part of that is down to a very spirited and impressive fightback from Rovers but the managers will still no doubt be disappointed. I suspect we might see changes as a response and due to the situation of a home tie against a team we should be confident of beating.
2) Matt Green
Matt didn’t have the impact he’d have wanted coming off the bench midweek. He had a couple of sniffs but couldn’t convert and was unable to turn the tide of the game which had turned firmly in favour of the hosts. In his defence, he’s lacking match sharpness and we were hardly on fire as a team by that point. Green’s record of 3 goals scored and 2 created in just 468 minutes is impressive and he’ll be frustrated to have only featured in 34% of the action so far after being so integral last season.
The problem recently is how do you fit him into a system that keeps winning. However, Tuesday’s setback may prompt a reshuffle and a chance for our number 9 to come in alongside Akinde – something many have called for. One way to do this would be to move the impressive Shay McCartan out wide as his performances of late certainly don’t merit being rotated out of the side. He, as well as Akinde, was unlucky not to score and he has the guile and movement to unlock defences that we lacked at times last season.
3) The visitors (All Crewe stats are League Two only)
Going off the stats, Crewe are a strange side. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is that they’ve both won and lost 6-0 already this campaign (thumped at Colchester and thrashing Morecambe at home). Despite the early drubbing, Crewe’s goals against record looks okay at a glance. They’ve only let in 11 in 10 and kept clean sheets in 50% of games – joint most in the division. However, when you dig a little deeper you notice some definite patterns. These relatively impressive numbers (for a team in 17th) are propped up almost entirely by their home form. Their 7th in the home table and have conceded only once at Gresty Road. On their travels the story is very different, they’re bottom of the away table and have only scored 1 and shipped 10. They’ve only managed to gain 1 point, drawing with fellow strugglers Cheltenham.
Another strange stat for our visitors at the weekend is that in 1 of their 10 games have both teams scored – 10% being the lowest propensity by a long way in the division (next lowest is Stevenage with 27%. This is mostly due to the fact that they’ve failed to score in 60% of their games – not surprisingly the worst in the division. Finally, they’ve won every first game of the month but no others; fortunately, they’ve got October’s win out of their system already.