Substitutions: Making an Impact

On paper we appeared to have strength in depth. I also thought…perhaps we might even be blessed with the ‘strongest’ Town squad for some years. So why hasn’t this manifested itself into an onfield advantage, leaving us winless after 5 league games?

So far on the bench this season we’ve seen Amankwaah, Ball, Caddis, Dossevi, Ferry, Jean-Francois, Jesionkowski, Morrison, Prutton, Sheehan, Smith, Thompson and Timlin all keeping the seats warm at some point.

I’ve been taking an in-depth look at whether each substitution has had a neutral, negative or positive impact on the final result in the previous 5 league games.

Of Wilson’s 14 substitutions so far 50% have been neutral, 35.71% negative and only 14.29% having a positive impact on our performances.

Those positive subs were the introduction of Dossevi and Pericard in the 61th minute against Hartlepool to put 2 upfront and Dossevi on the right, when we came from 2 behind to draw. That is it!

So why aren’t Wilson’s substitutions having a greater positive impact?

Interestingly… all but 2 of the substitutions have occurred between half time and 75 minutes. Wilson notices changes are needed so at least we must give him some credit for trying to put it right, i.e. Rose against Brentford.

However, this could equally imply more serious failings in a choice of tactics from the off or by failing to take the opportunity to make a significant change at half time.

This is best demonstrated by the 57.14% of goals we’ve conceded in the opening 30 minutes and none scored so far from Town in that period.

Evidently we’ve been found out early on in games, so something isn’t right in how we’ve been lining up. Whether that is down to insufficient scouting of the opposition, failing to make early chances pay, or just because the opposition is better than us, I don’t know although most likely all three.

How will this all translate against Southampton on Saturday…

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