THE longer I have to reflect on Friday’s draw with Cardiff the more I see it as two points dropped.
Yes it was pleasing to get the season under way without defeat, Tom Cairney’s goal was a cracker and we showed good character in coming back from behind.
But with 65 per cent of the possession and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s apparent glee at escaping with a point, perhaps we could have gone for more.
We had almost total domination of the second half and yet Gary Bowyer chose not to gamble by bringing on an attacking player to push on for the win.
It would appear he was more than happy to settle for the draw, but in a season where every point is crucial if we are to push for a place in the top six, I hope we don’t come to regret missing out on a maximum on day one.
The continuation of Cairney playing on the right wing meant he spent the entire game cutting inside, with most of our play down the right going through Baptiste, who looked average at best during his 45 minutes at right back.
For me, we would be much better off with Cairney inside, Lowe at right back and either Ben Marshall or Josh King on the right wing.
The main cause for concern at the moment is in defence, where we appear to be desperately short of bodies.
Michael Keane’s looks set to link back up with Solskjaer at Cardiff and that would be a blow as he was excellent for Rovers last season.
Bowyer needs to find a couple of solid players from the loan or free transfer market to give us some solidarity at the back, and he needs backing from the owners to do that.
Blackpool on Saturday is an ideal opportunity to pick up our first win of the season so perhaps the over-cautious approach will be ditched.
This week represents a real opportunity to get the season into full swing, starting with tonight’s cup game against Scunthorpe.
Although we mustn’t under-estimate our opponents, if we remain focused it should be straight forward enough and would provide the ideal boost heading into Saturday’s derby at Bloomfield Road.
We are now 13 games unbeaten in the league and have started the season on a positive note, despite not winning Friday’s game.
Now is the time to push on and make this season a truly memorable one.