Thursday, 5 May 2016

Be The Boss - James Fowler

Lee Clark made some big calls last week in his starting line up with Faubert and Higgingbotham dropping down to the bench and Slater and Magennis coming in to start. Both starters played key roles in the 4-0 victory and I felt the manager was spot on with his changes and tactics. Starting with a high tempo and playing on the front foot helped to get a fully deserved early lead, this set them up to be able to manage the match and play on the counter with the pace of Magennis, Kiltie and McKenzie causing Hamilton problems every time Killie attacked.

It was especially pleasing to see six players who have worked with Alan Robertson now appearing in the starting line-up.

Partick Thistle will have a similar style of play to Hamilton, they will try to dominate possession and pass through the thirds but I feel they have better players in the attacking third than Hamilton so it's going to take another solid display defensively from the team to keep a clean sheet. With the 4 attackers I have selected plus Slater hopefully they will create and score the opportunities to win the game and collect the vitally important 3 points.

Formation 4 -2-3-1

GK: Jamie MacDonald
Conor Brennan can feel a tad unlucky missing out after an assured performance and clean sheet last week but I feel Jamie MacDonald has been Killie's Player of the Season, experienced and consistently a high performer so he starts in goal.

RB: Mark O'Hara 
Mark's still only 19 as seems like he has been around the 1st team for ages. Still learning the game and has been shuffled around positions but has all the attributes to be a top player. Right back is probably his least favourite position (I know the feeling) but he’s a real team player and will give his all where ever he is asked to play.

LB: Lee Hodson 
A full back who can play either side, he will have Lawless’ trickery and Amoo’s pace to deal in the wide areas on Saturday but from what I have seen of him he will up to matching them and also supporting the Killie attack with his forward runs.

CB: Conrad Balatoni
It shows how much the manager rates him when he started against Hamilton after making a couple of mistakes against Inverness. He’s a footballing centre back who does look to play but its important he does that at he right times as Killie cannot afford to be giving away any cheap goals at this crucial time of the season. Showed great self belief to bounce back against Hamilton with a solid performance to help his team to a clean sheet and 3 points.

CB: Miles Addison
I was very impressed with Miles, clearly a man mountain and a physical presence in both boxes - he also looks like a defender that enjoys keeping clean sheets. Was a leader with his talking and organisation on the pitch, will need to be wary of Doolan's clever movement and close control to gain another clean sheet.

DCM: Gary Dicker
Another player who impressed me last week, did the ‘dirty’ side of the game very well and kept his game simple and broke up Hamilton attacks time and time again to win the ball back for his teammates. He positioned himself well to allow Slater more freedom in his play who in turn was crucial in setting up Killie attacks.

CM: Craig Slater 
A good foil for his midfield partner, likes to get on the ball and start attacks. Has a great range of passing and excellent delivery from set plays which can be vital when games are close and he is going to be a key player for the remaining games.

3 Supporting Attackers

Josh Magennis 
With his pace and power is a real handful for any defender, although he will play wide he has the desire to get in the box to become a second striker as showed last week with a cross from the left hand side and him getting in at the back post.

Greg Kiltie
A player who I have coached and managed and has a very bright future in the game. What he lacks in stature he more than makes up with his technical ability; tactically he is really strong in the types of runs he makes and where to receive in space and clearly understands the game. Like all creative players wants to play ‘no10’ but on the left he can drift inside onto his stronger side and score goals.

Rory McKenzie
A real team player who I’m sure would prefer to be playing as a main striker, but he makes great forward runs from a deeper position that can be hard to pick up for opposition defenders. Has a real determination to win and always gives 100%. His energy and work rate creates space and opportunities for teammates but he can also score goals.

These 3 players will provide good support to the main striker as they are quick and move well with the ball for counter attack opportunities, comfortable when they rotate and find themselves wide or central and will also do an excellent job defensively for the team.

ST:  Kris Boyd
Led by example last week wearing the captain's armband he was applauding the excellent travelling away support before the game to talking and organising others while defending set plays to keep Hamilton out. To achieve anything in football you need goals in your team and that’s what Boydie has and always will bring but it was his leadership on the pitch that really impressed me last week. It’s going to take all players maximum effort to win on Saturday and that begins from the front with Boydie and the other attackers.

Hopefully a big crowd and a vocal support backing the team to 3 more crucial points.


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