Sunday, September 25, 2011

Is anyone fit?: City 0-0 Leicester

After the excitement of the Carling Cup match between these two sides in midweek, or rather the penalty shoot-out which City won 7-6, the match being a pretty dull affair for the most part, two very different looking sides took to the pitch this afternoon.

Malky started with the same 4-5-1 formation that did so well against Blackpool last week, whilst Sven kept only Matt Mills from the Foxes starting XI in midweek.

The first 20 minutes was a pretty turgid affair, our midfield nullifying theirs, and I can't remember us actually getting into their box in that time. But then Conway took a tumble and looked like he'd done his ankle, and limped off to be replaced by Earnie. Straight away we looked more potent, but our change in formation with Miller pushed wide right also opened it up for Leicester. There weres some efforts from both sides before Earnie cleared one of the line (so that's why he stays back at corners), but on 41 minutes, the sub was subbed as Earnie got injured. On came fans favourite Rudy Gestede. Though raw, he works hard and looks to have bags of potential. 0-0 at half time.

When the teams came out for the second period, City had made another enforced change with Darcy Blake coming on for skipper Hudson. I admit I was worrying now. Three players injured, and no subs left by the start of the second half.

City though looked the better side in the second period, and challenged for long periods without ever really forcing Schmiechel into a save. Kevin McNaughton looks more attacking this season, and though his final ball is often poor, he is clearly creating, and on one occasion squared a ball that Gestede really should have put away. Whitts had a couple of free kicks but didn't force a save. With Leicester finishing the stronger in the last 10 minutes, only some last ditch tackling kept a clean sheet, but which time Gestede was hobbling on one leg, and at the final whistle McNaughton was off the field with blood pouring from his face.

So a hard earned point, with not a lot of quality about the game. Malky's immediate concern will be finding 11 fit players for Wednesday's showdown with League leaders Southampton. In the last week we've lost Taylor, and McPhail and now there must be doubts about Conway, Earnshaw, Hudson and Gestede. With Parkin at loan at Doncaster, the cupboard is beginning to look pretty bare for the City manager especially with Miller continuing to look out of touch.

Up the City.

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