Pedro Caixinha needs to make changes quicker
Alright, it’s not quite Warburton levels of dithering, but for a man who made THAT triple sub so early in his reign, it’s a surprise to see Caixinha taking too long to make the necessary changes. All three were the right ones, which is a positive and something that hasn’t always been true this season, but they needed to be made a good 5 or 10 minutes earlier than they were.
We panic too easily
It’s nice to have a plan B, but we seem far too keen to bring Herrera on and play hoofball. We’re not very good at it and it gifts the opposition possession - it would be nice to see us capable of keeping it on the park to settle games down a bit. We revert to direct football when we’re under pressure and all it seems to achieve is the opposite effect of calming things down. Stop it.
We’re starting to see who our key players are
Alfredo Morelos is a natural goalscorer, Daniel Candeias is both disciplined and creative, Ryan Jack controls midfields, James Tavernier is still a hugely productive attacking force (and defensively-improved, too.) Outside of the obvious duo of Bruno Alves and Wes Foderingham, these are the players we should pray stay fit all season, because we’re going to seriously struggle without them.
Kranjcar should not be starting games
Kranjcar could still have a place in this team, and it’s most likely in the latter stages when the game has opened up a bit and the pace has dropped. It’s not starting an away game against a tough team of hammer-throwers. Use him responsibly or not at all.
We shouldn’t overreact to a dodgy half hour
Yes, the game should’ve been put to bed a lot more comfortably, but ultimately we picked up a well-deserved 3-1 win away against a side that cause a lot of problems at home. The scoreline makes it look like a comfortable victory and it sort of was - County didn’t exactly have a lot of chances, they just managed to get the ball in a lot of dangerous positions, and it’s hard to criticise any of the defence for the goal - a swift break, perfect cross and unsaveable header.
We are at risk of letting teams back into things, particularly if we insist on turning to kick and rush whenever things are getting feisty, but we shouldn’t look too much into things. We came, we played well, we deserved to win, and we did.