Coventry City are missing David McGoldrick
A FAN with a significantly less rosy inclination than my own, sat a few rows behind me on Saturday, exclaimed that our season was over after the referee's whistle brought another disappointing home showing to a close.
Despite having endured the same frustrating 90 minutes, I was not quite ready to dismiss our playoff chances, although with games fast running out I can certainly understand the aforementioned fan's gloomy outlook.
As ever, Mark Robins was spot on with his post-match analysis; identifying the team's problems with a degree of brevity that was no-doubt induced by the performance he had just witnessed. I would disagree, however, with one of his observations.
Robins put our lack of goals down to inept finishing, however I would argue that the problem is in fact more deeply rooted, in that we are failing to create enough clear-cut chances in the first place.
Despite Leon Clarke's admirable pedigree, he can at times be vapid and unnoticeable. I would class him as a reliable finisher, but unlike the much loved David McGoldrick, he is unlikely to create a goal out of a half chance.
That is where I feel the problem lies. We have a striker who is unlikely to pass up any glorious opportunities, but when there's a distinct dearth of such chances he offers precious little. In our last two games we've enjoyed plenty of possession (not to mention corners and free kicks too), and perhaps if McGoldrick was still a Sky Blue we would have converted that possession into goals.
Countless times against both Crewe and Yeovil we relied on the hardworking Cyrus Christie and Blair Adams to play the final ball. These full-backs provide a tremendous outlet; gunning up and down their respective touchlines and always making space for themselves. However, I feel they're often making up for an overly defensive central midfield pairing, who, whilst breaking up play excellently, perhaps don't provide much attacking impetus.
A lethal striker on a hot run of form (read McGoldrick) can often negate this problem, but in the absence of such a figure we often struggle to break down the opposition's back four.
That said, I'm reluctant to appear overly negative, and hasten to add that two bad results don't mean we can put this season to bed. The fight for a playoff spot is intensifying further, and under Robins' stewardship we are more than capable of making another charge for sixth place.