SussexBaggie speaks…QPR and Wigan
By Site Editor
Updated Wednesday, 7th December 2011
Tom Harper discusses Albion's point and the six-pointer this weekend
Last weekend saw us pick up a very respectable point against QPR, as a late equaliser from Shane Long ensured we left Loftus Road with a share of the spoils.
We were not at our best for long periods of the game, but picking up results away from home when the opposition have the better of the play is not a bad habit to get into and certainly bodes well for the rest of the season.
The important thing was to avoid defeat, as QPR have shown that they are capable of causing some of the best teams in the league problems at home this season and have also been able to pick up a couple of very good away results.
The player who, in my opinion, changed the game for us was Peter Odemwingie. The Nigerian striker replaced Jerome Thomas with 25 minutes remaining, and his pace stretched a tiring QPR defence every time he received the ball. It was his deflected cross which Long poked home at the far post, with our two best strikers appearing to show some signs of an understanding for the first time this season.
Once again, there were several players who put in solid performances and contributed to a reasonable away result. Steven Reid produced yet another faultless display at right-back, using the ball well and staying very strong defensively throughout the game.
Jonas Olsson was also solid at centre-back, being in the right place at the right time on numerous occasions to clear the ball from danger.
Long worked hard up front, but was not particularly well supported by Graham Dorrans. The Scottish midfielder did his best to get involved in the game, and the best way for him to continue improving is to give him a regular run in the side. However, after a much-improved performance from Odemwingie on Saturday, Dorrans might struggle to keep his place in the side.
As was the case last week though, my Man of the Match from Saturday was James Morrison. He really does seem to be returning to the form he was in before his injury, and was once again at the heart of all of our best moves. He has gone from being one of the weak links in our side to being arguably one of the first names on the team-sheet, so long may his recent form continue!
This weekend sees us take on Wigan Athletic at The Hawthorns, in a game which is incredibly important for both sides.
It seems as though the barrier in the Smethwick End has been moved along to accommodate more Albion fans, as is always the case when sides like Wigan with their small number of away supporters visit.
One of the big decisions which Roy Hodgson will have to make selection-wise is whether to hand Odemwingie a start after his impressive cameo on Saturday. Although it could see us revert back to the 4-4-2 formation which did not serve us particularly well last season, I definitely think Odemwingie should be back in the side and would be very interested to see how he links up with Long if they have been given the opportunity to work alongside each other in training.
It won't be an easy game against a side who will be desperate for the three points, but hopefully we can put in a good performance and get a positive result!
Do you think Roy should revert back to a 4-4-2 against Wigan? Have your say at Baggies Banter.