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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Gray could be central to Puel's Foxes strategy

Demarai Gray (left) impressed against Everton
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Five things we learned from the weekend

1 Gray may flourish under new boss
Claude Puel's first major decision was to hand a starting berth to Demarai Gray and the new Leicester manager was rewarded with a man-of-the-match performance.

Gray was quiet in the second half as Leicester sat back on their 2-0 advantage but the winger was devastating in the first period, playing a major role in Jamie Vardy's opener before being credited with the second goal.

There should be no doubting Gray's talent and now he may have a manager who is prepared to give him opportunities from the off rather than cameos from the bench.


Mick McCarthy was a target for Ipswich fans
2 There's a toxic atmosphere at Ipswich
Normally a late victory on the road is cause for celebration but Bersant Celina's fantastic free-kick winner at Burton only seemed to drive a bigger wedge between the supporters and manager Mick McCarthy.

Celina, a talented playmaker on loan from Manchester City, has barely been used by McCarthy despite his obvious ability and the travelling Tractor Boys spent most of the second half calling for the Kosovan to be introduced, something the manager finally did with six minutes remaining.

McCarthy was taunted throughout by the Ipswich fans and the manager responded with a foul-mouthed post-match tirade which suggests the club are set for an uncomfortable ride before his contract is up at the end of the season.

Ipswich’s advantage in home fixtures – starting with Preston on Saturday – could be non-existent given how much the fans dislike McCarthy and the feeling seems to be mutual.


3 Positivity from Gillingham paying dividends
Caretaker coach Steve Lovell has said he wants Gillingham to concentrate on what his players do well rather than be overly concerned by the opposition and the approach is paying dividends.

Saturday's excellent 3-1 win at Rotherham was the third time in four matches that Gillingham have taken a positive result under Lovell, during which time they have also triumphed at Peterborough and held Wigan to a 1-1 draw.

Six goals have been scored in those four matches which is as many as the club had managed in their opening 12 league games before Lovell took over.


4 Wimbledon no nearer to solving goal crisis
While Gillingham have found a path to goal the same cannot be said for AFC Wimbledon, who have scored only nine times in Sky Bet League One this season and failed to register a shot on target in the 1-0 loss at Charlton on Saturday.

A trip to The Valley was always going to be a tough encounter given the difference in budgets but even so Neal Ardley's men have scored only three goals in eight away league games this season.

Ardley has the Wombles set up to defend excellently but that leaves Lyle Taylor isolated as the lone forward and they will need to find more attacking intent having failed to score in six of their last eight third-tier matches.  


5 Rangers happier without Caixinha
It possibly does not reflect well on the Rangers dressing-room that many of the players were not even open to the ideas of manager Pedro Caixinha and Kenny Miller was reported to have been behind a Scottish-led mutiny.

However, the manager rarely wins the battle in situations like that and the Gers, at least in the short term, could be a happier ship judging by their 3-1 win against Hearts at Murrayfield.

The returning Miller, who has been absent from the last six fixtures, scored twice and made the other after being made captain by caretaker boss Graeme Murty.

 


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Ipswich’s advantage in home fixtures could be non-existent given how much the fans dislike McCarthy and the feeling seems to be mutual
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