Tony Cottee: We should have beaten Blackburn

Blackburn do well against teams in the lower half of the table and considering the chances they had in the second half, we were lucky to leave with a point on Saturday,"" says Tony Cottee

Blackburn do well against teams in the lower half of the table and considering the chances they had in the second half, we were lucky to leave with a point on Saturday.

I know a lot of people would have expected us to win the game, me included, but I reiterate what I said last week in that the most important thing is we didn't lose.

To put it lightly it was not the best game in the world and even the highlights on Match of the Day were pretty dull, but the most worrying thing about it is the lack of chances we created throughout the 90 minutes.

Valon Behrami and Jack Collison are not really creative workers and are box-to-box midfielders, while Kovac is a defensive midfielder.

Kovac has got better and has improved a lot from last season and it is important we get the balance of ball-winners, creative players and workers into the midfield.

The likes of Alessandro Diamanti, Mark Noble and Scott Parker need to create that spark and ingenuity which was missing on Saturday.

Most Read

When Scott came on he did give us a bit of drive and he does give a lot to the team, but I would still expect him to be more of a holding player.

Noble is probably our most creative player, but in the last two games he has been played as an anchor man in midfield, but personally I would like to see him push forward a lot more.

Frank Nouble was so isolated on Saturday and it would have been great if Mark could have been able to burst through and help him out a bit.

You have to look at the overall picture though and not be to reactionary. We did keep a clean sheet and once again we defended well.

Julien Faubert had one of his best games all season while Matt Upson was superb. James Tomkins made one mistake which Jason Roberts should have capitalised on, but apart from that he played very well and Jonathan Spector played really well at left back.

I thought a target of nine or 10 points from the Portsmouth game to the Hull match would be a good target for us to achieve and two out of those six games gone we have two points.

It is by no means a disaster and with a couple of wins from the next four we will not be too far away from the target.

Two wins will increase confidence on the pitch. We have not won two in a row yet this season and a back-to-back win would be a great springboard.

It will increase confidence both on the pitch and in the stands and put us in good stead to move up the league.

A win at Burnley would certainly help, but a draw would not be a bad result at all. Chelsea and Wigan are the only teams to have beaten them at Turf Moor this season and they are solid at home, so I would not by any means describe it as a must-win game and you don't have games like that until the last month into the season.

Chris Eagles is a very good technical player and very creative and we have to watch out for him and striker Steven Fletcher who is in great form.

He is big and strong in the box and a good finisher, so it is important we don't give him a sniff in front of goal.

Hopefully Carlton Cole will be able to start the game, maybe with Benni McCarthy and that partnership should get goals.

It's just whether the midfield can create the chances for them to do so.

You can never have too many strikers and although I was happy to see Ilan, Mido and Benni McCarthy join, I felt we needed to strengthen other areas as well.

We don't have a proper back up goalkeeper and all season we have had a youth team player on the bench.

I worry if something happens to Rob Green and I felt it was important to bring in an experienced second choice keeper.

We also have a shortage of full-backs and although Julien Faubert is improving and played well on Saturday we need more competition for places out there.

We have only been playing one up front in the last few games and hopefully with these signings and the return from injury of Carlton Cole and Guillermo Franco we won't see a lone striker again this season.

Don't get me wrong, when you are playing Manchester United at Old Trafford or Liverpool at Anfield I can understand it, but when we play a lone striker against Blackburn you are left scratching your head.

I know we have had injury problems, but we had strikers on the bench and having one up top really does limit your options.

It is so hard to be up there on your own, because you will have not one, but two defenders keeping an eye on you and its hard to create space for yourself and of course it's also frustrating trying to chase your own flick-ons.

If there are two of you it creates a headache for centre-backs because at times they might not be sure who to mark and of course, the strikers can work off each other and generally score more goals.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner