Date: 10th January 2017 at 9:48am
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We take a look at a few of the talking points following our defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup last week.

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While we defended passively, United were very good – You can’t escape the fact that we stood off United way too much in the opening exchanges, which saw us two goals down very early on. However, I’m not making excuses for us, but United looked very slick going forward and it was probably one of the toughest games we could have had. We went to Old Trafford against a team high on confidence with some outstanding attacking talent, probably more so than the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal. I can’t disagree with Stam wanting to sit off early to settle ourselves in, against other teams it may have worked, but United simply had too much.

There should be no shame as it was a no pressure game – We were very much humbled in the end and in the result, but we said before the game it was a no pressure tie, so there’s no need to panic. Yes, defensively we were a mess at times, but it was a learning curve for a young defence and midfield. There is no reason to be a loss of confidence in the squad, as this was always going to be a tough test.

Liam Kelly’s stock will continue to rise – One player who can walk away with his head held high is young Liam Kelly, who is growing in confidence game-by-game. The academy graduate did not look out of place amongst some of the world’s best players and it’s lucky that we have got him signed up to a new deal before the world got to see him.

Ilori deal is beginning to make sense – Injury to Paul McShane meant that Joey van den Berg had to deputise at centre back and while I prefer Joey there compared to centre midfield, it’s clear he is not a long-term option. The signing of Tiago Ilori is set to go through soon and it while it was questioned previously, it now makes more sense with McShane’s injury and that Cooper seems to be out of the fold at the moment.

We can now focus solely on the league – We’ve had two good cup runs in recent years, which is great, but our league form has gone in the opposite direction. This year, there will be no cup run, but will this help us? We were knocked out of the cup early in the 11/12 promotion season, so having the league as the sole priority could help our promotion chances. No more congested midweek fixtures, compared to some of our rivals who could be held back by it. Only time will tell.