Date: 24th October 2016 at 10:03am
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We look at some of the main talking points from the victory over Rotherham, including Liam Kelly, Dominic Samuel and penalty takers…

Starting XI – There were two changes from the defeat to Villa, one wasn’t a shock, the other was. Tyler Blackett made way for Jordan Obita at left-back, which is the rotation we expected at some point. However, the biggest shock was academy graduate Liam Kelly coming into defensive midfield for George Evans, who I thought had a solid game on Tuesday night. A brave move by Stam, but he visibly regretted.

Liam Kelly substitution – After the jubilation of starting his first Championship game, Stam opted to bring it to an abrupt end just 25 minutes in, as he replaced the young midfielder with Paul McShane in a tactical decision. While Kelly wasn’t having a poor game, he was a victim of Rotherham’s direct approach with Halford’s long throws – his 5’6 frame didn’t make it the game for him. You can see both sides, bur irrespective of whether it is an academy lad, he has to be treated the same as a seasoned pro. I am surprised though that Stam didn’t expect this approach from Rotherham before the game, but he rectified it and it appeared to be the right call in hindsight. For Kelly, he will without doubt bounce back – a quality player who has a big future at this club.

Another penalty miss… – Our penalty which was awarded on Saturday was our seventh in 14 games, not a bad record, especially when you consider we only won six spot kicks last season. Danny Williams, who missed the penalty on Tuesday night, said there was no designated penalty taker and it was down to who felt up for it on the day. McCleary stepped up against the Millers for the fourth time this season, but was denied by Lee Camp. McCleary also missed against Barnsley, despite scoring the rebound, which means he has converted 2 out of 4 this season – not a great record. Williams has scored 1 out of 2, while Kermorgant has scored his only spot kick away at Brentford. Should we have a designated taker? I don’t think so, especially if there isn’t a stand out taker for them. I’m surprised Kermorgant hasn’t stepped forward more, but three missed penalties out of seven does need to be addressed by Stam on the training ground.

Dominic Samuel – This has been one of the talking points for a couple of weeks now, but what does young Dominic Samuel need to do to get some minutes out on the pitch. An injury to Joseph Mendes means the academy forward has been promoted to the bench, but is yet to appear from the bench in the last three games. Don’t get me wrong, I think Kermorgant is a better option to have, but when we’re chasing a goal and well on top, why not take a risk and bring him on? It’s clear Stam is still not sure about his capabilities, so another loan spell could be beneficial once Mendes and Rakels return from the treatment table.

In the race for the play-offs? – The win takes us into eighth position and just one point of the play offs with nearly a third of the season gone. I think a large majority of us would have taken that start, considering the new system that is being implemented. I would still be surprised if we did make the top six come the end of the season, but there is enough reason to be optimistic at the moment.