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Men of the Match: Henry and Pratley: Bristol City 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

They did basically the same thing and they offered some much needed bite in the process. 

Bristol City v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Karl Henry and Darren Pratley both put in the kind of midfield performance we have been crying out for. They ran around breaking up the attack to good affect against a high scoring, and currently highflying, Bristol City side.

Bolton Wanderers have been crying out for that kind of impact of late while being walked all over.

It felt wrong to try and break these two up, in no small part because it was often hard to tell them apart on the pitch and they were operating in the same way. Someone commented to me how Pratley was everywhere, little did they realise that it wasn’t always Pratley.

Queens Park Rangers v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship
Henry in his QPR days fighting with Pratley for the ball
Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

The midfield performance they put in should be a blue print going forward. In my view two more defensive players shielding the defence is the most effective way of keeping a team out. We need better link in play with those further forward, but hopefully that can be worked on, and in any even we can deal with one problem at a time.

With Pratley that was probably the best performance I have seen him put in in a Bolton shirt. I am one of the many who are quick to get on his back and criticise, and I would say quite rightly. But credit has to be given where it is due and he showed against City that he can be an asset this season as we, hopefully, put up a fight. This simply though cannot be allowed to be another false dawn.

Henry is one where we all know what his main skill set is. We have been lacking someone who will really break up play in our midfield this season. The loss of Jay Spearing probably has a lot to do with that. Although we didn’t necessarily need Spearing back, we did need someone of that type, and maybe now we have that.