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In The Cold Light Of Day: Principled victory over Dallas

Back to winning ways and back to keeping clean sheets. This is how we imagined the Rennie revolution!

Seriously though, it was good to put an end to the two game losing streak that the Caps have been on before the malaise set in. As one of the players commented post-game, losing can become contagious.

Still a lot of work to do. The midfield still isn't commanding and the defence badly needs Rochat back in there, but this is a season of progress. We can only keep getting better and now have a fantastic base to springboard phase two of the campaign.

Up to third in the West, fourth overall, and five points behind the leaders. Every point really is going to be vital, as you look at the bunching pack below waiting to pounce on any team slipping.
Constant pressure, but you do get the feeling that this team will thrive in such situations.

For a lot of the game, we seemed content to just let Dallas control the game and try and break us down. Hard to knock it as not only did it work, but you just didn't get the feeling that the Texans were going to do any damage, despite dominating possession in both halfs.

That's the difference between last season and the team that Rennie has built. Last year, we'd have folded like a Chinese laundry in those closing moments and given up at least one goal through defensive slackness.

Instead that laundry is churning out fold-free clean sheets and last night was the fifth in the seven games so far.

A big difference between last night and Wednesday was having Jun Marques Davidson back in there. There were a few times, especially in the first half, when Jay DeMerit and Jordan Harvey were caught out of position through some rash tackles, but there was no danger as Davidson was back there covering. We seriously missed that against San Jose.

Harvey played better than Wednesday, but once we get Rochat back, our full backs are going to be amongst the best in the League.

What can you say about Young-Pyo Lee that hasn't already been said? It's getting harder and harder to find superlatives to describe the Korean. He's a beast out there, in defence and in attack. Can we clone him? Finding that technology should be John Furlong's first task as executive chair.

Rennie commented post-game that he was interested to see how Lee would cope with the pacey Brek Shea. Amazingly well as it turned out. So much so that Dallas moved Shea to the other wing towards the end of the game. Lee had one uncharacteristic slip midway through the second half, when he gave Shea too much room at a cross, but Cannon was fully up to the task of keeping him out.

Rennie rang the chances, four of them from Wednesday, and they all seemed to work. He acknowledged post game that you make the changes, they work and you seem like a genius. They don't work and you seem like a clueless clown (I'm paraphrasing!). Them's the fine lines in football.

Last night it worked, in so much as we got the result, but there was a distinctive lack of bite and spark at times.

The midfield is very workmanlike, but always seem to be a bit under the radar. They get the job done, without ever seeming to stand out and shine. That's not necessarily a fault, you just find yourself not noticing them on occasions. Unspectacular is the word I'm looking for, I guess.

Matt Watson came in and gave a good account of himself, more so when playing in a more attacking role towards the end. Gershon Koffie did well, but looks a little lost at times without a more experienced player beside him. He will really start to flourish once Barry Robson is in there with him, and I look forward to seeing that.

There was one point in the first half when a Dallas defender fell down in front of him. Gershon stood there and didn't move the ball for several seconds, allowing the guy to get back up again and stand in front of him. It's those kind of situation that he needs a Robson or Vagenas type figure to bark at him what the options are, although he should know to be fair.

Omar Salgado did well in his first start of the season. He showed enough glimpses on the left during the game to show that we may have found the perfect role for him in the squad, but he's still a work in progress. Getting the start will do his confidence no end of good though.

Sebastien Le Toux was reduced to playing a very deep role last night and it didn't work for him. We negated pretty much all of his attacking threat. He was playing the role that Eric Hassli has been undertaking these last few games, but he didn't produce what Eric does in that situation.

He needs to be playing up top, but I'm not sure how well a Le Toux-Camilo partnership works.

It was great to have the wee Brazilian back in the team and he was clearly 'Man of the Match'. His goal was a peach and he caused a lot of problems for the Dallas defence.

He is still far too focussed on doing it all himself. I don't want to say selfish, but it's borderline.

He seems to work best up there on his own, which is why I'm not sure how he and Le Toux will gel.

There were a few occasions last night when if only Camilo had looked up, he would have seen the perfect pass to someone like Salgado, but decided to put his head down and plough through. It worked for the goal, but that was only one chance of many that reaped the rewards.

Overall, it was a great all round team effort. There were no slackers and everyone pulled their weight. That's pretty much what you want and expect from your team every week.

It may be the kick up the ass some of the more experienced players need. Once we have a full and healthy squad ready to go, the competition for places is going to be immense and that can surely only be good in raising the team to the next level that they need to be at to properly compete.

'Mon the Caps.

<b>AFTN 3-2-1 :</b>

3 points - CAMILO SANVEZZO (Ran the show up front and looked dangerous throughout. Need to be less selfish to fully benefit the team)

2 points - YOUNG-PYO LEE (Once again, a beast. Both at the back and going forward. He has an engine to envy)

1 point - JUN MARQUES DAVIDSON (Made a huge difference to plugging some holes at the back)