Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Scunny?

High-flying Scunthorpe come to the Valley for the second time this season on Saturday. They should be buoyed by a repeat of the decent following they brought in the F A Cup, although they will be expecting a better result. The Scunthorpe following could be important to Katrien Meire's management of the published gate as she is likely to have to be at her creative best. 

Many protesting fans broke their boycott to attend the Millwall derby in the vain hope of being able to say they had witnessed a Charlton victory over our nearest and dearest. What they saw wasn't nearly as woeful as the MK Dons or Peterborough home games under Karl Robinson but it wasn't nearly enough to have many venturing back again so soon. We were much better in the second-half of the Bristol Rovers game under Robinson but the first half-an-hour was also dire.  

Indeed, de cloob are advertising hospitality meal packages starting at £20 which looks pretty desperate good value, although being designated a 'silver' game, the match ticket doesn't promise the same sort of value. I hope I am wrong but I suspect we may not be able to emulate the 3-1 Cup win. 

The loss of Josh Magennis for a month suddenly exposes our relative striking weaknesses. The timing of veiled comments by Karl Robinson about letting Ajose go, was, with hindsight, unfortunate. Ajose has struggled to impose himself in games and our formations haven't suited him. He has actually notched seven goals but if you had watched his games without the goals, you might be forgiven for thinking he might have only scored a couple. 

Lee Novak should be fit to resume action but he looks short of what's needed to lead the line and is probably best played alongside an out-and-out striker. Then we are looking at Ahearne-Grant and Hanlan, two more youth products. Karlan was sent off in a reserve game this week so may be ineligible anyway and he has yet to find any real first team form - only one goal I think. Brandon Hanlan is even less experienced than Aherne-Grant and has yet to score for the first team in a dozen or so appearances, albeit mainly from the bench. I am left wondering if Robinson is pushing the case to bring someone else in, or has he already been told he's got to operate with what he has? Making-do might also suit Roland Duchatelet who may have the added bonus of seeing another youth product get more time in the shop window.

If we are to get any sort of result, Ricky Holmes will have to feature strongly and play much better than he did when he came on against the Lions. We need a couple of results if we are to stay in touch with would-be play-off contenders. I will see how I feel nearer the time but I'm not motivated at the moment to bother with this one.

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