Saturday, 19 January 2019

Crunch time

An opening goal and an assist from Nicky Ajose this afternoon on his debut for Mansfield Town who continue to press for promotion from League Two. I am not complaining about letting him go out on loan given I don't think he's been good enough for us since we signed him. However, timing is important and his shift this week without cover has now left us exposed.

A late, late Karlan Grant penalty saved the day at the Valley against Accrington Stanley and keeps us in the hunt but it came after Lyle Taylor was red carded and means we now face a couple of testing away trips to Peterborough and Fleetwood without the talismanic hitman. Grant has been holding his end up all season but the folly of again running an unbalanced squad threatens to hurt us. Morgan Fairchild-Hackett is too inexperienced to expect to step-in and provide adequate cover so we really need to hope that Bowyer is given more financial support to get someone in next week. Arguably we need them until May in any event but failure to shore us up in the next two matches could prove very costly.

With Karlan Grant himself the subject of transfer speculation, you have to wonder if there are any more bumps in the road. I don't see any real threat of losing him to Rangers this season given who they already have and the recent addition of Jermaine Defoe, although he's an obvious pre-contract target. That is also the case for an alarming number of our other squad players and one or two have already made it clear they will be off - Patrick Bauer being the most notable. If an all-consuming takeover suddenly happens, this might not be a bad thing as it would give new owners a clean sheet if they had serious spending ambitions. However, you would like to think it would be a case of evolution and that we would really like to see the nucleus of the side kept together and strengthened rather than any wholesale changes.

The situation could quickly change with a number of players being signed up on new terms but you have to wonder what motivation, if any, Duchatelet has to do this, particularly if it's going to increase his running costs (which would seem inevitable) and if he still hasn't got line-of-sight to a sale that gets him off the hook. 

Meanwhile, illness prevented me from getting up to see Andy Holt at the White Swan pre-match as I was very much looking forward to hearing from the man voted the Best Football Club owner in England. He is someone who really understands the responsibility of owning a football club and the fact that the value of the club in its community is far more than the cost of its assets and debts. I am looking forward to the CAST report on what he had to share as I am sure it would have been illuminating and entertaining.

Meanwhile, the Wings also managed a 1-0 home win over Eastbourne Borough this afternoon at PVR and stay in play-off contention in National League South. 

1 comment:

  1. I've just seen Bowyers press conference and they are appealing the red card - As in his words, Taylor was on the floor and got his head trodden on - He also said their keeper shouldn't have been sent off. Being pedantic, Ajose played in the week also and was subbed after an hour as he was apparently awful! But I'm glad he done well today.


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