Sprout is back!!
Hi and welcome to another edition of something for the weekend. The past two weeks have been extremely busy for me and finding time and indeed some energy to sit down and write one of these have been short, but I`m back this week, so here goes.
Well after our upturn in results we have had a couple of set backs recently. Whilst we all hoped we could keep a run going a bit longer, we all knew that we were going to lose at some points and it is how we pick ourselves up from these results that really matter. Defeat against Northampton has left us just 3 points above the relegation zone and right now we are pretty much all matched up fixture wise, and a few goal differences are close. It is going to be a tough run in with the games coming up thick and fast, it will be April before we know it and a run of games that could be vital in our bid to maintain our league status.
What doesn`t help is another run of injuries this time to David Clarkson, Seanan Clucas and Ryan Brunt reducing the options we have available. The loss of Seanan Clucas for up to 9 months is a blow. He was really starting to find some form and a role in the team (almost like a young Stuart Campbell) as a good foil for those around him in midfield. I am sure we all wish him the best of luck and a speedy and good recovery. Whilst I think we have enough options and cover in defensive and midfield areas, I do think we are a bit short up front. Hopefully Ryan Brunt will be fit for Saturday or A.S.A.P as I think we really need his physical attributes up front and a real out ball for the team. He has been a brilliant signing since he joined and you can clearly see he has been trained the Stoke way. For me Elliot Richards and Tom Hitchcock are too small as a combo or to lead the line themselves. Sometimes it will work, Horses for courses as they say, but in the fourth division the courses are often quite tough. That said with the news of David Clarkson out for the season, we have signed free agent Oumare Tounkara on a short term deal until the end of the season after a short trial. The stats show he is a big lad, so hopefully he can add to Ryan Brunt and give us some useful options up front with the likes of Elliot Richards and Tom Hitchcock to play off and around them.
Despite the recent couple of defeats, we have shown under John Ward the application and effort required to stay up and I am confident we can do so. This Saturday we host Burton Albion and we start again, and hopefully we can put together a similar run like when John ward first returned to draw us safely away from trouble. Hopefully soon we will also have a timely boost in the Secretary of State signing off the Sainsbury`s development at The Memorial Stadium that will mean the UWE Stadium project can progress. This small but important detail could help lift the spirits further around the club and just help galvanise us all in the important run in.
I urge as many of you to get down The Mem and get behind the boys. The support at The Mem and on the road has been very good in the past weeks and we must continue it Saturday even if there our nerves amongst us on the terrace and any on the pitch. We can all do our bit to see us finish safely in the league.
Whatever you are up to this weekend, wrap up warm it`s going to be a cold one, but hope to see you all at the Mem clapping your hands and stamping your feet at another 3 points
Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips