WE can take great encouragement from how we played against Hartlepool United when we travel to York City this weekend.
We may not have got the three points we wanted in the week, but the performance was much better and I think everyone at the ground watching would agree with that.
The ball just didn’t seem to bounce our way in front of goal. And for the second match in succession we were undone by what is known, amongst the footballing fraternity, as a ‘worldy’ when Bradley Walker sent a volley right into the top corner.
A few days prior to that, Exeter’s Liam Sercombe had probably scored the goal of the weekend against us and it’s frustrating that we haven’t been picking up the victories.
However, all teams go through bad spells and little dips in form, especially in League Two, and we’re experiencing that at the moment.
But there were plenty of positives for us against Hartlepool and I thought there was a better balance to our play.
That was a result of having Anthony Straker, a left-footed player, back on the left wing and I do like to have that in my teams.
With that in mind, I do think we’re missing Luke Prosser at the heart of our defence as it’s nice having his left foot on that side of our back four.
He’s been a real linchpin for us in defence this season and we’re certainly missing having someone like him we can rely on.
We should be getting the scan results back today on Luke’s injured calf and hopefully it will be good news, because it would give us a big boost to have him back in action soon.
Luke O’Neill also went to have his thigh scanned and we’re still in talks with Burnley about extending his loan spell with us, but obviously that is going to be dependent on the results of his scan.
DEBUTANTS MIXED FORTUNES
I GAVE both Jason Williams and Bedsente Gomis their debuts against Exeter City and it was contrasting fortunes for them.
Jason nearly scored with his first touch and he has explosive pace which defenders can’t live with.
He’s done his chances of getting a professional contract no harm at all and we will be announcing soon which young players are being kept on.
Unfortunately, I thought Gomis looked very nervous when he came on and didn’t play like he had been in the behind-closed-doors friendly we had.
But he will have another chance soon and I’m sure he will show our fans what he is really capable of.
We also have Marc Laird waiting to come back in but he is still playing catch-up after his injury troubles.
He’s a great professional though and he will also get another opportunity soon.
WELL DONE FREDDY EASTWOOD
CONGRATULATIONS must go to Freddy Eastwood on making his 200th appearance for the club.
That came against Hartlepool United on Tuesday night and that’s why I brought him on, along with the nous I thought he would bring in front of goal.
Lots of people were telling me things about Freddy before I came to the club but I love characters who are a bit different and that’s certainly Fred.
He’s a delight to work with and long may it continue because he has a big part to play between now and the end of the season.
By his own admission the knee injury he had has set him back a bit, but he still has that quality in front of goal which we need.
It’s been a rough few days for him, with some sad news off the pitch which we will be keeping ‘in house’, but Freddy’s a big character who is popular with everyone here and he’s desperate to be playing more.
We have real competition for that striking slot now and it was great for Barry Corr to score in the week.
But Lee Barnard, who I thought could do with a rest on Tuesday, is also pushing to start and it’s a good situation to be in.
FULL COLUMN IN THURSDAY'S ECHO