Every manager under pressure will point to the injury problems they have, but we are in the midst of an injury crisis of biblical proportions. It’s like no other I can remember, I once saw us play at Lincoln in ’82 and my memory is of a team so decimated that I had a chance of playing right back. Or so I thought; it turns out that there was only one change from the previous home game against Exeter and it was just that I was a long way from home and simply didn’t recognise the name of sub Andy Kingston.
So what we consider a crisis, often turns out to be nothing of the sort. However, this is a proper crisis, with only have 9 fit professionals, including two keepers and three players with a combined experience of precisely zero games.
Typically I would deplore a team that would buy their way out of this kind of problem, but it seems unfair that we’ve been stymied from solving the problem based on our relative and accumulated financial strength. This is not a club funded by a Russian oligarch, it’s a club with a fanbase prepared to invest in a flickering hope that one day the good times will roll. Rather than being allowed to use the benefit this offers, we’re left floundering. The wage-cap is designed to prevent teams from over-speculating, but surely the 10 point deduction for going into administration is enough of a threat.
January is going to be difficult, and the league is the least of our concerns. This is our last opportunity to bring players in. It seems we have the leeway to bring in one player and would need to get some out before anymore came in. The two most obvious candidates for shipping out are Dempster and Tardif, with possibly one of Johnson and Brevett (difficult to tell on current form). Can they be shipped out when injured? Should we be shipping out some of the few who are currently available to play?
Then there’s the Lewes game next week. A loss would be a demoralising humiliation, but would free up a weekend to allow players to recover. With nobody else taking the opportunities we’re presenting them with in the league, we may need to simply ride out the month and take the hits when they come at us. Though in truth, with the problems we’ve got, we probably don’t have a choice in the matter.