In the round we are just about on the awful side of average. It would be difficult to describe us as totally inept. We gave Grays a game without ever threatening to beat them, we gave Aldershot a game without ever truly looking to disturb their promotion push. We’re like a decent sparring partner, but nothing like a contender.

The games are so drab they’re beyond analysis, it’s some relief that Darren Patterson’s swashbuckling in the transfer market has created some interest.

The decision to transfer list six players two weeks before the transfer window closed looked at best a risk, at worst foolhardy. But there’s no doubt that Patterson is not here to muck about. Out go Twigg, Corcoran, Robinson, Jeannin and Duffy in comes McCallister, Howard, Murray, Richards and Blackwood. It’s about time a manager cut the crap in this way.

Every player he’s brought in seems to be better than the players he’s let go; though admittedly none have yet been properly exposed to the United curse. It does make you question what Smith, Merry et al were up to in the summer. Twigg apart, everyone came in as triallists. One can only think that, hopefully, something else useful was occupying their time. The ground, for a whole manner of reasons, seems key to getting out of this mess. If they can produce the goods in that area, then Patterson’s work may eventually be rewarded.

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