A team in real need

PUBLISHED: 15:06 08 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:07 10 September 2010

By Tony Springall

FOR the second season running we are facing a relegation battle. I hope the fans will rally behind Bryan Gunn and the team in their efforts to avoid relegation but will remember also that it is the board who have played a major part in the downward trend (on the pitch) of the football club.

By Tony Springall

FOR the second season running we are facing a relegation battle. I hope the fans will rally behind Bryan Gunn and the team in their efforts to avoid relegation but will remember also that it is the board who have played a major part in the downward trend (on the pitch) of the football club. This has been manifested in the inappropriate choices of team management and a lack of investment in the playing squad.

It will be interesting to see whether the investment in the playing squad this season has been inhibited by the need to repay the £2½m loan (in December 2008) relating to the former Laurence & Scott Electromotors land and to compensate Glenn Roeder and others for loss of employment.

Moreover you don't need to be England manager to realise that the heart of the defence lacks a commanding centre back, eg Mackay, Newsome, Taylor to organise the defence and to give the team leadership. In addition we need an effective target man to hold the ball at the other end of the pitch and thus avoid losing the ball to the opposition too easily and to give our defence some relief from the opponents' pressure.

Apart from one year of Dean Ashton, right, now with West Ham, I would contend that we have not replaced Iwan Roberts. So what happened to our number one transfer priority, ie (good) strikers last summer? Loanees signed in January will not suffice.

Mind you it must be frustrating for a City manager; just as we get a commanding central midfield player, ie Clingan, it looks like he will be transferred in the summer regardless of what division we are playing in next season. With at least one Premiership club rumoured to be interested in signing him you can't blame the player if he decides to move on during the summer, and you can't blame the club if they sell his registration with only one year left on his contract. If the transfer happens this summer let's hope the club gets a hefty basic transfer fee and most of that fee is spent on new players for the playing squad.

Finally, if the worst was to happen and the club got relegated then I would expect other experienced players to be transferred in order to raise transfer funds and, more importantly, to reduce the wage bill in order to bring the running costs of the club in line with the reduced revenues of a club playing in League One.

As a by-product of this, I would expect more of our younger players coming through the Academy to get more first team action and hopefully establish themselves as first team regulars.

I would rather support our own young players than lots of other clubs' youngsters on loan to us. In addition playing our young players may help attract prospects to our Academy in the future if they think they may get fast tracked to first team football if they are good enough.

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