So that’s it then – pre-season is over, and the proper stuff begins Saturday.
Your editor didn’t go to either H&W (which I wasn’t going to anyway), and Boreham Wood (which I was until I saw the £15 entry fee – and changing it to £12 happened too late), but judging by reports I’m glad I didn’t waste my money**.
** – your editor had some bad news employment wise with the fallout from this last week, so things are very much up in the air at the moment. If you see me asking for 50p for a cuppa…
I don’t like these split games so late in the pre-season campaign, as we don’t get close enough to a “true” first XI. So while we’ve undoubtedly boosted our fitness up, I’m not sure how much we’ve ultimately learned.
And yes, you can be a little bit concerned at us losing 4-1 on Friday. although as Paul Hurst (new Ipswich boss) put it a couple of weeks ago, you miss the intensity in a game like this.
We’re still short, although NA did hint that we might not be able to get everyone immediately:
“We need another centre-back and centre-forward for sure. We’ll be looking at three, maybe four. The hard part is that now everything tends to be on hold with the new transfer deadline being just before the Premier League. It spirals down, like a pyramid, when the Premier League guys know where they are when the window shuts they start letting some loans out.
“That triggers things and then other clubs get their business done. Some might be in before the start of the season, some might be after the first window closes, but we’ll try our best to get the right ones because it’s a long season.”
We can still do loans up until the 31st August, and unlike last season we need to make full use of that.
It’s not insurmountable at all, although this is always the danger when you get rid of so many players. Getting replacements is hard enough as it is, without needing so many in return.
So the rumour mill will continue for a little while yet. The latest one is Nile Ranger, who as we all know is a decent, clean living young fellow. TBH I think he’ll be more trouble than he’s worth, so expect him to be in the squad for Fleetwood.
Other than that, I guess we’ll really have to wait and see who else gets a cheesy photo on our OS.
Which is why we’ll probably have to give it the usual ten games to see whether we had a good summer or not. It was obvious by the third game last season that we badly got it wrong.
This time round? I genuinely don’t know. A more pragmatic style is going to help matters from the off, however, and we’re not the only club in the division that still needs to make additions.
Apparently Scunthorpe had difficulty filling their squad for a PSF last week, and from memory the likes of Walsall are still having to rebuild.
It’s all about us, of course, and there don’t seem to be major concerns beyond the centre-back and maybe midfielder situation. That can still scupper things, and I’d like to see them sorted out this week if possible.
I doubt if we’ll tear up trees, and I expect we’ll still be 14th or lower. But that would be like our first season in L1, and that wasn’t too bad after all…