To be honest, I could have made all five talking points about this, but things look so much brighter now we have players in positions they are accustomed to. The first half performance was probably as good as I have seen since Yeovil at home (I didn’t see the Boreham Wood game in the Trophy). There was fluency, direction, hunger and passion but most of that was down to the players looking that much more comfortable, apart from possibly Armani Little who still put in a shift in a more advanced role but, to me, struggled to make much of an impact. Just does make you wonder what would have happened with no injuries to deal with…but that’s football.
Message to Gary Johnson – when you are looking for a replacement left back, please put Josh Umerah, Shaun MacDonald and yourself ahead of Jake Andrews in the pecking order. It’s not that he can’t play there but he is just so much more effective playing wide midfield – so much so, it might take Ben Whitfield playing somewhere else when he comes back from injury. I’ve not seen him as confident in 18 months as he was in the opening 45 minutes on Tuesday. Whether he’s had a rocket, I don’t know, but he truly looks like the prospect we had in National League South (at last!).
I’M NUMBER ONE (until the next change)
Don’t get me wrong, I like Shaun MacDonald, but I feel far more confident when Lucas Covolan is in goal. Like any other ‘keeper, I know there will be mistakes, but there is just something about our Brazilian which breeds a little bit more calmness. He didn’t really have a whole lot to do in the last two games, but it has been noticeable that there has been a good deal less panic in a pretty inexperienced defence than there has been in other games since the turn of the year.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Scott Boden’s signing because of his lack of game-time at Chesterfield but now, as he starts to build up his fitness, he looks like one of the shrewder acquisitions this season. I’d certainly be looking forward to him linking up with Danny Wright when he is back after his hamstring injury – but will we ever play a two forward formation to fit them both in??? I imagine that would be the most intelligent TUFC forward line since Tim Sills and Lee Phillips more than a decade ago.
SIZE ISN’T ANYTHING
The commentators last night were talking up Solihull’s giant striker Kyle Hudlin throughout but, being completely honest, I thought he was very, very ordinary. Of course he won plenty in the air but, most of the time – quite correctly – we didn’t even bother to challenge him too closely and concentrated on any Moors buzzing around to get on the end of knockdowns. Having a player like that in your team makes you extremely one-dimensional and I thought Solihull were just that – predictable and fairly easy to pick off. Not that they improved a whole lot when Adam Rooney came on while Torquay effectively game managed their way to a clean sheet.