‘Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…here I am stuck in the middle with you! Nothing suggests mid-table more than four draws in a row, and even though it was a commendably battling performance last weekend, we needed more. Onto Norfolk we go, it’s time for talking points – King’s Lynn (a):
A CHANCE FOR ALI
With Joe Lewis taking this weekend off after that red card against Bromley, it looks like Ali Omar will have another chance to shine. The big man did well at Plainmoor as sub – standing firm, winning plenty of headers and also making a nuisance of himself up the other end of the field. He’s definitely one of those players who needs to fight for a new contract and prove himself to Gary Johnson. I’m not convinced just yet myself! His slowness of foot means we have to sit deep, which makes us more defensive as a unit. That didn’t matter last Saturday as we only had 10 men, but it is a concern. However, Ali is still young and developing, so it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on. A good test awaits at King’s Lynn, they may be relegation fodder but away games in the NL are seldom easy!
The gaffer will be hoping at least two of Asa Hall (feels like I’ve been talking about the skipper returning to the line-up in at least half of these!), Armani Little, Dan Martin and Dan Holman return on Saturday. Armani hasn’t quite found his form in the last few games, much like the team overall he’s been frustrated and a bit subdued – a piece of magic from him in Norfolk would be nice. Otherwise, Stephen Wearne did well at left back/left wing back last weekend, but we lost balance without a left footer and subsequently found life too narrow against the giants of Bromley. We need to regain more width and variety in our play to win these games, the lack of spark in United’s attack has been tangible (and infuriating) in recent weeks.
DANNY OR CONNOR
Does the boss keep plugging away with Danny Wright or let Connor have another go in attack? It was too easy for Bromley to keep Danny quiet last Saturday. Even before the red card they were comfortable just letting him come deep when he wanted to and then knew they could gobble up any balls over the top. As we all know this season, the squad has lacked pace and without any reinforcements that’s not going to change. Connor can certainly provide more speed and pressure to trouble the Linnets’ defence, but the boss may decide that Wrighty can take advantage of a weaker defence. Of course there’s always the chance that the gaffer will just throw in Klaidi Lolos or Dan Holman out of the blue, we need goals from somewhere….
KING’S LYNN TOWN
Tommy Widdrington arrived in December to try and salvage a dire season, but despite some decent results and performances, the Linnets are very much bound for the National League South. Make no mistake this is a game we should win, but Lynn have not given up and have drawn their last two games against Solihull (2-2) and Woking (0-0), so they’ll be up for a fight. Very little has been easy for United this season, and it would be no surprise if this is yet another close game that goes down to the wire.
DEALING WITH THE MIDDLE
Would mid-table be a disappointment? Yes. We are Torquay United, a proud ex-League club, managed by one of the finest managers around. We should expect better and be disappointed by the way the season has played out. But the bigger picture is that the hurdles have just been too difficult for us to overcome. Our budget is nowhere near a number of the promotion candidates and the overhaul in the squad was much more than the likes of Boreham, Bromley and Solihull. The Gulls squad is one of the smallest around and lacks sufficient quality to really push for the top 7. That will be frustrating Gary Johnson hugely. Mid-table is certainly not disastrous, especially if we get more things right this summer (no Manic Monday please!) and become real contenders for 2022-23. In the meantime, hopefully more entertaining games to come and plenty of pride and points to play for.
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