Having had a day to reflect I think a massive problem other than quality is the fitness of the players, their blowing out there arses after an hour every game, maybe it’s because we do a lot of chasing as the opposition have more of the play than us.
Throw the amount of injuries into the mix and I think we have a problem with this side of things, I’ve never known as many injuries to key players as we have now, are our coaching team working them to hard in training, is our conditioning/fitness team not doing their jobs right ?
Either way I’m not sure but there’s something not right with the fitness of the squad and whatever the cause it needs to be addressed and dealt with immediately or we will continue to stare non league football in the face.

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Part of the issue is depth. Most teams can rotate more than we can. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, if your players are playing more games in all comps than their opposition they will be fitter.

Ward is going to have to play every single game at 36. White has played every game available. 2 of 3 centre halves will play week in week out. We have 5 forwards to choose from out of 4 with Wilkinson out. We have one actual striker in the squad.

When you have so few options keeping the squad fresh is nearly impossible. We faded yesterday, we faded against Newport and we faded against Scunthorpe.


Then why did Taylor start with a strong starting line up against Brighton u21s in the daft cup? Something doesn’t add up with all this. Surely he’d just play the kids and rest the players for the league games


There’s no other options in the squad, that’s my point. Unless we play exclusively youth teamers, which was never going to happen as both the captain and manager have said they want to win those games and take the prize money.

Absolutely spot on EN instead of what looks like on paper a really good spine for league two with Taylor monthe Labadie(who needs to take a good look at himself)and Wilkinson I’d rather have had a more balanced squad with plenty of mediocre back up right now if I’m honest we started off brilliantly with the recruitment drive but as time went on it looked more and more likely that it had cost us a fortune to the likes of us to make happen in wages of the players I’ve mentioned,leaving not much left to put around them but loaned players and young ones that have no real experience at that.So because we’ve taken the route of pretty much buying a starting 11 and nothing behind it keeping players fit becomes critical and unfortunately we’ve been hit with both injuries and suspensions.

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Maybe its another poor appointment by LP in June this year

This guy might have the fancy letters after his name but in the “real world” yet another inexperienced member of the support team that came in probably on the cheap

His real work experience is < 2 years @ Swindle and would have been furloughed in that time as well

New manager (maybe not general, but in this physical league for sure), maybe old ways learnt from aca times (generally different players and different capabilities), plus this year’s version of someone like Jon Whitney is not in the staff. So it will take some time to make it right. I think Dean Smith had similar problems too, when conceding late goals was starting to be the norm.

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Leak started games last season and did o.k. Perhaps not in back 4 but he was in games where clean sheets were kept and think a back 5 needs to be looked at soon.

No decent backup LB is an issue. Max Melbourne went to Stevenage in the end didn’t he? So no one with a straight face could say it was impossible to get him back for the full season unless he didn’t want to. Or Fullerton/Taylor didn’t rate him.

Mills is just a bog standard back up player that will be forgotten about this time next year if not before.

That would give option of pushing Ward inside as LCB which probably at this stage of his career would suit him more given his underwhelming form.

Midfield and upfront there are options but it’s getting them all fit at same time.


Has our fitness got worse since Mark Bradley left ?


That’s the only issue with going to a back 5, we don’t have that depth down the left hand side.

Even in 16/17 when Whitney tried it with some success we had Joe Edwards who was more than capable of playing LWB. I don’t think Mills is the long-term answer there, but wouldn’t be averse to seeing it at least for a few games. It’s another issue with the squad as it stands, we don’t really have much room to switch formations.

It’s definitely got worse since Whitney left

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Whatever else people say about Whitney, a lot of it justified, he was (one of)the best in that role we’ve had. I can remember thinking when he was appointed how much a pity it would be if it now meant his time ended badly, because previously, he’d been held in high regard.


Whitney is physio and fitness coach for Aston Villa’s Under 23’s now. Rated very highly there.


I didnt know that. Excellent news. And shows just how highly Dean regarded him. What a great management team we had with Dean, Richard O’Kelly and Jon Whitney. They always seemed so solid, working together to create something special. I hope Taylor, Macdonald and Fullerton can forge something similar in time, but we could do with adding whitney. Sadly,no a hope in hell of that.

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He has been there for 18 months or so now. He originally shadowed the incumbent U23 physio/ fitness coach before replacing him a few months later. I’m pretty sure Smith wanted to secure him when the opportunity presented itself.

Whitney is also working with a few high profile players on a 1-2-1 basis.

He is doing quite well for himself now.

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Someone has already mentioned it but what is Cockerell Mollett doing these days? Surely he would be a good option to strengthen the left side of defence.

I agree that Ward would be better in a 3 or even left midfield.

There are still good players available but the bench is threadbare at the moment.

To be honest, I fully expect a 3-0 defeat on Saturday.

It’s time that the coaching staff earned their corn…

Much deserved.

I think most of us would imagine that a 3-0 defeat would be a success!
As we will almost certainly be bottom of the 4th Division come 5 'O Clock Saturday does anyone think our squads lack of fitness, and panache for getting injuries, should be addressed as a contributing feature of our lack of quality, or is it just that we have an utterly crud squad, end of, that nothing will be done about by our erstwhile DOF and Board?

Some people just aren’t cut out to be a number one. Think he realised that (even though in general terms his two year record wasn’t that bad, just marred by 5-6 bad performances and defeats) and so didn’t bother attempting it again at a non league club like loads of other failed football league managers.

DS is very good at being loyal to people who’ve worked and played for him in the past given Neil Cutler is GK coach aswell.

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Cutler seems more of a right hand man to Smith even when he was here he was always showing the subs the boards and was shoulder to shoulder with Dean , and still doing the same at the vile .

Just look at the set up there now Dean Smith , Craig Shakespeare , Neil Cutler , also now left Richard O’kelly , and now Jon Whitney apparently .

Oh boy for that set up now .