Craig Priest writes…
It’s been a mixed week in truth following the fortunes of Mansfield Town, two strong wins and performances against strong opposition have been followed up by the failure to secure a much sought after league one striker.
Tomorrow Stags play host to league one side Sheffield United as the pre-season preparations continue. The former Championship side have enjoyed a decent pre-season so far and are unbeaten in there four matches, so again it’s another tough task for Paul Cox’s side who will look to build on that victory over Peterborough United on Wednesday.
Despite the football coming thick and fast, nobody seems interested in it! All the talk is about the striker, or the apparent lack of one! I’ve said time and time again these past few weeks that there is no real rush on Cox to bring in a new hit man, I believe in Speight, Hutchinson, Dyer and Rhead we’ve enough fire power to be getting on with, backed up by Stevenson, Briscoe, Daniel and the impressive Clucas I’m by no means worried – tomorrow I know what I’d like to see, a solution I believe could solve our problems.
Who says that you have to have one striker that nets you 30 a season – yeah it’s been nice but in reality they’re a rare bread – why not have two that are well capable of doing the same job at the same quality, but who will net say 15-20 a season. Jake Speight I believe has the quality to do just that, injuries etc kept his time on the pitch to a minimum last season but with a constant run, he can be our goal scoring hero. No doubt there are reason Speight is only at home games at the moment, tomorrow is a prime opportunity for him to get 90 minutes under his belt and prove he can take on the mantel left by Green.
Alongside him I’d like to see Amari Morgan-Smith given another run out, yes people are saying he’s not good enough for league two and pushing the “big name” angle, but to be honest, whenever I’ve seen Morgan-Smith play against us, he’s always been difficult to deal with and when he played for us against Chester, he looked sharp and fitted into our never say die ethos – a test against a higher league opposition could be perfect for him to prove himself, just in the way Nathan Arnold has.
I’ve said it before, Matt Green arrived a shell and with the “we’re not sure he’s the answer” tag from fans but ended up leaving a hero – lightening can strike twice. Let’s see Morgan-Smith and Speight alongside each other and see what happens, what harm can it do?
I anticipate a few changes from the side which beat Peterborough, Ryan Tafazolli and Martin Riley may pair up at centre half whilst Paul Black, Keiran Murtagh and Louis Briscoe may also get run outs – whoever plays, it will be a good encounter and one I’m looking forward too. Fingers crossed too, it helps find a solution to our striker debate too – even the most complicated things, can be solved with a simple game of football.
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