I was pleasantly surprised that the team exceeded most people’s expectations and that the team racked up more points than we would expect from a seriously under-equipped team in order to have an impact on the championship.
This basically means that we are hitting way over our weight and injuries and suspensions come into play, we are inevitably going to drop down the standings.
The goals conceded against Huddersfield only served to prove my point when we had to rely on inexperienced youngsters who were caught out,
The brightest point was the transformation of Ben Brereton Diaz transforming himself from fans’ pantomime villain to messiah in the blink of an eye. His performances have been everything they weren’t in previous seasons and “let this go on for a long time” to use the boring cliché of current footballers.
At least now we seem to be making the most of the players some of whom are playing in their preferred, natural positions, so the lack of numbers has meant that sometimes common sense prevails.
For once, the majority of the fans have approached the season with realism and the start we have had surprised many.
The understated expectations were understandable given the lack of arrivals, but the reinvention of Ben Brereton Diaz and the resurgence of Daniel Ayala were like two new signings – and what signings.
Granted, our squad is small, but with our loan players not yet integrated and players like Dan Butterworth waiting behind the scenes, the near term future looks bright … although the long term outcome remains uncertain. .
Currently the players are playing with friendliness, passion and commitment and we cannot ask for much more.
Much better than I could have imagined to be honest. The star of the show was Brereton-Diaz without a shadow of a doubt and it surprised me to be honest, but I’m so happy for him.
Daniel Ayala has been a mainstay I couldn’t have imagined writing 12 months ago and Tyrhys Dolan has been kicking it indefinitely.
So far, Leighton Clarkson has had minimal impact and at times he looks out of his depth, but he has time on his side.
Being in the top six after almost a quarter of a season is a good start but it’s not where you start but where you end.
Other than one or two teams, it seems like a mediocre league so far and any good consistency can land you in the play-offs.
What is worrying is the size and reinforcement of the squad as we saw at Huddersfield with the absence of Darragh Lenihan and then Ryan Nyambe.