After our weakest performance of the season against Blackburn last week, we’ve at least enjoyed the tonic of seeing some of our injured stars drag themselves off the treatment table. SEB, Kites, Craddock & Foley could all play a part against Fulham, which is a monumental boost for a game we’re capable of winning.
And even though I’m usually quite patient when it comes to nursing players back to fitness, I’m hoping Mick will send in the Cavalry and make wholesale changes to the side.
First and foremost, Michael Kightly should start on Sunday. He played for an hour with the reserves in midweek and by all accounts looked pretty sharp, so I’d like to see him given the same amount of game time against Fulham. Some might prefer he was introduced from the bench, but we’re badly lacking that creativity in midfield so I’d start him and see how he goes.
SEB is probably too ambitious but it would be a massive boost to see him named amongst the substitutes. I still believe Mick will go with Keogh and Doyle, again bringing the Hoff on later in the game. But if we’ve got our golden boot anywhere near fit, he’s always worth a 10 minute gamble, should we need him. Eventually though, he will get back to fitness and hopefully that dream-team partnership of SEB and Doyle can thrive.
You’d think that if Craddock’s been training this week, he’d be fit enough for a recall as he’s only been out for a short time. I’d put him straight back in. Berra wasn’t convincing last week and we need that experienced head at the back to organise and lead a young defence.
Much like SEB, Foley has spent a fair old amount of time on the sidelines and probably won’t make Sunday. But if he is fit enough, again I’d put him back in the starting XI. That’s harsh on Stearman given how well he’s done, but we’ve missed Foley’s tenacity, both defensively and going forward. Of course, an alternative would be to move Stearman into the middle with Mancienne, but I can’t see Mick doing that.
The bottom line is, these four players, when fully fit, must start. You might argue that we need better than Craddock, but the cold reality is at this moment in time, we haven’t got anyone better.
So what do you all think? Send in the Cavalry or hold guard?