Saturday, 23 February 2008

Glorious Mud!

A Midfield Scene From Wrexham v MK Dons

I miss the mud that helped us beat MK Dons and Darlington, and I want it back!

When it was sopping wet and cutting up against MK Dons and Darlington we seemed to thrive on it. Dry, rutted and smothered in sand today it just wouldn't let us play football and we struggled to piece our game together. If it doesn't improve soon we could find it a real handicap as we try to haul ourselves to safety.

Unable to pass as we would have wished, with touch players like Jeff Whitley and Danny Sonner struggling to come to terms with the surface, it was all a bit ugly and we were forced to launch more and more long stuff at Drewe Broughton.

That's not necessarily a bad idea as Broughton is a monster of a target man and will always create crumbs for players near him to feed off. However, it didn't click properly today in that respect either. I think a big part of the reason for this was the absence of Neil Roberts. We missed his whole-hearted commitment in midfield, as a few rousing lunges from him got the crowd going against Darlington and MK Dons, setting the tone early on. Not only was his tigerish effort missed though, but he is able to get up and support Broughton, trying to latch onto the loose balls he creates. Sonner and Whitley are very good footballers, but they are not box-to-box midfielders, and quite apart from their natures as footballers, you can't ask either of them to try to get beyond Broughton due to age on Sonner's part and lack of match fitness in Whitley's.

So it just wouldn't all hang together today. Still, don't worry too much about it. It wasn't a performance, but it was a point, and every one we win might be crucial by the end of the season. Wouldn't the table look a lot better if we had scraped three extra draws from that awful succession of early season defeats we suffered earlier in the season?

Our games against Hereford, Rotherham, Barnet, Stockport and Shrewsbury all followed similar paths: we were drawing 0-0 at half time, and at the very least were the equal of our opponents. However, in the second half we conceded and, despite the fact that the other side didn't really show a great deal out of the ordinary, we were unable to respond and were beaten. Imagine if we'd drawn half of them; we'd be well and truly in the mix. So don't worry about dropping two points today; they're all small steps in the right direction.

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