I'm feeling a bit encouraged. It seems to me that Dean Saunders has hit upon a new line of attack, and it might just work!
It might be a bit late for this season, but there are the green shoots of some sort of recovery showing. It starts with his two transfer window signings. Luke Holden and Andy Mangan are the sort of players we need.
They've both got ability, that much is clear. Managan might not have got as many goals as he might have wished, but he he's shown there's more to his game than just being a goal sniffer. he can hold the ball up, brings player in well, and has the sort of movement which brings midfielders to life by offering them options.
Holden's contributions have been a little uneven, but he's direct, positive and confident. He scared the hell out of Salisbury on Saturday, and was a constant threat.
These qualities are not the only things I like about them. I hope this doesn't come over the wrong way, but they're both awkward Scousers! I lived in Liverpool for five years, love the place and need to explain what I mean, sharpish!
They've strong-willed, confident and not scared of anyone, all qualities which help to make Liverpool a great city which stands out from the identikit, characterless metropolises that scatter the country.
Transfer that onto the pitch and what do you get? A strain of determination running through the side which I like. Look at how Mangan regulates substiutions, hurrying Jamie McCluskey off the pitch when we're losing and telling him to slow down when we're winning! Look at Holden's hyperactivity and constant dissatisfaction; he wants to be involved all the time and is never happy if things aren't going his way. The angry boot of the ball across the pitch at the final whistle last Saturday, his similar smashing of the door to the player's entrance when he left the ground, showed the desire any fan wants to see from his players.
Admittedly there's a potential downside when such characteristics spill over; both would have beensent off for frustrated, over-the-top tackles on their Wrexham debuts were it not for the generosity, or should I say uselessness, of Conference refs. However, it's a risk worth taking if they can inject a winning mentality into the side. Saunders seems to have identified the types of character he needs to succeed which can only be a good thing, even if he needs another transfer window to complete the project.