Let's be honest, it's looking pretty bleak for Matty Wolfenden.
Unable to progress from the role of late substitute, when Danny Mitchley was brought into the squad he dropped a place in the pecking order. When Mitchley was then dropped after one game it was clear that Dean Saunders hadn't brought the Blackpool striker in to lead the attack, but to round out the squad. Ahead of Wolfenden, a player screaming out for a few starts so he can earn a new contract. It hardly looks good for him.
It seems a shame, to me. I must admit that when he got a run of starts at the beginning of the season, the only time that he's enjoyed such an opportunity, I wasn't impressed. He seemed lightweight to me, and not much of a goal threat. When he succumbed to injury as well, something his career suggested was bound to happen, I was convinced that we had a very poor signing on our hands; a striker who looked toothless and was a bad risk to boot.
However, the way he has come back from that injury has made me think again. He started out with some prolific form in the reserves, and followed that up by looking sharp in his occasion cameos off the bench.
There have been a number of times when I've wondered quite what he has to do to earn a start. For example, when Lamine Sakho started up front against Cambridge and Gateshead I just couldn't work out how he'd jumped Wolfenden in the queue. Perhaps Saunders felt Wolfenden and Andy Mangan were too similar to form an effective partnership, although I'd be inclined to disagree; Wolfenden has shown a surprising robustness in recent weeks, certainly more than Sakho did inhis insipid efforts as a striker in those matches.
I suspect the arrival of Mangan was the beginning of the end for Wolfenden though. Two small strikers in front of a midfield which has struggled to create might seem an unlikely recipe for success to Saunders. And so Wolfenden's days look to be numbered, but I can't help wanted to see a bit more of him before I'm convinced that's the right decision.