A Fan’s Preview – Stevenage v Carlisle United

Dean Thompson’s view ahead of today’s Sky Bet League 1 clash

I write this as I’ve just read an email from Graham Westley (the one everybody gets). He says we need to win convincingly on Saturday against Carlisle. If I’m perfectly honest, I’ll take any kind of win. It’s been a very disappointing couple of weeks. Two very long trips to the North West left us pointless and more worryingly for me, goalless, with only three shots on target according to the stats. Graham seems to be hoping that Darius Charles will be back for the Carlisle visit. Is he pinning his hopes on a player that spent all of last season under Gary Smith playing at the back? Oumare Tounkara, Jordan Burrow and Dani Lopez only have 90 minutes played between them in the last two games. At Tranmere we started without a recognised striker. I’m not sure too many people know what to make of the striker issue at the moment. Carlisle have scored three goals in their seven games while Stevenage have five in the same number of games, with three of those coming on the opening day, so don’t expect a goal fest. Carlisle had their first win last Saturday, after manager Greg Abbott was given the boot. It always surprises me how a bunch of players that haven’t won a game all season suddenly pull a performance, in this case to beat an underachieving Sheffield United side. Graham Kavanagh will be in charge as it has taken the chairman longer than he thought to recruit owing to having received over 50 applications for the role. The assistant manager wants the job but can he get out of the same players what his old gaffer couldn’t? And if he can, why wasn’t he doing it before?! In transfer news this week, we saw Marcus Haber move on loan to Notts County, and judging by the publicity shots of him up in Nottingham, he looked delighted. GW made no secret that players had to go out before any come in. Lucas Akins is injured, Filipe Morais seems to be going nowhere, the Championship bids didn’t come for James Dunne and David Gray hasn’t put a foot wrong since his return, so who is going out on loan? How are we going to trim the wage bill? Roarie Deacon continues to impress at left back, whilst Simon Heslop has impressed me. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a surprise departure in coming days or weeks? A fan favourite that isn’t getting a regular game? Or is it that Smith’s players are earning more money than Westley’s signings? So they are the ones needed to be moved out. I’ll be taking my place back in row F right behind the home dugout after a few weeks of summarising for 3CR. GW has requested my words of wisdom, tactical help, and advice on substitutions…

Dean Thompson is a regular co-commentator alongside Steve Watkins on BBC 3CR (95.5fm, 103.8, 104.5 and Local DAB). He is also a presenter on the Stevenage FC podcast A Load Of Old Toffee (http://www.boroguide.co.uk/blog/2013/09/a-load-of-old-toffee-35/)

 


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