I think Keith will send Smith and Young back, as well as try to ship out two or three others in order to release budget to bring in some fresh faces. If he can get better players in, then all credit to him. The current squad is the strongest for years and should have been capable of promotion. If he attempts to strengthen it, then he will have no excuse if we don't get to the play-offs at least.
Barnsley are currently just outside the Championship play off places, so we would be rank outsiders in this game even with a fully fit squad. However, it will be interesting to see whether the fringe players and youngsters can rise to the challenge.
Hill again referred to recruitment in January in his interview, but his comments were slightly strange, stating that the 'players are demanding' that we bring new faces in this month. He always seems on the back foot in his relationship with the squad.
Is it just me, or is anybody else feeling a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the games at the moment, given other events ?
Keith Hill's pre-match interview was a bit vague and it wasn't clear if we've got absentees through covid or not. It sounded like there maybe other injuries. Doubtless we'll get a better idea on Sunday.
Smith never really got much opportunity with us as a striker, hard to form a judgement on what we've seen. Hopefully Jake Burton will be one of the young pros mentioned, who gets another chance. Not seen enough of Young to form a judgement.
I agree with RLC and Ian about football at present, but also have concerns longer-term given currently it's unclear if we'll be able to get back to normal capacity next season and Mark's comments at the end of last season about having funds to see us through one season.
The season is descending into farce as more and more games get postponed and teams are forced to play with weakened sides. If the season ends early, as I predict it will, are we going to have PPG again? That would be even more unfair than last season. Maybe they will use PPP instead (points per player available).
At the beginning of the season the EFL said 75% of fixtures would have to be completed for PPG to be applied. However, if the bigger clubs in the Championship and League One are in promotion positions if (or when) the season is cancelled, that policy might be revised...……..
Hill's interview was interesting for the fact that there was a clear dig at sides cancelling games for opportunistic reasons - Colchester I assume was part of that - maybe others.
As to the season I get the desire to keep going for the benefit of the fans in the sense of keeping something for them to look forward to with this godforsaken lockdown. I mean all those saying we should stop playing.....fair enough in one respect but that is the easy way out and after all what about the supermarket workers who have been working every day during lockdowns, or the delivery drivers, bin men etc. etc. Financially though must be massively tempting for clubs lower down who are safe to stop if they can.
As to the game can't get excited about it as very little chance we can win. Sounds as if a fair few missing due COVID if not kidology and mention of youngsters. I would be tempted to ring the changes - play some of those youngsters Burton especially and probably DWR. O'Connor if he is not going back - Celtic might as well recall him as no benefit for them with us not playing him. Would be nice to see Ellis on the pitch also - still no idea how he has slipped so far down the pecking order. Scoreline 3-1 to Barnsley would be acceptable in my book. Anything better a bonus.
My point with regard to cancellation of the season is that it seems perverse and distasteful to pretend that football results matter and become obsessed with the outcome of games - which in normal times I do - when daily events remind us that in reality they are trivial.
In relation to looking forward to the matches, in the lower divisions the real anticipation of the game is in the social occasion, not the quality of the football which is generally low. I don't take the same pleasure watching us on a computer screen in an empty stadium.
Finally, just because supermarket and health workers have to put themselves at risk because we have to eat and be treated for illness, does not mean it is ethical for the virus to be spread by players and staff shuttling up and down the country every few days at a time when cases are rocketing.
also, you just have to look at Aston Villa and today Derby county both teams have been forced to play there games and the villa had 14 players with covid and derby have most of their team out with it, too many risks are being taken with players and staff health
and Villa some of the players had to be dropped off by their parent's witch says it all, oh they played well against that red shit across the water it was 1-1 at ht but they lost Liverpool played a nearly full team