Personae Non Grata

There was something Dean Saunders said after the Gateshead match that didn’t quite stack up for me.

For only the second time this season he picked an unchanged side, despite the fact that we’d played on a tiring pitch two days earlier. He then explained that part of the reason for our poor performance was the number of players who weren’t fully fit: Mangan and Mitchley in attack, plus Holden, Taylor and Smith on the bench. That, he explained, limited his options.

Of course, the obvious question is why he didn’t indulge in at least a little reshuffling of the pack, but quite apart from that, a more serious question is raised. What does his selection tell those who weren’t chosen? He said he was reluctant to use the injured trio on the bench, so what must the likes of Matty Wolfenden, Hedi Taboubi, Adrian Cieslewicz and Nathan Fairhurst be thinking? Probably that it’s time to grab their coats.

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