The Beast Is Back!

mark-creighton-injured_ebbsfleet
Mark Creighton nurses his knee at Ebbsfleet

It was the best possible news. Mark Creighton’s celebratory tweet, revealing that the scan he had on his knee revealed no problems was a huge boost for him…and Wrexham FC.

creightonThere was a clear implication in Andy Morrell’s comments before the scan that the main problem was that Creighton’s “peace of mind” was troubled by the niggle in his knee. That’s perfectly understandable: he went through a significant trauma, and a guy as big as him in constantly putting a lot of weight on his knee. Wouldn’t you feel tentative and worried if it didn’t quite feel right? Hopefully, the scan results will give him the confidence to play through what he describes as “the clicks and locks” and get back to where he was before that horrible afternoon at Ebbsfleet.

And we need him. We’ve lots of options at the back, but I really don’t know what our strongest back four is. Look at the selection dilemma Morrell has tomorrow: surely Stephen Wright and Neil Ashton will return to the team, but who makes way? Johnny Hunt will probbably be unlucky despite not putting a foot wrong at Tamworth, but Leon Clowes and Junior N’Tame did pretty well in the face of an aerial bombradment on a windy afternoon, and our commentary team made Steve Tomassen man of the match.

Creigton’s return would simplify matters and give us a figure of true authority at the heart of our defence. As I suggested in the tactics board I posted on Wrexham’s youtube channel on N’Tame’s performance at Tamworth, he’d benefit from playing alongside such a strong stopper and might develop into a useful asset. If he’s regularly asked to attack the ball rather than cover round the back, he’ll find life much more difficult.

There’s no need for Creighton to rush back. Morrell suggested before the results were known that he “just needs to calm down a bit.” That doesn’t just mean he needs to relax about how his knee feels, but also that he must accept that it’s better to take his time and make a complete recovery than try to rush back and not eliminate the nagging doubt that everything’s not quite right. A man like Creighton was always going to be desperate to get back on the pitch and take his share of responsibilty in the team, but ironically he’d serve us better by taking it slowly. We need him over the next few years more than we need him right now.

Morrell’s pre-scan confidence that the result would be what we wanted to hear shows that he has great faith in the medical advice the club is getting: today’s news will hopefully fill Creighton with the same confidence, while the scare he’s gone through will perhaps help him accept that the long term contribution he can make to the club is far more valuable than what he can achieve if he hurries back in the next couple of months.

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