Here are three conundrums to chew over before the game. I’ll try to answer them tonight!
Can we cope without Jay Harris? The evidence of the last two games suggests not. The first two matches of his three-match ban were the limpest performances we’ve seen Wrexham put in under Andy Morrell. When the manager suggested players were failing to engage with the challenge of fighting to keep their spot in the team he was addressing the issue of the missing heart in those two games. The return of Harris represents the easiest way to regain that fighting spirit, but it’s alarming that his absence seems to have hit us so hard. Which leads us to…
How thin is our squad? Harris might be the key absentee, but he hasn’t been the only one. To be fair to the squad, if you took players of the calibre of Harris, Dean Keates, Mark Creighton and Stephen Wright out of any Conference team you’d severely hamper it. With that core absent, we were bound to toil. But if you try to second guess the sixteen Wrexham will select today, you’ll see the thinness of the squad goes deeper than that.
With Nick Rushton on loan and Bradley Reid departed, Jay Colbeck in training but surely not match-ready, and presumably Adrian Cieslewicz remaining in Coventry rather than ten and a half miles down the A444, it’s tricky to work out exactly who Morrell will select, especially if Wright doesn’t make it either. Reinforcements, or swift recoveries, are urgently needed.
Will A Tough Challenge Inspire or Intimidate us? This is hardly the ideal game to bounce back in. Nuneaton’s recent form is pretty jaw-dropping: unbeaten so far this season, they’ve won at Grimsby and Macclesfield, beaten Kidderminster, drawn at Barnet and with Forest Green, and stopped Southport’s winning start to the season. Furthermore, since mid-February they lost just three games in the last sixteen matches of last season, and they were to Newport, Mansfield and Kidderminster! No wonder former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan described a Nuneaton win as “a no-brainer” (I never thought I’d type that sentence!)
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 7, 2013