Which side will Mark Harris be on?
I’ve already touched on this subject in the Notts County 5 Questions. Paul Rutherford is generally equally effective on either flank, whereas Mark Harris is more of a scoring threat when he plays on the left. Harris started the Notts County game on the right, and we didn’t threaten much, with Harris pretty peripheral.
For me, we changed their flanks too late in the second half, bearing in mind we weren’t really looking dangerous. When we did, Harris soon found himself in a great position, one-on-one with the keeper, but was denied by a last-ditch tackle.
Do we keep him on the left to bring him back into the scoring frame, or leave him on the right?
Can Barnum-Bobb get up the line again?
Linked to the previous question, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb’s ability to get up the line might influence where Harris lines up. Against Halifax he was very progressive, and linked brilliantly with Harris. Harris would tuck in, Barnum-Bobb would advance, the Chesterfield left back Jerome Binnom-Williams would step up to engage with him and Harris would make a diagonal run into the space behind him for Barnum-Bobb to slide him in.
This partnership wasn’t renewed at Notts County though. In a tough away game, Barnum-Bobb had to focus on his defensive duties, so the distances between him and Harris were too great. The one notable time he was able to get forward was the excellent driving run which ended in his assist for Devonte Redmond’s goal. Will he be able to get back to more progressive ways on home turf?
Will anyone stake a claim for Bobby Grant’s place?
Nothing has happened during the first two games of Bobby Grant’s suspension to suggest his place is under threat. Leighton McIntosh didn’t stand out when he replaced him against Halifax, and although Paul Rutherford put in a solid, diligent performance at Notts County, he didn’t have the goal threat Grant had in the opening games. Will Grant still be likely to come straight back in at 5 on Saturday?
Is Akil Wright ready to start?
A fully fit Akil Wright would give a real boost to the side. While Luke Young and Luke Summerfield have been playing well, Wright’s physicality certainly brings a different dimension to us in the middle of the pitch. He looks like a useful player to have in a 4-2-3-1 formation too, as his athleticism allows him to cover a lot of ground and reduce the danger of our midfield being outnumbered. Will he come into consideration, or will he be used if the answer to the next question is yes………
Does Bryan Hughes rotate?
With another game coming hard on the heels of Saturday, will Bryan Hughes think about rotating his side? Our only previous evidence of his approach was last Easter, when he made three changes from a side that beat Sutton for the Easter Monday game at Halifax.
Was it really rotation though? James Jennings reclaimed his left back slot after being overlooked for two games; Paul Rutherford lost out to Luke Summerfield, who we were clearly giving as much playing time to as possible to get him fit for the play-offs; and Jason Oswell replaced Stuart Beavon, who would probably have struggled with back-to-back games.
The circumstances were different though. There was an extra day for recovery between those games, as they were on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Bobby Grant is an obvious candidate to come in at Hartlepool, but will there be others?