Does Oswell Start?
Jason Oswell wasn’t fit enough to start last Saturday, but surely he’ll return up front tomorrow. When he came off the bench against Sutton United, he brought focus to our attack, holding the ball up well and battling in the air.
We have a second line which is full of movement, and playing off Oswell ought to bring them into the game more. He might not be scoring as frequently as we’d like, but Oswell is a strong target man, and our best option if we want the ball to stick in the opposing half.
Is it a good time to play away?
With the atmosphere turning so sour last Saturday that the board felt compelled to issue a vote of confidence in Bryan Hughes, is this a good time to have a couple of back-to-back away games?
It can’t help the players’ morale to be barracked like that by their own fans: although our away form is poor, perhaps playing away from home is their best chance to press the reset button.
Are we changing shape?
Rob Griffiths’ pre-match piece in the Daily Post seems to imply we’ll switch to a 4-3-3 tomorrow. I’ve already said that I believe a switch to that formation would be beneficial, although I’d want to see Akil Wright in that position while Rob suggests Adam Barton will get the nod.
Aldershot showed at Barnet on Tuesday that they like to keep hold of the ball, with a front four in a 4-2-3-1 that wants to press and make it difficult to play out from the back. That not only means that selecting Oswell to hold up long balls is a smart move; it also suggests that having a midfield anchor to link with the back four will help us bypass the press.
How can we be more consistent over 90 minutes?
The answer is probably in the previous section. Shaun Pearson was right this week when he suggested we’d shown promising signs this season, but failed to sustain our good spells over 90 minutes. The second half against Barrow was excellent, it was attack against defence after the break against Stockport and we ought to have beaten both Maidenhead and Barnet.
However, the Halifax match was perhaps the only sustained 90 minute performance we’ve managed. Flashes of promise aren’t enough; we need to start imposing ourselves and maintaining that dominance.
Can we exploit the space in midfield?
As I mentioned earlier, Aldershot like to press in the opposing half. However, if you get through that press, things can start to look ragged. If The Shots select the same double pivot as on Tuesday, keep an eye on the distance between them (I certainly will in the Mixlr commentary!) Too often Santos pushed on, leaving Powell isolated and trying to protect his back four. If that happens again, and we can pass through the press, there’ll be plenty of space to exploit in the Aldershot half.