Can Keates use this match to help us in the league?
Could Dean Keates use this match to have a proper look at his squad? Players like Devonte Redmond, Michael Chambers and Leighton McIntosh might get a chance to impress him today. He did a terrific job of getting rid of dead wood last time around, and won’t be shy to do so again: players need to justify their place in the squad swiftly.
However, whisper it, what if he decides to boost squad confidence by picking a strong squad in an attempt to get a morale-boosting result? He wouldn’t…………….would he?
Will Rob Lainton return?
Having last season’s player of the season available at last would be a real boost. I don’t want to denigrate Christian Dibble at all, but his confidence has suffered in recent games. He still has a future at this club, so it’s probably in his interest that he’s given a break from the first team.
Lainton is a reassuring presence at the back, but by the same token we mustn’t rush him. A recurrence of his injury could have disastrous consequences for our season, so we need to make sure he’s absolutely right. It could turn out to be a low key affair on the pitch, but a big day for the medical staff as they advise the manager on Lainton’s availability.
Will the kids impress again?
The likes of Jake Bickerstaff and Max Cleworth impressed against Ayr United, and St Mirren Colts might be the ideal opponents to maintain that progress. They might be an Under-21 side, but most of their squad is considerably under that mark in terms of average age. Dean Keates showed in his first spell in charge that he’ll give youth its chance: there’s a chance for them to show him what they can do.
Will we suffer because of events elsewhere the weekend?
Only goal difference keeping us out of the relegation spots. While we play in the Scottish Thingumyflip again, the teams around will be getting on with business. Aldershot will be at home to Hartlepool while we play the children of St Mirren, AFC Fylde are at home to Sutton. Admittedly, we’ll make the game up against Chesterfield next Tuesday, but we don’t need to welcome a new manager with the psychological blow of being in the bottom four.
What does playing in a Scottish Cup mean?
Have a read of this.