Three Big Calls MA Has To Make v Gillingham

Courtesy Graham Burrell

I can’t get over the weekend’s result.

It has stalked me like the antagonist of a horror movie, springing up to frighten me every time I open social media or close my eyes to contemplate life for a second (yes, I do that). I’ve dreamed about it and felt the need to come to terms with the fact our fate is not in our own hands anymore. It is, of course, if we won every game between now and the end of the season, we would surely go up as we’d finish above Sunderland, and both Posh and Doncaster would drop points, but the ‘ifs’ are coming thick and fast. Besides, reason never seems to find its way into the plot of a horror movie, and I certainly saw no reason for us to roll over and get slaughtered as we did at the weekend.

The truth is after a brave campaign we are now rocking in the promotion chase, up against the rope and bloodied in key areas. The best player in League One this season, according to Sofa Score, is Jorge Grant. He’s out. Joe Walsh had you all raving before his injury, he’s out. Adam Jackson is getting by day-to-day, desperately playing on despite injury concerns. Harry Anderson, arguably our best player in October, can’t get fit since his Covid lay-off. Max Sanders, a player I fancied to stake a first-team claim, has yet to see any real action.

We’re battered and bruised but we’re still in there, hoping to get enough points to see us through.

Credit Graham Burrell

Tomorrow night sees us play our last Tuesday game until April 6th, a lay off that the side desperately needs. However, it could also be the game that defines our season. In a race as close as the one we’re involved in, a win for us and defeat for our rivals can change things quickly, and that has to be the aim for Manager Michael Appleton.

He has some big calls to make tomorrow, huge calls all over the field, and getting them right could keep us in the automatic promotion hunt. The wrong shout, defeat and our rivals winning could leave us scrabbing to stay in the top six. I’m sure it is the sort of pressure a man like Michael revels in, and he has rarely let us down this season.

So, what are the three big calls he has to make heading into tomorrow’s game?