Team selection and tactics that apparently only 'people in football' could appreciate and truly understand, has caused a certain amount of bewilderment and dismay among the club's supporters. The club has three natural left-footed first team members in Martin Petrov, Marcos Alonso and Greg Wylde who are routinely left to twiddle their thumbs and watch right-footed players in the persons of Chris Eagles and Sam Ricketts, play on the left. To be fair, Eagles has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise depressing and disappointing start to the season, scoring four times to date.
Marvin Sordell and Greg Wylde must be wondering what they have to do to get a game, such has been the quality on show so far. Young Liverpool loanee Jay Spearing has looked quite promising in the middle of the park but was forced to depart the pitch in his last outing against Birmingham City. The Gaffer had this to say, in updating the media on Spearing's injury; "Jay Spearing is a huge concern because he came off so early in the game. His calf had tightened up and he wasn't able to get about the pitch the way he would have liked. He will be a big doubt for Saturday but we will give him every chance. He has felt slightly better today (Thursday) and we will wait to see how that progresses.
The good news is that he had a scan and it showed that there was no major tear. There was just a bit of swelling and hopefully that will get better. We have got two days until Saturday so we will have a look at it."
Another loanee who may have an opportunity to impress is Stephen Warnock of Aston Villa. The 30 year old former England defender (see Zat Knight) featured in 38 games in all competitions last season for the Villains but has failed to impress new boss Paul Lambert. Owen Coyle tried to sign him over the summer and it is felt that this initial 3-month signing may be the gateway to a permanent signing in January, if things go according to plan.
Despite the poor placing in the table at present, manager Owen Coyle does not fear being sacked. The Whites boss is ignoring mounting speculation over his own future to focus on tomorrow’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday, where victory could put them back within striking distance of the play-off positions.
Four consecutive away defeats in league and cup have hiked up the pressure on the Scot, but, speaking yesterday at Euxton, he reiterated that he does not fear getting the sack for the first time in his managerial career. Coyle is adamant his players can earn the results that would ease the strain and send the Whites moving back in the right direction in the Championship table.
It remains to be seen how much time he may actually have left in the hot seat, but manager and supporters remain united in agreement on one thing - we need results, and quickly.