Mitchel-King Called Upon In Defensive Reshuffle
Dario is set to recall Mat Mitchel-King to the side for tomorrow's trip to Rotherham United in a bid to try and sure up a defence which conceded six at Northampton on Tuesday night and ten in our last three games.
It was going so well at the start of the year with a succession of clean sheets against Shrewsbury, Wycombe and, ironically, Northampton as some fans dared to assume our defensive record had taken a turn for the better.
An injury to David Artell last month did seem to unsettle the back four but his return to the line up on Tuesday evening did nothing to stop the goals going in. It's fair to say that all six of Northampton's helping were down to either poor goalkeeping or defensive mishaps, including comedy slips, an offside trap gone wrong and non-existent marking.
It has pretty much forced Dario's hand in regards to changes of the back line and it seems like Danny Blanchett could be the one to make way as Mitchel-King returns to the side for the first time since the FA Cup disaster at Tamworth.
Dario has recently suggested that he sees King's role as a full back, despite a career in the centre of either defence or midfield, and having played left back in a friendly against Aston Villa this week the clues as to his role for tomorrow are there.
Mat is likely to be joined by Byron Moore, who is also a certainty for a starting spot after missing the Northampton game for personal reasons, but how the rest of the team will shape up, with the absence of top scorers Shaun Miller and Clayton Donaldson, is one to keep an eye on.
Many are calling for the re-insatement of Steve Phillips between the sticks but he seems to have been cast aside despite an impressive game against Bradford when he covered for a suspended Rhys Taylor.
The certainties - and I am most probably going to be proved wrong come 3pm tomorrow for saying this - for the outfield are, as usual, the likes of Bell, Westwood, Murphy, Artell, Ada and, Tootle, with the right back, despite the scoreline, having an impressive game on Tuesday night. Who will be leading the line with Moore is going to be the main headache, although there are few choices available.
Ajay Leitch-Smith got himself a goal on Tuesday in what was otherwise a quiet night for the 20 year old. His place could come under threat from the emergence of youngster Antoni Sarcevic, who netted a consolation goal on his debut against Northampton. Joel Grant is pretty much the final option as a makeshift attacker, though his cameo on Tuesday left a lot to be desired.
Youngster Nick Powell however will have to wait for his first Alex going from Dario's comments. Dario seems frustrated with the 16 year old, who has been linked with a host of Premiership clubs, due to his insistence of running with the ball until he loses it. Dario told the media this morning that until he starts listening he will remain on the bench.
So, we're pretty thread bare going into a game against a 3rd placed Rotherham side but with the Millers in dreadful form, with just one win and four defeats in their last five games, the game is there to be won.
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