Date:Friday January 18 2008
Crewe travel to Carlisle just one point off the relegation zone and things don't look good.
Another week has passed with a lack of new faces at Gresty Road. Bids have failed, Forest Green have stayed silent and Holland has enquired some more. It all adds up to a complete damp squid of a transfer window, and what's more is that if this continues we could be in deep trouble.
A defeat at home to Leeds has piled on the pressure, the trap door is creaking. There isn't much sign of improvement on the pitch and frankly, the management are some way off from 'pulling out all the stops'.As usual, Crewe take the laid back approach to proceedings whilst every other struggling team make signings, more signings and a few more signings.
Saturday's game won't be a walk in the park either. Carlisle can certainly be classed as promotion candidates, sitting fourth and two points off the automatic positions at the start of play. They've won their last seven home league games, including against Leeds and have the league's second highest scorer up front, Joe Garner.
A defeat won't see us slip into the relegation zone, but with league leaders Swansea up on Tuesday it certainly seems to be putting off the inevitable. And if we win? Well everything will be fine and dandy, no reason to bring in new players, eh Holland?
John Ward showed his complete lack of knowledge about this club. Work ethic? Where?
'I have a lot of respect for Crewe and the way they run the football club. They are a footballing side who will give us a big, big test.
'They've got a standard of football that they keep up to as high as they possibly can and the work ethic at the club is excellent. They are a standard mark for everyone at this level.'
Carlisle have signed Evan Harwood on loan from Sheff Utd, and he should debut in defence. They've also completed the signing of Grant Smith but international clearance, or lack of, will keep him out of the side. Paul Thirlwell has suffered a calf injury whilst Simon Hackney as recovered from is fatigue (laziness?).
Twelve goals this season, and a cracking player. The Lancashire born striker will need to be kept quiet if we want anything from this.
Julien Baudet is fit after fears he'd be out for over a month after limping off against Leeds on Monday. The French defender only suffered cramp and looks set to resume his role in central defence.
Ryan Lowe has been ruled out with a knee injury, Ben Rix is doubtful (horaah I hear) and Billy Jones is still injured, and will be for the next 6 weeks.
Simon Church is expected to return to the side and will play his final game for the Alex. His loan spell expires on the day and it looks unlikely Reading are ready to renew.
Steven Schumacher should return to the bench after two months out with various injuries.
Maynard looks like he's returning to his old self, so we'll just play it narrow and allow Carlisle to mark him out of the game.
We have met each other 76 times in the history of the football league, and amazingly we're all square. 32 wins each and twelve draws, we have however score one more than Carlisle in those games.
Carlisle 3-1 Crewe
Swansea, Tuesday night, LIberty Stadium.
Date:Friday January 18 2008
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