Moving up to and sustaining ourselves at the next level.

Mellowyellow

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It's been a privilege to see some of the football played over the last month or so, as things have improved. I feel now though, as we dare think about moving up to the next level in this league for this season, mid table/a shout at the play offs, with the January window nearly upon us its about time we take stock of the playing staff needed to get there, and why we had such a disastrous start.

All clubs lose players to injury, but we had to deal with injuries looming before some of our transfers had even kicked a ball. With talk of Graham and possibly Stockley coming into the squad, plus possible a.n.other, can we afford the luxury of players who, even though have tremendous skill, are out for long periods of time. This especially applies to Holmes and Caruthers, who must take up a large part of the budget?

Is January the time to replace them with fully fit loans/permanent players, who will spend more time on the pitch than in the treatment room?
Having heard the response from Browne post match, I wouldn't be surprised if he felt he should now be playing at a higher level, after his recent performances, and push for this through his agent.

Into this mix I would include, Smith and Garbutt, what could happen to them. If I remember correctly, didn't Mapp refashion his squad one January making quite a few changes.

Of course too many changes might destabilise our current momentum. Equally, with talk of players like Stockley signing, it might be the time to adjust the squad to increase the momentum, building on the performances and results of recent weeks.
 

CheltenhamYellow

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Despite what a few are saying on this forum, I think Browne will be off. He wants better than league one and he has more talent than many players in the championship (especially if he learned when to pass!). And I have to agree about those four high wage earners: what have they added in the last few weeks while our results have been improving drastically? Even the most successful teams always seek to improve and we certainly have the potential to do so.
 

ZeroTheHero

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Smith and Garbutt I agree with. They simply aren't up to it. 'Yet' in the case of Smith (possibly), 'ever' in the case of Garbutt (unfortunately).

If Holmes can get and stay fit then he is an undoubted asset. but blimey that's a big 'IF' with what seems like a chronic back condition. He seems to be big mates with Robinson though, so I can't see him going anywhere.

Carruthers is nearly back - and again Robinson seems to rate him, so to get shot of him as he is almost ready to make a contribution wouldn't seem likely. I wasn't impressed with him when I saw him in pre-season, but I guess we'll find out. Not sure who he will replace in the team though.

Mitchell is surely one to go back - in fact his loan is only up to January anyway.

I suspect Browne will get a move 'upwards' and that Nelson will be sold so we don't lose him on a free for nothing in the summer.
 

daveoufc

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Jerome said on radio ox he understands we can send all bar 1 of the loanees back in jan if we wish so hoping we can shake the squad up a bit.
 

brassmonkey

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We also need to keep hold of our players in the window especially nelson.
 

Shropshire U

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If Nelson does go in January it makes centre-back and centre-forward dual priorities. Playing Mousinho in front of the back line has paid off well, so I'd hate to think he'd be switched back to partner Dickie for lack of a sound replacement.
It would be great if the Stockley rumour were to turn out correct (but Preston and Ipswich have been sniffing along with L1 clubs). The Smith gamble has not paid off and we need someone younger and more prolific than Mackie, who might still have a role as an impact sub.
Will Carruthers ever be fit for more than a couple of games at a time (during which he'll still be off the pace)? Get rid.
 

Scotchegg

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I'd be surprised to see Nelson go. With him being out of contract in the summer, I can't see anyone offering more than £100k to get him 6 months early. And it would cost far more than that to replace him so we'd be better off keeping him even if it meant letting him go for nothing in the summer.
 

holdsteady

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Got to agree about Nelson, why would any club pay good money when they can just wait 6 months? Nelson will earn more if moves on a free as well so can’t see him pushing to hard.

He will go in the summer but not before.
 

makv

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I'd be surprised to see Nelson go. With him being out of contract in the summer, I can't see anyone offering more than £100k to get him 6 months early. And it would cost far more than that to replace him so we'd be better off keeping him even if it meant letting him go for nothing in the summer.
I love this theory. I love even better the theory that involves us keeping him.
 

brassmonkey

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Got to agree about Nelson, why would any club pay good money when they can just wait 6 months? Nelson will earn more if moves on a free as well so can’t see him pushing to hard.

He will go in the summer but not before.
Because he would walk in to any club in our league and be a squad player in most championship teams. There will be a bidding war no doubt.
 

Dave T

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I'd be surprised to see Nelson go. With him being out of contract in the summer, I can't see anyone offering more than £100k to get him 6 months early. And it would cost far more than that to replace him so we'd be better off keeping him even if it meant letting him go for nothing in the summer.
Blackburn did with Rothwell
 

gingerox

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6 Dec 2017
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I think the step up to being a play off challenging team isn't too big of a task with our current squad; on paper and with the form we're in, we're probably only one or two players at most from being strong challengers.

However, if we were to have a good season, like Shrewsbury or Plymouth last year, go up via play offs and find ourselves in the Championship next season, I think we'd need a massive overhaul to survive. Looking at the starting XI alone:

Eastwood - Championship quality, hopefully for a few more seasons at least
Hanson - Would need a specialist full back to deal with better wingers
Nelson - Championship quality, but likely to need a replacement soon (unless we go up this season)
Dickie - A good L1 CB, but if Dunkley isn't good enough for Wigan now, you'd think we'd need better
Ruffels - Though better than Hanson, probably similar situation
Mous - Couldn't get into Burton's team when they were struggling in Championship so unlikely to be good enough now
Henry - See Eastwood
Brannagan - Championship quality for long term if we can keep him
Whyte - See Brannagan
Mackie - Would need a replacement, Stockley could be the man
Browne - Would obviously need replacing

So I'd say we need at least 6 new starting players if we were to be promoted. Think we'd have enough squad depth with Ruffels/Hanson etc. but that's still a massive financial investment even with promotion bonuses + would likely require a while for the new team to 'gel' due to number of transfers.
 
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