Date: 13th September 2016 at 9:52am
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Scoring goals and creating dangerous attacks, Not something we did all too well last season. However Lowe and Dagnall, mainly with the help of Alex Kiwomya and Cooper, seem to have made amends for last season’s mishaps in front of goal.

If we were to have held on to the Hartlepool match, in which we lost a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3, we would be 2nd ahead of Portsmouth and therefore in the automatic promotion spots. I personally think a top three finish is possible but, in order to achieve that, our defence must both improve and become more consistent. I would have liked to have seen an experienced defender come in, over the summer months, however Lowe and Dagnall took most of the budget which is understandable as both are somewhat ‘marquee’ signings.

In solution to the defensive woes; I would keep the back four consistent, improving chemistry. I would also try to bring in an experienced centre back on loan, if the budget allowed. However, if I was manager, I would prioritise the extension of Alex Kiwomya and Hollands’ contracts. Providing all parties involved were happy with the contracts and fees. If that were to over stretch the budget then we would survive defensively, though a successful season may not be as easy. We added experience with the signing of Alan Tate on emergency loan a few years back, he kept us up and also improved those around him. Zoumana Bakayogo has had a similar impact by improving others, but unfortunately doesn’t offer the same solidarity as Tate did.

I spoke to my friend who goes to most Crewe Alexandra matches and he isn’t sure about the defence either, but would however ‘bank on a successful season’ and by ‘successful I mean a top seven finish and at least the playoff final’ he said. The position in which he sits enables him to have forty-five (45) minutes watching the back four from behind, rather than side on like my view. Due to this I would say he is in the better position to comment on the defence than me, as he can see communication and positioning as Garratt does. He raised the point of space being too easily available, thus opposition getting in behind, creating chances, and going on to score from them.

Many fans had many opinions on what a successful season, would be at the start of the campaign. ‘Playoffs’, ‘Mid-Table’, ‘as long as we avoid relegation I’ll be happy’ – I have heard all of them and every position in between. However with the start we’ve made and how we’re playing, fans have renewed hope and optimism and higher expectations have been set, ‘in and around the playoffs’ is the most common answer nowadays.

Steve Davis when interviewed, talked about how we had set the standard ourselves and must keep matching that week in week out. I spoke in a previous article about momentum and consistency, and still consider those views to be true. I stated ‘ we must achieve a consistent level of performance and results ‘ and related it to ‘ to the great run of one defeat in twenty two games that saw us promoted to League One under Steve Davis back in his first season beginning back in 2011.’ The fact we had form, momentum and a good approach psychologically all contributed to the success back then. I have started to see those signs, which I hadn’t seen in the previous few seasons, once again.

If we gain consistency and keep playing as well as we have, then a successful season may be on the cards.