Andy Munro reports on Blues’ pre-season defeat at Northampton Town.
Losing 3-2 to fourth tier Northampton Town can’t have been the best pre-season morale booster but maybe too much shouldn’t be read into it although there were certainly a few things to learn.
Our trialist keeper Sarkic probably couldn’t have prevented two of the goals but the other one would be a star blooper as he was caught woefully in possession. He certainly looked no better than young Zac Jeacock so the jury must be out.
In front of him, George Friend and Kristian Pedersen starred, but the four man unit looked decidedly shaky against pace – Harlee Deane and Maxime Colin particularly in that regard. The younger and pacier Castillo and Dion Sandersen must come into the equation sooner rather than later.
On a more positive note the combination of the box to box Gary Gardner and the class of the impressive Ryan Woods bodes well. I counted only one misplaced pass from the latter in the whole game.
Playing two wingers may be a step too far against better quality opposition even though Ivan Sanchez scored a sublime goal and Jeremie Bela was at his mercurial best. Unfortunately, on the negative side, they were often caught out defensively
Up front, the Juke was his usual impressive self but he’s unlikely to last every game. More disappointing was Jonathan Leko, who continues to be a damp squib. The only other thing to add is that I would like to have seen young Keyendrah Simmonds given a run out in the latter stages as he looked so impressive in his cameos at the end of last season.
One extra bonus was a very vocal backing from the attendant thousand or so Bluenoses. That level of support will be very important once the real business kicks off.