Andy Munro on Blues’ latest friendlies.
With all the euphoria of the likely takeover, a new young manager and a couple of decent results, the defeats against the ‘might’ of Solihull Moors and Cheltenham Town did indeed come as the reality check we all expected.
I watched the Cheltenham match, which was probably more encouraging than the defeat against the Moors. On the minus side, neal Etheridge looked uncertain at times, Sam Cosgrove showed that his goal against Burton unfortunately flattered to deceive and some of the rookies on show looked exactly that .
However, there were quite a few plus points in a match we certainly didn’t deserve to lose and probably deserved to win. At the back, despite his one costly mistake, Tate Campbell looked assured as did Mitch Roberts. Wing back Josh Williams looked decent as did midfielder Brandon Khela but the undoubted star was Brummie Finley Thorndike, with Jobe Bellingham not far behind.
Both need to be part of the first team squad going into the new season and I would be tempted to put a dynamic and pacy Thorndike in a starting line up which currently lacks those properties up top.
On the downside the ‘seniors’ struggled despite having enough chances to put the game against the Moors to bed. The big question is whether Scott Hogan and Troy Deeney are the answer up front, particularly as although Hogan is in the ‘nippy’ category, neither him nor Deeney are blessed with real pace. Unfortunately, good young strikers don’t come cheap but as new boss Eustace pointed out, we may have to make do and mend which is not the most encouraging thought.