Ten weeks after the disappointment at Vale Park and the new football season has arrived, and Town has plenty of new faces on the pitch and in the dugout.
Scott Lindsey is the man chosen to lead our great club after the departure of Ben Garner, in my last article, I said, like many others, I’m underwhelmed by his appointment, but I look forward to seeing what he can achieve at SN1.
Sadly, he endured a nightmare start, as his side was not only well beaten, but embarrassed by relegation-tipped Harrogate Town.
Town were clear second best throughout the 90 minutes, and despite having some chances, the home side easily cantered to a 3-0 win, the club’s worst opening day result in 13 years, since our humiliation at Priestfield.
With the arrival of 13 new players, it would be difficult for an experienced manager to get a cohesive team performance in their first game, it’s understandable players weren’t on the same wavelength, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of effort by some players, that’s a worrying sign for any manager, especially one in his first game as the boss.
His first team selection wasn’t overly greeted with joy as Lewis Ward was left on the bench in favour of Sol Brynn.
With Ward ending last season as the club’s number one, and one of our best performers he fully deserved to begin this season in the same spot, so it’s a big call for the manager to back his loanee from Middlesborough over the former Reading man.
We also saw the return of using three centre-backs, and two wing-backs to the first team, a system which I hoped we’d seen the last of after a run of disappointing results last season, but with new personnel, including the superb signing of Angus MacDonald, it could prove to be the way forward, the manager will hope it brings results and performances quickly.
It would be crazy to suggest Scott Lindsey would be under any pressure already, as he deserves, and I’m sure will get, time in his job, but this Saturday he’ll want to make a good first impression as Salford City visits Wiltshire.
He needs to get the Town faithful on board quickly, and he’ll achieve that if fans can see a clear style of play, a team working for each other, with passion and commitment.
If those things are on display and we lose this weekend, it’ll be disappointing but we would’ve seen a game plan in operation and a way forward, but if we witness a repeat from last weekend and taste defeat, the manager will find it tough to convince some he’s the right man to build on last season’s playoff finish.
This was true for Richie Wellens when he first took the job at Town, in his first game we witnessed a horror show at the County Ground, losing 4-0 to Carlisle Utd. In his first nine games, he won three, drew three, and lost three, nothing special, but in those games, Town fans could see him implementing his style, despite the average start, we knew he had a clear vision.
If this is the case for Lindsey, he will be given time by the majority of fans to show he fully deserves the faith put in him by Rob Angus and Sandro Di Michele.