Town’s losing run hit four games on Saturday with the club only picking up one win in their last ten games in all competitions, but there were some green shoots of progress against the best side in League Two.
Mentioning progress after a defeat may sound strange, but for the first sixty minutes on Saturday, Town more than matched their opponents and deservedly took the lead twice in the game.
You could see why the away side is called the best team in the division, as their front three created chance after chance, but so did Michael Flynn’s side, with new signing Williams Kokolo impressing on debut.
The former Burton Albion man has been a free agent since his release from The Brewers in the summer, and after training with Town for several weeks, he’s impressed enough to be offered a short-term deal.
He looked quick and strong with the ball at his feet, and from very early signs looks to be an upgrade on the currently injured Tariq Uwakwe and will rotate with Tyrese Shade.
His transfer does come with controversy, as in the summer, he was found not guilty at Coventry Crown Court of three counts of rape.
If we respect the notion that we’re innocent until proven guilty, the 23-year-old needs to get on with his life, and I hope he’s a success at Town for many years to come.
Whilst the forward line did their job at the weekend, with Dan Kemp and Jordan Young adding to their goal totals this season, the backline again struggled.
The game-changing moment came from Kyle Wootton just shy of the 70th minute, as he found himself free in the box to head in Stockport’s equaliser, from that moment, the away side took control, scoring two more to win the game convincingly, with Town slipping to 12th in League Two.
With the lack of defensive options from the bench, a change in personnel isn’t the way forward, but one of the only times Michael Flynn has changed to a back four away at Milton Keynes, we still conceded three goals.
This stems back to the summer, in an issue we’ve addressed weekly, as the recruitment done by the club wasn’t good enough.
I don’t know who that falls to, whether it’s the manager, as we moved to a more traditional set-up with him in charge of incomings instead of a Technical Director, which we worked under last season.
Or if Jamie Russell, who as Head of Football, works with the manager on incomings and outgoings, or if it comes down to the owner and the funds made available during the season.
I would go for a mixture of all three, but I’m sure the first two would say they can only work to the budget put in front of them, so it does ultimately come down to the owner, but forgetting about who’s to blame, it’s all about how it’s fixed when January comes around.
If the chairman keeps to his word that funds will be available, progress can be made, but if he fails to produce the goods, then we’re only looking one way this season.
The biggest challenge will not only come in signing more centre-backs but how we replace Jordan Young.
It’s clear the Bradford striker had no future at Valley Parade under Mark Hughes, but with Graham Alexander in charge, there’s a huge chance Young will be recalled on 1st January.
As you read this, I’m sure the club has a list of potential new faces they are drawing up, but this is another huge oversight when Jordan was out of favour at Bradford City, he had no future in Yorkshire, we didn’t try and sign him permanently, another mistake to add to the list from the summer. Hopefully, we won’t have the same issue with Dan Kemp, as despite there being a new manager in place at Franchise, he only has six months left on his deal, he’ll have more sway on his next move, hopefully, the club can agree a permanent move for the midfielder, if we don’t, there’s no way we’ll find a player with that ability willing to play in League Two.