This streak of playing well but not winning will come to an end, either results will improve or performances will diminish. An away trip to Rochdale, a club we’ve only beaten twice in 16 competitive meetings and never away from home, hardly seems like the ideal place to begin a reversal of form, but equally, getting a win here could have a galvanising effect upon a side that has lost a sense of identity over the past six months.
A lot rests on the fitness of Tom Bayliss, and Liam Kelly as to whether Mark Robins can make changes to last week’s team. Those two are probably the clearest candidates who can come into the side and improve the team immediately, otherwise Robins is left to shuffle around players of relatively similar quality hoping to stumble upon a winning formula.
The 4-3-3 that we began the Gillingham game with gave us spells of dominance without much attacking threat, the 4-4-1-1 that was used in the second-half gave us attacking threat with fewer spells of dominance. Given the form and fitness of many of our attacking options at the moment, handing a free reign to Bright Enobakhare in the centre of the pitch seems to be our best bet of troubling opponents – Mark Robins has to ensure this time around that he takes Enobakhare off when he starts to flag or it leaves us playing with effectively 10 men.
Having Liam Kelly and David Meyler available in central midfield could help provide the solid platform upon which Enobakhare and our other attacking players can express themselves. Nonetheless, pairing Kelly and Meyler in central midfield leaves Mark Robins with a quandary as to how to fit Bright Enobakhare, Tom Bayliss, Luke Thomas, and a striker, into the same team, someone is going to be shoehorned into a position some would consider to be unnatural.