Strength In Depth

Last updated : 13 January 2005 By Andy Green
With Tranmere losing at home to Bristol last night we find ourselves seven points clear of third with a game in a hand. A superb run of results through December and into the new year has seen Luton’s once impressive lead equalled and surpassed.

During this period Luton’s form hasn’t been that bad either, and here lies the danger. It’s easy to see how things can change very quickly. Having suffered only our first defeat in seven weeks we should rightly be confident about our position. On the other hand, this latest defeat has highlighted one or two areas of concern.

I think it’s fair to say that the squad can cope with the loss of any player. What it can’t do is cope with the loss of more than one key player at the same time. Having Barmby; chief creator; Ashbee; ball winner; and Elliott; goal getter; all absent, is simply asking too much of the squad.

In Barmby and Ashbee’s case we have plenty of options up front and in central midfield, but on the left of midfield we look to be short of adequate cover. Since Elliott’s injury numerous options have been tried, but Edge doesn’t possess the trickery, Lewis the guile, Keane the pace or Facey the left foot.

In the past I have been a strong supporter of going with what we have ‘in the building’ when it comes to filling gaps and problem positions, but this time I’m glad to see us attempting to bring someone in on the left of midfield. It looks as though that someone might well be Kevin Ellison from Chester City.

Ellison does not possess a particularly impressive CV, but it includes a history of signing for Taylor when he was in charge at Leicester and playing for Stockport whilst Murphy was amongst their coaching staff.

11 goals in 24 starts for Chester this season bodes well, as does the opinion of Chester’s fans for the player of the season so far, with Ellison receiving a whopping 69% of the votes cast.

With Barmby back to load the gun for Allsopp or Facey, Ashbee marshalling the troops and Ellison making his debut down the left, I feel much happier about Saturdays visit of the Posh, and indeed, the rest of the campaign.