We’ve had a mixed last six months or so. It’s great that we’ve not only retained our Championship status, but also now have a manager in Garry Monk who has raised standards within the club and is somebody fans trust.
On the other hand, he’s got one hand tied behind his back with the transfer embargo – the only signing at the time of writing is Kristian Pedersen and there’s doubts about whether he’ll be eligible.
The goalkeeping situation is a worry too, because David Stockdale has been transfer listed but nobody seems willing to match his wages and with little in the way of back-up, he might have to play for us again which might be a bit of an awkward one. Can’t help wondering whether those two comical own goals against your lot for Brighton has affected Stockdale’s confidence.
In some ways it’s nice not to have a massive overhaul of players, given the ridiculous number we’ve had post-Rowett. It means the lovely crop of youngsters we’ve got bubbling through will get more of a look-in – Wes Harding was a breathe of fresh air when he came in at right-back last season while attacking midfielder Bez Lubala could follow his path.
There is reason to think Monk can get the best out of the current squad too, given that we looked more positive under him at the end of last season and created more – Jota was much-improved and hopefully he can rediscover his Brentford form.
On the other hand though, most teams who have got promoted over the last two seasons have had an element of control and poise about them – and more specifically, a deep-lying playmaker.
A lot of our midfielders – Maikel Kieftenbeld, David Davis when fit, Craig Gardner et al – are willing competitors but they lack a certain level of composure and that’s been an issue for some time.
We should have plenty of pace going forward – Jacques Maghoma was our best player last season, Che Adams has potential and hopes are high for Viv Soloman-Otabor after a productive loan at Blackpool.
However, while we’ve not got the funds to add two or three players who can give us that touch of class in key areas, a year of modest progress might be the best we can hope for.
You can follow Gabriel Sutton on Twitter, @_FootballLab to read his fantastic work on the all things EFL. Thanks to Gab for penning this article for us.