Eleven games into the season. 4 wins, 2 draws and 5 losses. It's been an inconsistent start for Boro who just as they seem to be making some head-way, come unstuck the following game.
Boro are still on the search for back-to-back wins in the league and ahead of Saturday’s long trip up to Carlisle, GW spoke about how it’s been the sides at the top end of the table that have taken most of the points off Boro so far this season.
“If you look at us so far this season, really we’ve lost our games against the sides in the top 7. That’s the reality of it; we haven’t been strong enough to get results in those games. You didn’t know it at the time but as you see the table unfold it is those better sides that have un-done us. When you’re developing, when you’re putting a new squad together, when you’ve got a lot of young players facing the issues that we’ve spoken about each week, when you’ve got so many knocks and so many injuries especially to your big players, I guess it’s going to be the better sides that will make you suffer and so that’s proved to be.”
The gaffer's right. Aside from the loss to York, Boro's losses have come against Bury, Wycombe, Southend and Luton who are all in the play-off spots, at least.
That’s not to say that facing the second-to-bottom side in the Football League will be easy. After watching them lose on penalties to Tranmere on Tuesday, GW was full of praise in regards to how the Cumbrians played.
“Let’s not though underestimate what we’re playing at the weekend because I watched these (Carlisle) the other night at Tranmere and I’ve got to say they’re one of the best League 2 sides I’ve seen in a long while. They’ve got a new manager, he’s obviously liberated them and they’ve got some very good players playing very good football. They were very unfortunate to draw 1-1 and but for the Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper having a man of the match display, it’d been a very convincing win.”
Injuries have been problematic this season with key players missing much of the campaign already, but the gaffer has always preached that their misfortune could be a blessing for some of the younger players thrown into the mix.
“We are thin. There’s no question about that. There’s a lot of experience and numbers on the side-lines. I keep saying it each week; our young lads who are going in facing the music, they’ll be benefiting from it and growing as players. Even when you take Conference champions up into League 2, we know how long it can take to adjust. Michael Bostwick ended up being a £800,000 player. Michael Bostwick looked like he couldn’t kick a football in the Football League.
When pushed on whether or not we’re likely to see any returns from the sideline this weekend, the gaffer was clear in his response.
“No. I got reports on most of the injured lads last night, they’ve all been re-scanned and re-examined and most of the treatment room has got another 8 or 10 weeks on the sidelines, there’s no imminent returns. It’s tough, we’re having to dig in right now.”
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