The grass is growing, that’s all there is to talk about. No joke – no news of new players, or players on trail or pre-season games, just that the grass in growing.
In a couple of tweets this morning the club confirmed the grass had started to grow and that 3g astroturf is to be laid around the edge of the pitches now.
Meanwhile Leeds have snatched up Matt Smith from Oldham. The striker did well in last years FA cup playing the target man role well, however has only bagged 14 goals in 75 appearances.
The only player news concerning ourselves is with Goodwillie from Blackburn who looked to be joining Dundee United last week. It appears we’ve added our names to the hat, however with a season-long loan.
Fixtures are out next week, on Wednesday 19th at 9am. That should give us something to talk about.
A disappointing day yesterday with the news that Ludovic Sylvestre would be leaving. Since then the papers have put two and two together and made Palace favourites to sign him. In reality Palace would be his level, Fulham etc could be a step too far.
Ince also has commented that he was surprised and disappointed to lose the midfielder considering he had given the French man a run in the side last season and worked on improving his fitness.
Interestingly in his interview with the Gazette he added.
“At the end of the day all we can do is offer what we think is right. If a player can go and get bigger money elsewhere, then there’s not really much we can do about it.”
With contracts being offered to GTF, Crainey and Broadfoot, it seems like he’s preparing for them not to accept. You can’t blame the players either.
One team that won’t be requiring to find new players are Blackburn Rovers, who have a of squad around 42. One they might be looking to offload is David Goodwillie. The Scot was linked to us in the past, and Ollie took him on loan at Palace where he only made one appearance last season. At Rovers he’s only scored 2 in 28.
Today Dundee United, whom he played for before, were said to have put in an offer for the 24-year-old. That could be sparked by the fact that Dundee United have accepted a bid for Johnny Russell from Derby County, 20 goals in 38 games in the SPL last season. And so the merry-go-round starts, just doesn’t look like we’ll be jumping on any time soon.
One good story is that season ticket sales have surpassed last seasons figures. We have a total of 10,339 season ticket holders for the coming season. Without the £195.30 season ticket offer I’m sure that we would have been way short of last seasons number.
Ince has stated we have targets set for the transfer market. Similar to previous transfer windows Ollie mentioned a list was created, given to Karl Oyston and Matt Williams who the would try to acquire as many player from the list as possible.
The targets are set per position so guessing there will be no new keeper in the list or wingers with Phillips and Tom Ince looking to stay on. It’s also depends on Crainey, GTF, Ludo and Broadfoot who are yet to accept a new contract and could leave.
It’s all very much up in the air. We won’t look to bring in replacements for the quartet until they make a decision, has a deadline been set for the four? If not, and they leave it late to decide on their future it would leave gaping holes in the squad close to the start of the season.
To move our attentions away from the lack of players some kit news. The new kits (which are pretty good considering some of the crap in the past) are due in the shop by the end of the month. Training kits will be on sale on the 17th with a limited selection of old Fila kids shirts reduced to a £10.
Elsewhere in the league, Rovers handed Grant Hanley a five-year deal. Crazy, not many people are able to secure a five-year contract. Brighton have yet to decided on Gus Poyet’s future, hopefully that will continue for a while.
And on a nice note, Palace have offered Kevin Phillips a one-year-deal which could be a fitting end to a great career.
Two huge games this weekend which could either help us pull away from the relegation scrap, or put us right in the middle. Currently we sit in 17th place on 46 points, only 4 points above Peterborough who occupy the last relegation spot.
First up this afternoon is the Lancashire derby against Chicken FC who are also in the thick of the relegation battle. Onto their 4th manager of the season after the departure of Michael Appleton they have the squad win the remaining games but have relied on their home form too much this season. They are one place below on the same points, but with one game in hand due to their FA Cup run. Their run in isn’t too bad with them only having to play Cardiff and Palace, the rest of their fixtures are against fellow relegation threatened sides.
Checking the odds at TFBets Blackburn are favourites for today’s game but have a long injury list at the moment, including DJ Campbell who won’t be returning to face us due to an ankle injury.
Then on Monday we face Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace. The meeting at Selhurst Park earlier this season had a little extra about it and we did well to grab a last minute point thanks to a strike from Dicko, how we could use him! I expect the reception to be good for Holloway, however once the game kicks off I’m sure he’ll start to get some stick.
The fixtures this weekend are pretty spread out, today only the Derby vs Bristol City match involves a team in the relegation battle. Bristol are rooted to the foot of the table and look to be odds on to go down at this stage. Tomorrow the big fixture is Sheffield V Barnsley who occupy the two spots above the relegation zone.
Two wins this weekend is a big ask. It would but us up to 52 points with 6 to go. No points could be disastrous, considering in the remaining six games we have to face Forrest, Burnley, Sheffield, Brighton, Derby and Bolton! Realistically a couple of points would be a good return from the Easter weekend fixtures.
Using the BBC Championship predictor I have us ending up on 52 points, however that target only being achieved on the penultimate fixture against Derby. Squeaky bum time as Fergy would say!