Tomorrow we go into battle in Dundee, against United, without several key players. It was already going to be a difficult game. Now it is harder than ever, and with Jota in particular likely to be out for a few weeks there is no end in sight to our injury issues.
Have you ever known another club to have the number of injuries we get? God. No sooner are a couple of players back but now others are dropping out. It’s all well and good saying that we should have the squad to cope, but we are entitled to curse our luck.
The problems tomorrow are all going to be on the left. On the right we have options. On the left hand side we still look a little off the pace. I expect that we’ll go with Monty at left back and put Forrest on the wing, but that’s not necessarily how the manager will go.
He could give Liam Scales a start at left back. That would let us play Montgomery in his natural role. Is Greg Taylor fit? There is some debate about that. If he is then he would certainly be the preferred option, as at the moment he’s Ange’s first choice.
Mikey Johnson would obviously be an option on the left of midfield; I don’t know how many fans feel about that, but I think he seriously needs to up his game in quite a significant way. He is just back from injury but he’s not been at all impressive so far, and obviously that makes me sad to write that because I have been a big fan for a long time.
But this is Ange’s team and we need more from Mikey than he’s produced so far. He has to focus and improve on several areas of his game. We know he has talent. I also think he needs to toughen up some. His final ball is still, too often, very poor.
Crucially, he may be helped in this regard by the injury to Ralston.
With Juranovic on his proper side we can put someone genuinely left footed on that side of the pitch, and the improvements in how the ball is whipped in from that side. It will take some of the pressure off Mikey to do all the work on that side of the pitch.
We’re in for a tough one, and there’s no doubt about that. Every player will have to give his best, and especially those who are coming in to provide cover for our injured stars. It’s not just about stepping up to the level of the team, they need to prove that they belong in the squad, because Ange seems intent on making even bigger changes going forward.
So we’re set to be tested at Tannadice, which we always were anyway, but in a bigger way than we would have anticipated before the other night. We absolutely need to hit the ground running tomorrow and make it a comfortable day.