I remember saying a few weeks ago that I was completely unsure as to what sort of team Bryan Gunn would be putting out against Colchester in the first game of our League One campaign.
We are now just three days away from this fixture though and it is fair to say that we have a pretty decent idea what the starting line-up is going to be. Not only do we know this, but we can actually be fairly optimistic about the type of performance they are going to put in.
Gunn has done very well in the transfer market and if the pre-season games are anything to go by, we should have a squad capable of winning promotion back to the Championship. So, who is going to be fighting for early points at Carrow Road on Saturday?
Goalkeeper: Michael Theoklitos – The Australian keeper is clearly Gunn’s No.1 and has done well in the pre-season games he has played.
Right-back: Jon Otsemobor – Semi showed against Wigan what he can do. At League One level, he can be a solid defender and a very handy attacking threat.
Left-back: Adam Drury – It is good to see the Canary veteran get a decent pre-season under his belt. Injury problems have plagued him recently, but he is still the best full-back at the club.
Centre-back: Gary Doherty – You can’t leave out your skipper can you? Doherty will be leading from the front against Colchester, hopefully having one of his more solid games.
Centre-back: Michael Nelson – This is a difficult one because Jens Berthel Askou has looked very good in pre-season. However, for me, Nelson just about gets the nod.
Right-wing: Simon Whaley – This is one of the easiest decisions of the lot. Not only is he one of the few options to play in this position, but he has looked very impressive since signing from Preston.
Left-wing: Wes Hoolahan – Although I have put Little Wes as a left-winger, this is far from his role. He will operate centrally and basically have a free role. Our best player.
Centre-midfield: Owain Tudur Jones – The big lad from Swansea has impressed me in pre-season. He can protect the defence well, win the ball well and send Hoolahan on his way well.
Centre-midfield: Matthew Gill – I get the feeling that Gunn wants Stephen Hughes in this role eventually, but his match fitness is questionable. Therefore, the ‘Clingan like’ Gill will play.
Striker: Grant Holt – There is no doubt that the former Forest man will be leading the line for us. He has a good scoring record at this level and will be integral to our promotion hopes.
Striker: Chris Martin – It seems as though the loan-spell at Luton has done young Chris the world of good. He can finish as well as anybody in this league and could be our secret weapon.
So, there you have it. I think this will be the team on Saturday. There are plenty of options on the bench as well with Jamie Cureton, Tom Adeyemi, Stephen Hughes, Cody McDonald, Ben Alnwick, Goran Maric, Paul McVeigh and Michael Spillane all fighting it out for the seven spots.
by Thomas Rooney