Its looking good
According to reports we played well tonight (All Quiet
) and Darren Bent's further proficiency at the point of a 4-5-1 looks like it could produce results and results garnered with a bit more flair than last season. Jeffers and Bent in a pair is also an option and I suspect that with the size of the squad we will see more chopping around, tailored for the opposition and venue.
Smertin earned further good reviews tonight, although personally I would prefer to see Ambrose start in the middle and not out wide.
Curbishley's comments after the game about Bent: "I know his strengths are in a two and he'll be even more dangerous with someone up there with him,"
I think underline that a big strong forward is still a target.
Well, its looking good and AEK Athens to come at the Valley on Saturday, with us wearing the new white away kit
. Rumour has it that the new red one is almost made to last, pity we will all be picking the all:Sports logo off it next summer.
It looks like Jason Euell's Bentley will be staying in the players car park a bit longer. Last night in the reserve friendly at Dover
he dislocated his shoulder
and will be out for 6 weeks.
Of more concern is Dean Kiely's fractured finger
, sustained in a warm-up in training on Monday. This does give 23-year old Stephan Andersen a massive opportunity but Curbs needs to decide whether he signs a short-term replacement for Deano or puts his faith in youngsters Darren Randolph and Rob Elliot. Randolph warmed the bench tonight and expect Elliot to do the same on Saturday.
Matt Holland and El Karkouri are also sidelined plus Jonathan Spector, Radostin Kishishev and Jonathan Fortune sat out the Feyenoord game with "little niggles."
One sad note to finish on is the news of Graham Stuart's retirement from the game. Apart from the official site
, this story has had very little press. At 34, you would have thought he might be good value to a Championship or a League One club, but he did have a lot of other interests outside the game and I think he does have an inkling for some media work. Best of luck Graham.