Lowestoft boss doing his best to get side together in their battle for survival
Archant Norfolk 2016
There’s not too many managers that would swap places with Dale Brooks over the past week.
At some point in the last few days the Lowestoft Town boss would have sat down with a tactics board in front of him with 11 gaping holes that need to be filled.
A lot of managers refer to having a ‘nice problem’ when they have a squad full of 20-odd players vying for 11 spots.
Well, Brooks has got the opposite of this - filling those 11 spots is definitely a problem but there’s nothing nice about it.
Who makes up his starting XI when the Blues head to Enfield Town this afternoon is a very fluid situation. When the club revealed details of its ‘financial difficulties’ and the fact players had gone unpaid for January it would have made the ears prick up of every club in the area.
Jake Reed, a proven goalscorer in the Bostik League Premier Division, was the first to go as Leiston struck and he was soon followed out the exit door by Harry Barker, who joined Norwich United.
They won’t be the last as, unfortunately for the Blues, it’s open season on Lowestoft.
Players will have naturally adjusted their lives to expect a certain level of income and if the Blues can’t fulfil their contractual obligations then they will go looking for it elsewhere.
It therefore presents Brooks with a problem and to get 11 players to put their bodies on their line for the Blues cause will take some doing.
There’s likely to be a few unfamiliar names in Lowestoft’s starting line-up this afternoon and the former Southend United Under-21s coach will have to beg, borrow and steal players to fulfil their remaining 11 fixtures in the Bostik League Premier Division.
But getting through to the end of the season is not Brooks’ sole mission. He wants to ensure Lowestoft steer clear of bottom place, and relegation, to give the club as many options as possible come the summer.
“Fans know what the score is now - we are struggling to put a side out but we need positivity,” he said. “Once we get to the end of the season the club might be in a position to regroup and build again and it would obviously be better to do that from our current level. But my mission is to keep us up by right – that would be a huge achievement.”