To be consistent in League One, Mr Saunders must be resolute, flexible and adaptable.
If he and his staff are to emulate the success of the last two years, he requires the players to be fitter, stronger, and more consistent. A squad abundant with energy, skill, confidence and experience, who can regularly achieve clean sheets whilst producing many differing goalscorers from all over the park.
To obtain an advantage over other teams in the league, I believe we will require at least four players in the squad to reach double figured goal tallies for the season. This will give us that cutting edge to win those very tight matches.
We have had a good pre-season, with only one defeat to Hull City. However, we have now lost Gary Roberts, Jimmy Ryan, Sam Clucas and recently Tendayi Darikwa from the playing squad, with the future of Sam Morsy unclear at this time too.
These were regular first team players and will leave a void in the matchday squad unless replaced and time is running out. Mr Saunders has stated he is ‘on it’ and has ‘lists’ of players he would like to recruit – fair enough!
Bringing in the right players is the absolute key to successfully filling that void.
The signing of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, a proven striker who has previously scored goals in the Premier League and the Championship, was a coup for the club and securing new contract extensions with Drew Talbot, Tommy Lee, Ian Evatt and Armand Gnanduillet were all very shrewd and welcome deals.
However, the club securing the services of Paul Mitchell for a further five years as Head of Player Recruitment and Development would almost rival all these.
A deal which could see many more young talented footballers arriving at or breaking into the squad at The Proact Stadium.
All that said, don’t forget we have Gboly Ariyibi, Michael Onovwigun, Rai Simons and Mani Dieseruvwe. These are all young talents that face an important season of development in and around the first team and I am sure will all make an impact at some stage this campaign – watch this space!
The team need to approach the season one game at a time - compete with passion, commitment and honesty, continuing the good work already done. Let’s hope all our squad can stay fit and injury free, we need them to be at the top of their game.
The results will come if we all support together in numbers and in voice.