IN previous defeats, Julian Dicks has been quite philosophical and upbeat. At Wrexham on saturday, he seemed downcast.
Perhaps the size of the task is now becoming apparent and he is reflecting life in the drop zone.
The coaching staff are clearly trying to think their way out of the crisis. Going for a 4-3-1-2 was ambitious and assertive but from the very beginning it left Kenny Davis horribly exposed.
With Richard Graham and Glenn Poole, natural wingmen, their instinct wasn’t to tuck in and so when Christian Smith took up the ball in the 4th minute, he had acres of space in which to size up the ball and unleash a cracker.
Julian Dicks felt it was one of the worst first halves he had seen at any level. Certainly the welsh media agreed that Grays (in the first half) were the worst team they had seen all season.
The plan had merit: Glenn Poole enjoyed having the three targets and his crossing was divine but Kenny Davis gave away too much possession in midfield.
Grays conceded nine corners and could only gain one plus with five yellow cards they descended into an ugly form of football that produced very little of worth in the second half.
Petar Rnkovic came on but just couldn’t get into it. He looked desperately uncomfortable in the formation.
If there was any positives, then Anwar Uddin was immense.
As for the debutants: Fola Onibuje was a tumbling tower of clumsiness but he disrupted the defenders rhythm. You could see the point of playing him as long as their is someone who is going to cash in on his chaos.
Julian Dicks dismisses the players discomfort with the formation saying that as professionals they have to adapt but he himself is on record as saying that he found it difficult when Harry Redknapp played him as a wing-back.
Julian is out there on the cold dark nights (Aveley last week) looking for new players. There is something about the team that doesn’t mark them out as relegation fodder. You look back to teams such as Stafford two seasons ago who played with a sense of doom or Farsley who were just happy for their season of fun and that is not Grays Athletic.
The hope is that the run of home games in November should be a chance to grind out some points. Perhaps even a rearguard action at Luton.
It is quite a challenge for them all.