THE CHAMPIONSHIP CUT: THE DEFENDERS



Should we achieve our aim of promotion fans will speculate to which of our current players will cut it in the Championship. We thought we may as well go through the squad in preparation, starting with the defenders…


CONOR MCLAUGHLIN

Intelligent on and off the ball, McLaughlin has been a solid choice in our defence this season. His versatility has allowed him to drop in at centre back recently before returning to right back after his short spell injured on the side-line.

Verdict: Has the qualities to make a Championship squad, but really depends on a contract renewal.


TOM FLANAGAN

Flanagan’s season has been very sporadic. Out with injuries for half the season, the Northern Ireland international is a versatile defender who would be of use in the Championship. Flanagan is one of the few squad members whose contract doesn’t run out at the end of the season meaning there should be no reason why he’s not part of next season’s squad.

Verdict: Makes the cut but most likely on the bench next year.


JORDAN WILLIS

Another player with injury troubles this season, but one you could definitely say is capable of taking the step up to the Championship.

Verdict: Has ability and pace to make it.


BAILEY WRIGHT

Plagued by injury recently, but Bailey Wright was a rock at the back in the first half of the season. Great leader, good in the air and incredibly experienced, just lacks pace.

Verdict: Absolutely keep, but not getting any younger.


LUKE O’NIEN

Not a central defender by trade but has played a lot at centre half this season. His energy, ball control and passing play will be necessary in the Championship and with no significant weaknesses, I would be shocked and a little outraged if the versatile 26-year-old doesn’t get a contract for next season and beyond.

Verdict: Should do well in the Championship but will hopefully return to right back or central midfield.


DION SANDERSON

Dion has been fantastic in the last 10 games, seven of which he has helped to keep a clean sheet in. Being on loan from Wolves and committed to playing for them in the Premier League it’s hard to speculate where he’ll be next season, however Dion has definitely proven his ability against the experienced and well-oiled sides of League One.

Verdict: Championship material at least, we should attempt to sign him on loan again.


CALLUM MCFADZEAN

McFadzean has played 19 games so far this season and has gradually got better but isn’t Championship quality.

Verdict: Let go at end of contract, not good enough for the step up.


JAKE VOKINS

Having only featured four games since joining he’s struggled to settle and he’s back off to Southampton at the end of this season and in reality, that’s not a bad thing. Unlike Dion Sanderson, Vokins hasn’t exactly made any big waves since arriving up north.

Verdict: Not worth trying to resign him.


DENVER HUME

Will hopefully make a big impact when he slots back into the side for the run in. At such a young age Hume is already a great asset to the club and will surely be given a new contract come the end of the season.

Verdict: Easily makes the squad next season.