Dragons to fire as Macc gel
Macclesfield had the sceptre of relegation hovering over them for much of their 15-year spell in the Football League, but that didn’t prevent upheaval when their demise eventually arrived this summer.
The Silkmen have acquired a new boardroom, new manager and new playing squad as they seek to stabilise in the Blue Square Bet Premier. But the process of adjustment will doubtlessly take time and we reckon it makes them worth taking on in the early stages of the campaign.
They were not blown away on Friday, going down 2-1 at Hereford after drawing level in the second half, but we are not anticipating a season of humiliation for Macc, rather one of near misses.
Steve King has built a squad which includes plenty of talent, but we’re not convinced by their mentality. The former Lewes boss has taken risks with the likes of Ryan Jackson and Keiran Murtagh; both spent time with divisional rivals Cambridge United last term but were eventually sent packing amid criticisms over their attitude.
Jackson was handed the chance to impress on loan at the Abbey, but despite knowing he would not be offered a new deal by parent club Wimbledon, the winger-cum-full-back was a reportedly a disruptive influence from day one.
And ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of Wrexham, we have questions over King, too. His appointment fostered fractions in the boardroom at Moss Rose, and it’s easy to see why he might not have been a popular choice. His only previous experience at this level came during three-and-a-half miserable months at Northwich in 2008/9 and though he has shown no small measure of commitment in moving from his East Sussex base, this is a steep learning curve for the manager.
His side are still edging the favouritism with many bookmakers ahead of the clash with last season’s runners up, so we reckon the Dragons look like value. The departures of Nat Knight-Percival and Jake Speight will hit the Welsh club hard but they have the know-how and belligerence to battle on. Player-boss Andy Morrell may be short of managerial experience but he learned plenty after taking over from Dean Saunders in the autumn. In fact, he did a remarkable job to have Wrexham challenging for the title into April.
Without Speight and Mathias Pogba, who has joined Crewe, the Dragons will rely less on pace and more on nous and power, with Danny Wright and summer addition Brett Ormerod set to start as part of a front three. Although it was the third member of that triumvirate, Robert Ogleby, who hit the opener as Wrexham sealed a 3-1 victory over Woking on Saturday.
Mightily impressive on the road last term, with a record of 14 victories, four defeats and just 16 goals conceded, Morrell’s men look set to be a tough nut to crack on their travels once more and with the hosts still finding their feet both at this level and under a new manager, the visitors appeal.
For more on the Blue Square Bet Premier, read our in-depth profiles of all 24 clubs.
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