A short guide prior to the Capital One Cup Final for all glory hunting b******s and plastic fans
By Anne Bell
No.12 Matt Duke
Please don’t think we are boo’ing him when we shout “Dook”. Very capable shot stopper currently in great form. Career and life threatened by testicular cancer, but a true survivor. One area of weakness in his game is a slight reluctance to come for crosses.
No.1 Jon McLaughlin
A former non-league player. Swapped places with Duke earlier in the season as our regular first choice keeper, but Duke now clearly ahead. Also a good shot stopper, but can flap a bit.
No. 5 Andrew Davies
Our most highly paid player, signed on a free from Stoke. Could easily play in the Championship. Plays with no fear. Apt to get booked and sent off for what appear to be good proper tackles. Did his knee in playing in the league against Burton but now training again. Could be back in time for Wembley, but possibly too early and will be a bit short of match fitness.
No. 6 Luke Oliver
Tall. Reliable. Did his Achilles tendon in the same match as Davies did his knee. Out for the season and therefore won’t feature.
No. 23 Rory McArdle
Signed this summer from Aberdeen. Played at right back first, but his true position is centre half and has been wonderful since coming in to cover for Davies and Oliver. Scored our second in the home leg against Villa. Good in the air. Reported to be the busiest footballer in Britain so far this season.
No. 16 Carl McHugh
Only 19 and from Donegal, he will be supported by legions of family and friends. Played at left back but once he came in as centre half has been the find of the season. He looks really slight, but has strength and good positional sense beyond his years. Brilliant in the air at set pieces. Famous for hugging referee Phil Dowd after the final whistle in the away leg at Villa. Recently called up for Republic of Ireland under 21s.
No. 27 Curtis Good
Australian centre back drafted in to replace John Egan, who was on loan from Sunderland, started well, but broke his leg. He will need to learn French before he returns to Nouveau Chateau. Is really a centre half but lately has covered the left back slot and acquitted himself very well. Loan recently extended.
No. 2 Stephen Darby
A summer signing, plays at right back. Was once in the Liverpool youth first team. Composed on the ball, nothing fancy, but assured and reliable.
No. 3 James Meredith
Another Australian, signed in the summer from York City. One of our best players in the first half of the season and loves to get forward. Sadly, he will miss the final as he is suffering from glandular fever.
No. 22 Michael Nelson
Signed in the January transfer window from Kilmarnock for £30,000. Looks mean.
No. 25 Tom Naylor
Centre back on loan from DerbyCounty. Played well and also not so well when called upon. Unlikely to feature.
No. 15 Ryan Dickson
Left back on loan from Southampton, signed in January transfer window. Only played a few times so far, and looked very rusty, having not played first team football for the best part of a season. Rightly, Parkinson chose to stick with Curtis Good for the second Villa match.
No.18 Gary Jones
Our 35-year-old scouse captain signed from Rochdale in the summer. Never stops running and fit as a flea. Takes all the corners and brilliant at free kicks. To aid identification, he is the bald one.
No. 24 Nathan Doyle
In his second spell at the club and forms an excellent central midfield two with Gary Jones. Quality footballer who everyone was pleased to see return to the club. Versatile and can play at centre back and right back too.
No. 7 Kyel Reid
The first of our three speedy wingers with links to West Ham and slightly exotic names. Kyel plays on the left, and has a stunning strike in his armoury. Frustratingly inconsistent, he is being nursed back to full fitness following a groin injury.
No. 20 Zavon Hines
Second WH speedy winger, plays predominantly on the right. Tormented Aston Villa in the first leg so they doubled up on him in the second. Pacey, can play through the middle and has good shot too. Back fit after an ankle injury
No. 26 Blair Turgott
Winger on loan from, you guessed, West Ham. Only 18, but full of youthful enthusiasm and pace. Likes to wave his arms to encourage the crowd. A bit raw and his naivety in crossing at the end of the 2nd game against Villa gave them the ball and their second goal, but the same tactics led to our 3rd goal in the first leg. Like Reid, Blair is an avid tweeter. Just called up for England under 19s.
No.14 Will Atkinson
Last season’s boo boy whilst on loan from Hull, but since making the move permanent in the summer he has been transformed. Doesn’t have the pace of our other wingers, but has ability on the ball and is composed and gives balance to the midfield.
No.11 Garry Thompson
Our most frustrating player. Considered by many fans to be bone idle and lacking commitment. Likes to play a central role, but usually ends up on the wing. I don’t care how idle he is from now on after his strike against Arsenal. He played a mature and sensible role when he was brought on in the second leg against Villa, hitting the bar with a thumping strike and keeping their defence well and truly occupied. I think Garry is a big game player and we haven’t seen the best of him.
No. 4 Ricky Ravenhill
Club captain (I know, what’s that about?). Defensive midfielder who plays with commitment. Apt to get booked. Only likely to feature if the defence / midfield needs shoring up.
No.8 Ritchie Jones
An attacking midfielder, Ritchie was once a Manchester Utd youth player, one for you plastic Mancs. I really like the way Ritchie plays, he is good on the ball. However, our manager doesn’t seem to agree as he is only used sparingly. Ritchie is a real professional who celebrates our wins from the subs bench as if he has been playing for the 90 minutes himself.
No. 30 Scott Brown
We signed Scott, who is from Scotland, as a promising 16 year old central midfielder / playmaker two years ago. Unlikely to be in the squad.
No. 31 Forayah Bass
One of our home grown youngsters that hasn’t thus far been nicked by a Premiership team. Unlikely to make the squad.
No. 9 James Hanson
Our big number 9, every one knows and chants that he “used to work at the Co-op”. Holds the ball up, wins nearly everything in the air and is a real handful for defenders. Doesn’t score as many as we’d all like, but without him we just aren’t as good. Played with a broken toe in both Villa games. Until we signed Nelson, the only member of the squad who we paid a transfer fee for – £7,500 plus a friendly at Guiseley.
No. 21 Nahki Wells
Our Bermudian international. Very talented, blessed with pace, makes good runs and has a wonderful striking ability. On his day he can be unplayable, certainly in League Two. Still prone to making the occasional wrong decision, falling over and can get frustrated leading to silly bookings, but he is still young. Dean Saunders virtually tapped him up live on Sky after the first Villa match, but mercifully the final is after the end of the transfer window.
No.10 Andy Gray
Second time around at City, having just moved on a free from you know where. Those of you who last watched us in the Championship will remember him. Has featured a few times since arriving, but not very impressive so far. He and the team haven’t worked out how to play with each other yet. So just as well he is cup tied and won’t feature at Wembley.
No. 17 Alan Connell
Signed from Swindon in the summer, Connell is a gifted player who has a knack of coming on as a sub and scoring. He is the one with the blonde hair.
No. 19 Adam Baker
Another product from our youth team, Adam is out on loan to Harrogate Town to gain experience, so won’t be in the squad for Wembley.
And finally, our manager is Phil Parkinson, and our assistant manager is Steve Parkin. Easy to get their names confused.