Walton OG, Clement Out - What Next?
Phil Brown was to use last night's reserve game against Grimsby Town to decide whether Neil Clement or Simon Walton would replace the suspended Michael Turner at Bristol City, but has his decision become any easier?
A mixed youth and reserve side that saw Clement and Walton both play in centre-back roles ended in a 3-1 defeat to a Grimsby side that featured ex Tiger Justin Whittle.
The game did not start well for Walton, who gave Grimsby the lead after the ball ricocheted off him and into the back of the net, although the on-loan QPR man couldn't do much about it.
It was then Clement's turn to make Brown's decision more difficult with the West Bromwich Albion man out muscled as the Grimsby striker strode through the City defence to fire past Mark Tyler and double Grimsby's lead. The first two goals showed weaknesses in both players games, but it was an incident later in the night that may have decided who starts on Saturday.
Neil Clement was forced to hobble off on seventy minutes with an unknown injury, and whilst it may have only been a precaution, the West Brom man only has two days to prove he is fit for Saturday's clash. With the defender having started a mere two competitive matches this season, Simon Walton looks like the favourite to start in defence this Saturday. The injury forced City to play the remainder of the game with ten men, and despite a goal from Bennett, assisted by Walton, the Tigers lost 3-1 to a mixed youth and reserve Grimsby side.
John Curtis, who also played, could be in contention for the centre-back position should he have impressed Phil Brown last night.
However, Phil Brown does have one more option open to him; with the City manager able to dip into the loan market should he find adequate cover over the next two days.