John Buckley's Doncaster Rovers column: 3-5-2 could be best way of coping without McCullough
I'm absolutely gutted for Luke McCullough.
It is every player’s worst nightmare to suffer an injury like that and I’d like to pass on my best wishes to him in the hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery.
The news that he’ll be out for the season has really overshadowed the build-up to Saturday’s game at Accrington Stanley.
McCullough was excellent in that midfield holding role at the end of last season and he made that position his own. If he was fit, I have no doubt that he would have started in that position just in front of the back four. He would have been one of the first names on the teamsheet too.
It’s a real sickener for Luke, and for everyone at the club, but Darren Ferguson has to find an alternative solution - and I tend to think that playing 3-5-2 could be the answer. Here’s why...
With three in the middle it still gives you a little diamond of sorts in midfield and you could play Tommy Rowe, James Coppinger and Riccardo Calder in there.
I’m not sure we’ve got a left back who is defensively sound enough to play in a back four, so play Cedric Evina as a wing back and give him a bit more cover. Matty Blair, I’m sure, could do a good job on the right.
Andy Williams and John Marquis are certain to start up front.
That just leaves the centre back positions to fill - and I would not be surprised in the slightest if Andy Butler started alongside Joe Wright and Mitchell Lund at the Crown Ground.
A bit of a curve ball, but it could be a way of coping without Luke.