One of the more unsung heroes from our campaign last season was Jack Muldoon. I must confess to being sceptical when he first signed for the club, but hs performances justified his place in the team. He became something of a fan favourite for his incredible work rate and occasional eye for a goal.
His game seemed to step up when he was dropped in up top alongside Matt Rhead. After shifting into a forward role he averaged a goal every three games which isn’t a bad return for a player earmarked primarily as a winger.
However despite Danny Cowley confirming they rated Jack his outings this season have been limited. He started in the first team, but following the 1-0 defeat at Dagenham he’s barely featured as both Terry Hawkridge and loan star Harry Anderson have been preferred.
Asside from being taken off with 19 minutes left against North Ferriby , Jack had featured in every minute of the first four Imps games. However that ended abruptly with defeat at Dagenham.
He was dropped and started as a sub in the 4-0 win over Southport, in the same game that Harry Anderson’s got his first start for the club.
After that we heard he had been injured and it seems he may have fallen behind in the battle for a starting place. Following that game he apparently picked up an injury which has kept him on the periphery of our good form.
This is exactly why I’d like to see him back in contention for starting line up as soon as possible. Whilst I think Anderson has quality about him we know that Muldoon and Hawkridge do as well, and they’re our players.
Knowing Jack Muldoon he will be chomping at the bit to get back on the field and there’s no doubt when he is fully fit he can do a job at this level. Unfortunately for him the Cowleys have assembled such a strong squad that he will need to take his chance when it comes.
The manager has proven many things since he’s been here, but one that stands out is a clinical ruthlessness to his team selection. Alan Power hasn’t featured anywhere near as much as I would have hoped, and Lee Beevers was unlucky to be dropped when Champion arrived. The manager has proven he will do whatever is best for the team, and the emphasis now is really on Jack to fight his way back into the first eleven.
At 27 he should be playing some of the best football of his career and he could well have a pivotal role to play as our season pans out.
It could be that he’s been saved until reaching full fitness which would make sense, but little has been made of him being out injured. Danny surely wouldn’t rush any player back and perhaps with lacking match fitness a start against Barrow would be a step too far. It will be interesting given the lack of creativity we suffered in the second half against to see if Jack is preferred to Anderson and Hawkridge on Saturday against Dover.