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Five Things: Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Swindon Town

That wasn't very much fun now was it

Northampton Town v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

We lost.

No messing about. Here are my five things:

1) Tiredness is Taking it's Toll

We have a very thin squad.

Our first team virtually picks itself, and we generally know who will make up the side. This is great for consistency, but it means that some players won't have had a decent rest.

This is a long, hard league - with the distraction of the FA Cup as well - it all combines to mean that our squad is beginning to look leggy.

This was in stark contrast to the vibrant and pacy display from our visitors yesterday.r

2) We Don't Have a Plan B

No, not the piss-poor British rapper with the weird high-pitched voice, but more the absence of any real alternative to the first 12/13 players that are around our first team.

What do we do when Gary Madine plays like he did yesterday? Jamie Proctor? Nope, Max Clayton? Nope. Keshi Anderson? Don't make me laugh.

Madine wasn't the only one yesterday (though his performance was especially Madine-ish). The substitution of Tom Thorpe was a head-scratcher, especially whilst Jay Spearing remained on the field despite being very poor.

Losing Sammy Ameobi was a blow, but we need to be able to rely on our squad more than we can at the moment. Derik Osede is out of favour, Dean Moxey is beyond a recall, and the less said about the previously-mentioned Proctor the better.

It means that the Andersons have a very important and busy few weeks ahead. Let's hope they can get it right.

3) Lack of Pace

Swindon Town hammered us on the counter attack. Why? Well this is because they had pace to spare.

Since the departure of Liam Feeney, we have struggled to bring any pace into our attacks. Whilst we have creative players in Clough and James Henry, neither is especially quick.

Feeney was largely terrible for us, but his pace on the break was crucial and is something that we have missed. Whoever we bring in, I have to hope that they can bring this quickness to our attack - it's a really useful weapon especially in the last few minutes of games.

I'm sure this is where Phil Parkinson will feel the Keshi Anderson experiment hasn't worked out as he might have hoped.

4) FA Cup a Distraction

Yes it's very nice and very exciting to think that we may possibly be welcoming Manchester City - Pep Guardiola and all - to the Reebok in a couple of weeks' time but was this a distraction?

I think it can definitely be assumed to have been a huge distraction.

Whilst the likes of Jay Spearing and David Wheater will have seen games such as those come and go in the past, I can only imagine how exciting it must be for Josh Vela and Zach Clough to have City on the horizon.

So, with that being said, the argument that is growing which sees us focus on Southend United the week after, and not Crystal Palace this week, grows ever louder.

5) Where Do We Go From Here?

We need a proper striker. Some people may think that Madine is having a good season, and to those people I respectfully disagree, but you cannot thrive when your main striker is so spectacularly bad and being a striker.

The form of Clough is beginning to worry some, and the absence of Sammy Ameobi is being keenly felt despite James Henry having stepped up in the last fortnight.

So, a centre forward has to be a priority. I am disappointed that Keshi Anderson hasn't worked, after such a promising debut, but as mentioned above our lack of pace and lack of a quality Plan B was exposed and I expect it will give Parkinson and his transfer gurus a headache going into what is a very busy three weeks before the window closes.

Let's hope they can strike gold and bring in the talent that we need to make sure that our season continues in the fashion to which we have become accustomed.