The return of football on Saturday also saw the long-awaited return of Southampton loanee Harrison Reed. He was instrumental in every aspect of what we did right against Brentford and rightly got awarded Man of the Match by a landslide…
His reading of the game and his calming aura on the ball is a huge plus for us. Someone other than Tom Cairney who is willing to be that defensive playmaker and start attacks from the base of the midfield. Reed has only played 18 league games for the club but is already held in high regard by everyone at the club. It would be a real coup if we could manage to sign him on a permanent basis at the end of this current season.
With 8 games left to play and the chance of 24 points available, we have little margin for error from this point forward if we are going to catch the top two in the league. I feel with a fully fit Harrison Reed orchestrating the charge alongside Tom Cairney and one other in the midfield, we could run the automatic placings right to the wire. Reed reminds me of a younger and quicker Kevin McDonald who was many supporters player of the season the last time we got promoted to the Premier League under Slavisa Jokanovic in the 2017/18 season.
If we can keep Harrison Reed fit between now and the end of the season, it will no doubt help the likes of Hector and Ream in the heart of defence. Knowing they have solid cover ahead of them and that he has the ability to transform defence into attack with a minimal amount of fuss. When we have been without him, it has shown. We have also played with Harry Arter at the base of the midfield, but it looks too disjointed at times.
To see us at full strength and helping the likes of Aleksander Mitrović add to his tally, I feel we need to see Tom Cairney much further forward. He has been playing far too deep and has not been as effective as we would like him to be. Therefore, Harrison Reed is key for me. He will allow the likes of Cairney, Onomah or Johansen to push further forward and create more opportunities than we do over the course of 90 minutes. Our play is, it is fair to say, on the slow side and I feel Reed is a lot more direct in his passing and is not afraid to play that killer pass instead of the side to side passing we have become accustomed to see. We need to move the ball quicker from back to front and I feel Reed is suited perfectly for that.