Thanks to the News & Star
Saturday was my first chance to see Jon Mellish in midfield and I enjoyed watching his performance.
We have said for weeks that a midfield of Mike Jones, Stefan Scougall and Jack Bridge wasn’t strong enough.
Even a midfield of Jones, Scougall and Elliot Watt probably lacked a bit of that strength.
Mellish has added something there. He isn’t going to get on the ball and try to dictate from the middle, or get the ball from centre-halves and set the tone that way.
Jones and Watt can do that better – but Mellish brought size and an aerial strength, something United have missed since Kelvin Etuhu has been out.
He was battling, winning headers and covering ground. He nearly scored off a rebound in the first half, when he was the only player following in, and in the second half he saved Adam Collin with his reactions.
When that ball spilled out from a Morecambe shot, Mellish was there first to clear the danger. He showed his defender’s mentality in that moment.
I was told by a lot of coaches in the north east that Mellish was a central midfielder in the making and I can understand that with the way he can get up and down, up and down.
He seemed to be more comfortable doing that, having the freedom to do it, and looked better for not having to over-think things in another position.
He won the man-of-the-match award; Watt would have got my vote, but Mellish certainly contributed and I can understand the sponsors looking at the latter and the way he went about the game.
I would expect Chris Beech to give him an extended go in the position. I don’t see why not. By all accounts he did well at Crawley in midfield too and that was after a hat-trick for the reserves too.
There is good reason to keep him in there and to allow him to progress further.