Is there a role reversal ahead for Linnets star?
- Credit: Ian Burt
Could Michael Gash do a Dion Dublin, or a Chris Sutton, and take a step backwards in the latter stages of his playing career?
Gash has built his reputation as a talented and tough as teak goalscorer, with a willingness to roll up his sleeves and help out in defence. It’s been a characteristic of his almost four-year spell at The Walks, perfectly illustrated by his commanding presence in the final throes of Lynn’s 2-1 home win over Eastleigh last weekend, as the visitors launched raid after raid.
At 34, Gash shows no signs of reaching for the pipe and slippers, but it’s clear that he does improve a defence that remains shaky, although the enforced chopping and changing of personnel for financial reasons is more than reasonable mitigation.
“I heard the ref say there was about 10 minutes left,” he said. “We had a goal kick and I heard the gaffer say, “Gashy, stay back there” and I thought ‘10 minutes back here!’ I knew what they were going to do, they were going to start lumping it and I was waiting for it really because I knew that they were probably going to send up their big centre half anyway at some point.
“I knew that the gaffer would put me back in there as well but he just said to from then. It is just one of them - you have got to do what you can do to help the team out. He put Macca (Kyle Callan-McFadden) and Tai (Fleming) next to me. Macca is loud, helping me, screaming and screaming and when the big lad came up he was just like, ‘I’ll just try and get hold of him and block him, you go win it’ and it worked quite well.
“Like you see in most games, I have no worries in trying to go up and win headers so it is just something that you have got to do and I was happy to do it.”
Dublin and Sutton took a few steps back, to great effect with Norwich City and Celtic respectively. Was it something Gash would consider?
“Yes, of course, I always want to play in a position that I love playing, up front, but when there are jobs that need doing or if you were short and the gaffer asks me to play back there I would 100pc play back there.
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“It is much harder once you go back there and you realise you have got to squeeze up, you have got to read the play and this, that and the other and there are a lot of things going on, but as long as you are switched on and you make sure that you are listening.
“I’ve been in the game long enough to have my wits about me but like I say, I will go in and I will play anywhere on the pitch.”
There is certainly a part of Gash that enjoys the tough stuff.
“Yes, I do,” he said. “Everybody knows I don’t mind a battle. When I went back there and the big lad came up I’m confident that they are not going to try playing to his feet or anything, they are going to hang it up there for him to try and win and I will hedge my bets against anyone in the air, so it was one of them. Macca and Tai next to me, like I said, helping me, they will try and make it hard for him and you just have to go and win it and that is what I tried to do and thankfully we kept them out.”