With the squad numbers so low, there is no way we'll be able to cope

Brent geese flying into the Solent for the winter,, having travelled thousands of miles	Picture by Alan Price / HIWWT

ALICE ASHCROFT: Bird migration is a wondrous phenomenon

Now, I'm not wonderful with figures. It's a good job you can count the number of goals I scored in my career on one hand.

But even I can work out over Christmas we have four games in nine days.

And with a squad of around 16 to choose from for those matches, it really doesn't add up.

If that wasn't bad enough, now Michael Brown and Richard Hughes could be missing over contractual issues.

How on earth are you supposed to compete in a competitive league with such a threadbare squad?

I really don't know how Steve Cotterill is going to do it.

I have never heard anything like this latest contract farce.

When I played, you would get appearance money – but you have actually got to get on the pitch

Whether it was for one minute or 90 minutes, you were part of the team who helped get the result.

Now you don't even have to make it on to the pitch to be rewarded.

I am not saying Hughes and Brown should forego money. They have every right to want what was agreed. But they have got to be sensible and realistic to find a way out of this.

It really is barbaric that the previous regime has allowed this to happen.

It's mismanagement, there is no other word for it.

So for Leeds on December 28, we will have no Brown, no Hughes and no Liam Lawrence.

Good luck – we'll just have Hayden Mullins on his own in there. The whole thing is scary and the question has to be raised why we didn't sign anyone else on loan when we knew these appearance landmarks were on the horizon.

I know footballers are highly paid but you cannot expect the same level of performance for 90 minutes over four games in nine days.

Is there a way out of it? I don't know. It seems the manager can't pin down the chairman Balram Chainrai to find out.

I would like to buy Mr Chainrai a video camera and introduce him to the world of Skype. There is more than one way of communication these days.

It's massively important these two meet and I find it amazing he has not found the time while he has been in the country to sit down with the manager and explain where he sees the club going.

Cotterill is doing a fantastic job. You can't speak highly enough of him and the way he is getting the best out of his players.

But he needs help.