"Two nil, and you f**ked it up."
"Two nil, and you f**ked it up"
Just about says it all really. I know the referee was, well, not great, but we had this game in the bag at half-time. The first goal they scored was predictable, and might have been off side, but it didn't look so to me. The second came because we were so shocked from the first.
Pardew had one last comment to make in the program notes about the South Stand having away fans in it, and for the minute and a half that it took for our 2-1 lead to disappear, I felt that any amount of money and inconvenience would have been worth it. What we needed then was a rousing response from the home fans. I have to confess that after the first goal I had little enthusiasm to sing, but the noise from the Jimmy Seed Stand was literally deafening. You could see it raise the Watford players and we were just not focused/concentrating for the corner that got them their second goal.
Over all I think we, again, showed that there were many positives to take from this game. I would have little fear playing Watford over two legs in the play offs should that eventuality happen. however, I feel that all the positives would mean so much more if we were a couple of points off the top with twenty games to go. Despite the fact that I haven't given up hope of making the top two, I do believe that we are running out of games.
The positives. We looked fluid and showed that we can play decent football against the long ball merchants. That's now two wins and a draw against form teams that play with a system and determination. That makes it look like we have, eventually, learned to stand up to them. Lee Cook looked like a good crosser of the ball even if he is a little lightweight (still returning from injury). Greg Halford looks like a very good player and will add something to our run in. Varney has clearly settled into this division and our team. Even Lloyd Sam had a much better game than in recent weeks.
So, we are seven points from Watford and Stoke, who have to play each other, and both have to play Bristol City, who are five points away with a game in hand, and a trip to The Valley to come. West Brom are just three points away (make that four with their far superior goal difference) but they still have to play Watford and come to The Valley. Clearly a win yesterday would have been much, much better, but we are far from out of it. All this fails to take into account the fact that one of the top teams could go on a bad run and take themselves out of the equation all by themselves.
I would urge Pardew and the team to continue to aim for the top two. I would also add that the atmosphere yesterday suggested that the fans haven't given up hope yet, but it is going to take a massive effort from here on in.
Maybe come the end of the season we'll all be singing "Eleven points, and you f**ked it up" when we sneak past Watford into second place on the 4th of May.