Preston were the team that provided one of the more celebrated results of last season, and one of the worst.
The away victory back in November was our forth straight win, something we only managed once in the whole of last season, and never got close to again. The home defeat in March was probably one of the worst performances in recent times and could well have been the catalyst that caused the unrest at The Valley to become vocal, an event that may well have been significant in the decline of our season.
Strangely the away game (forth straight win) was followed by two home defeats, both of which saw us concede three goals.
Last week was a great performance. I believe that not only did we win (convincingly) but we also showed some character traits that could well make a big difference for us this season. Having said that we have showed these traits before, but not quite managed to carry them from one game to the next.
I have much more confidence in the current set of players than I had last season. I know we have lost some quality, and we have a much smaller squad (especially at centre half), but the players look more like a team than they did at any point after March last season. If one wanted to be critical one could point out that the lack of 'togetherness' started following the sale of Andy Reid and the introduction of Andy Gray and the four loan signings.
Either way I think we will win certain types of games this season that we lost last season. The question remaining is whether the lack of quality in the side (I'm including Andy Reid in this) will cause us to fail to win games that we won last season. The quality/team spirit balance is very unpredictable. Clearly first choice is to have quality players that have a great team spirit but we cannot afford many of them, so we have to make do with a combination of the two. Last season I think (certainly towards the end) we had too many players with ample ability that were not as committed as they could have been. This is something that I believe Derek Chappell was trying to convey in his only statement to the fans to date.
So Preston away. I'd probably take a draw, but I have a funny feeling that we will win this game. I think it's no surprise that we won more of the games last season that the opposition tried to win. I think we are not best suited to trying to break down defensive teams, but I think Preston will come out at us, and maybe that will play into our hands?
I would expect a similar line up to the one that started at Home to Reading. I would expect Youga to take his place back, but other than that I would like to see us take (or at least try) the game to Preston. Our style of play is becoming mush more like I enjoy watching. Fast paced, wide wingers and attacking. If we can keep the players fit I can't see any reason for us to change that, but I guess time will tell.
This weekend I'm going to be listening to the commentary on BBC Kent on DAB. Here in Kings Hill we get a good reception, and Saturday is going to be a family day. This had been a big week in the KHA household as Kings Hill Addick Jnr started school on Wednesday. I work from home (and I really do do some work from time to time) but the house has seemed empty and quiet since he started at school. Mrs KHA has been 'helping' me to keep herself busy during the day. What's that saying about too many cooks? Thankfully she doesn't read this.
So Saturday both me and the youngest school boy (the only one actually) in the KHA clan will be shouting at the radio with Sky Sports on in the corner of the room. Hopefully Mrs KHA will be able to find something else to do as I don't need any 'help' listening to football thank you very much.
Up the Addicks!