Friday, 11 December 2009

Next... Stockport away

Last Saturday's win at home to Southend was hardly lucky, but far from inspiring. We did look good at times, but overall we failed to win the midfield battle and that left us defending for large parts of the game when we should have been able to take the game to them.

In truth a similar thing happened at Brighton where we scored two goals from our first two chances (the only two we had in the first half) and then defended the lead.

With two clean sheets on the bounce for the first time in two months, and four months if you exclude back to back 0-0 draws, we can hardly complain if the team are going to carve out a goal or two then defend it to the final whistle.

I also think that our midfield is much better able to cope with Semedo in it, and he is back for tomorrow's game against the team most out of form in the league. In fact the form tables that I use on fail to look further than the last six games, and Stockport have lost the last seven.

Thus with Semedo back and with Basey and Omozusi looking more and more competent this game should be a formality. I am not yet convinced that Wagstaff is the answer on the left, but I have high hopes based on his last two performances. Clearly he is much more comfortable on the right, but as Lloyd Sam doesn't seem any happier on the the left I'm happy to go with Wagstaff for the time being. The biggest worry that I have is that with Wagstaff on the left we don't have any cover on the right, and cannot make a late substitution to add some energy to either flank. This is ok all the time we are entering the last twenty minutes defending a lead, but if we need to make a change to get a goal it leaves us a little short.

Such are the issues with having a small squad - something that we have not had real problems with over the last decade. Either way I'm not convinced it is going to be much of a problem tomorrow.

After tomorrow we have two tough home games followed by six very winnable games. I doubt that we will win them all, despite the fact that we have beaten all six already this season, but a win tomorrow will leave us set up for the two home games with confidence, knowing that one win and a draw will be enough for us to hold onto second place going into that run of six winnables.

I'm confident of a win tomorrow, and despite the fact that the pitch will be less than ideal I'm going to go for a hat full of goals too. I actually think we'll win 4-0, but on the basis that I've made that prediction a few times already recently (and not been right yet) I'm going to keep that to myself. Or not as the case may be.

My main hope for tomorrow is that we can avoid any more injuries or suspensions as the next four weeks we have a massive 18 points to play for.

Up the Addicks!

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