I've been a little quiet for a few games. It's strange really, I'm enjoying the football more than usual, the squad looks in good shape and I really fancy our chances of being involved in the promotion shake up, but I'm just struggling for inspiration when it comes to writing about it.
I am coming to the end of the summer holidays. I have been looking after my six year old son for most of the last eight weeks, and with just one week to go I am gearing up for the start of the return of the 'school run'. I complain to my working wife that I have to do so much for our son, but secretly I love it! He is a little quiet in the car in the mornings (we get up late and he eats breakfast in the car) but by the time we get to 3:20 in the afternoon he is much more excitable. To be fair getting any information out of him about the school day is like pulling teeth, but he does come running out of the class shouting "Daddy!" and I get a big cuddle.
I only mention this, well I have no reason for doing so do actually, but despite having to do the school run I still have much more time to get work done compared with him being home for nine weeks. In all fairness it isn't nine weeks as he spends a coupled of weeks (one of which is this week) with his Nanny in Peterborough (his Mummy's Mummy), and one day a week, when he's home, with my Dad and his other Nanny.
This week has been a little testing. Despite denying it vehemently to Mrs KHA, I was, indeed, missing him within twelve hours of leaving him in Peterborough (and I slept for at least six of those). For any of you that are interested we are going to collect him this evening. I don't really need to go, Mrs KHA finishes at 4pm today and will be going straight from work, but if I go I will get to see him five or six hours earlier - why wouldn't I want to do that?
Other than for the absence of my best friend, I have had the opportunity to do a full weeks work at the office (the spare bedroom) this week. There have been a number of things that I've been leaving over the last few weeks as a six year old can reduce one's concentration, and despite my job being a little easy, it still requires that I think a little but about some of the things I do.
Anyway I thought I'd take a bit of time out of my last full day (except I'm leaving at 4pm to drive to Peterborough) to say a few words about our game at Exeter.
I didn't go to Huddersfield, and despite being openly willing to take a draw, I was a little disappointed with the result. I was especially worried about some of the stats from the game. No shots on target until injury time, by which time we were three nil down. I would like to think that this is just an anomaly against a very strong side, but I am concerned that when we play against teams that don't defend in large numbers we are going to be penned back and struggle to create much.
Anyway, since then we have signed Paul Benson, Joe Anyinsah, and Jon Fortune (all be it only until Christmas and he is likely to go out on loan for a month).
The Dagenham and Redbridge game gave us a chance to have a look at Benson and from what I saw I think he might be the answer. Either way I'm going to trust Parky and assume that he knows what he is doing. There has been little to suggest that he doesn't and a lot to suggest that he does.
In fact, unless I'm mistaken, Benson looked a little uncomfortable playing (and trying to score) against the team that he had left, just the day before. My Dad remarked that "He doesn't want to score against his old team." I'm not suggesting any foul play, but there were at least two of his chances where I would have expected him to smash the ball into the back of the net, but he seemed to choose to try and 'pass' it into the net.
We are still gelling in a new squad, even before we signed three more players on Monday, so it is understandable that we would have a few blips in the first ten games, but I'm still confident that we have what we need. The real test, however, is where we are after those ten games. Striking distance of the top two and we are in for a good season, mid table and we might have to accept the target is the playoffs, so tomorrow's game is very important. We need to keep the leading teams very close until the side is settled enough to go on a long run of successful results.
The revelation that those running the Club have given up on trying to make it sustainable in the third division puts me back where I was twelve months ago, where no victory can be celebrated, yet every defeat has to be considered a disaster. I am not being greedy, I am not demanding too much and I have not got too high expectations. The truth is that the Club's very existence depends on a very successful season. So, no pressure for Parkinson and the players then?
In truth a draw tomorrow will not be a disaster. Exeter had some very credible results at home last season including beating Leeds and Huddersfield (on the last day of the season). They haven't lost at home since February, and we drew there in April.
I wouldn't say I'd take a draw at this moment in time, but if that's what we get I will be able to live with it, as long as we go on to beat Notts County next weekend.
Up the Addicks!