Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Six Points

I wouldn't have said it was impossible for us to win both the Easter games and, in fact, I would have guessed that we would have won either of them in isolation, but I would have been very happy with four points, so you can imagine how ecstatic I am with all six.

The Oldham game was a classic. Not a great game of flowing football, but it reminded me of the 1-0 win at Southampton when Semedo got himself sent off in the first half, or the 2-2 draw with Swindon on Boxing Day in 2009 when Llera scored an equaliser in injury time when we were down to nine men - Swindon had all eleven on that day.

I wasn't at Oldham so as excited as I was with the win I suspect it was nothing like how the fans that travelled felt. I think it's great for those that travel to be rewarded with something special every now and then, and this was special. Chris Powell confirmed that he thought that was the best result of the season. I can't disagree with him. The best away game I've been to this season was Sheffield Wednesday. The two best games, for completely different reasons, were Stevenage and Huddersfield at home. We have had some real memorable occasions this season, but those three, for me, were the most memorable, to date.

I say to date as I have a feeling that we will have some special memories to make in the next three and a half weeks.

I would have been happy with four points as I am not worried about the size of our lead. Clearly the bigger it is the more relaxed I feel, but I only feel the need for it to be one point after 46 games, and I think a win and a draw would have left us on target for at least that. In fact we have won our last three games, and we have won our last three home games scoring six goals with no reply. Since we lost to Colchester and Notts County in a week we have won thirteen out of a possible eighteen points. Our lead since then (well the last six games for all three sides) has been cut by Sheffield United by one point and by Sheffield Wednesday by three points. With that in mind it is inconceivable that we could be caught by either of them with four games to go. United face Rochdale tonight, who would almost certainly be relegated if they fail to win the game. There is no guarantee that United will win that game, and if they don't we could be crowned Champions on Saturday if we win and the other two fail to do so.

Either way I am very confident of winning the title now. To be fair I did make that bold statement several weeks ago (all be it we had a bigger lead then) but if we keep focused I can't see us dropping enough points for either of the other two teams to catch us even if they will all their remaining games - which I don't think they will.

Yesterday's game was a little dour to be honest. The weather was horrible (a great day for me to leave my coat behind) and I think that affected the attendance. I would have thought many would have decided to take a trip to football if the sun had been out. Four days cooped up inside would have been enough for most, but the rain probably put quite a few off.

As said, the game wasn't much better than the weather. We looked good in the opening stages, and when we scored I thought me might have gone on to score a couple more (especially with Walsall attacking in such a cavalier style) but it wasn't to be. At this stage of the season defending a 1-0 lead at home to the final whistle is what it's all about. We could have scored a goal on the break and at 2-0 it might have made us confident enough to push on for more goals.  However, we don't particularly need a better goal difference, and if we can snatch a couple more 1-0 wins we will be guaranteed promotion, and the title will not be far behind.

Seasons are rather like individual games. As much as we enjoy them, from the minute we have the lead we want it to finish. A 1-0 lead in a must win game is enough, and if that goal comes in the first minute I'm more than happy for the game to end immediately. A three (or more) goal lead and I'm happy to let the game run it's course, safe in the knowledge that we will (almost certainly) end up winning. This season is now looking like one of those games. We haven't won yet, but I'd rather watch another two (three if we go to Preston) games than have it finish now.

I believe that in due course we will all look back on this season with real fondness. Some of the players in our squad are going to be legends based on this season alone. There might even be a couple that will not feature again after this summer, but they will still be remembered as legends. I'm determined to make sure that I enjoy the tail end of the season. I have too many regrets about feeling that I didn't appreciate things until after they were long gone - not this time.

Up the Addicks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I believe that in due course we will all look back on this season with real fondness. Some of the players in our squad are going to be legends based on this season alone."

Couldn't agree more. Important to enjoy the rest of it...