After the draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night I got the sense some fans were not happy with the performance and the result, I had to agree the performance was a bit stuttered we were lacking something. But a draw being a bad result? I had to question that.
It makes me wonder why some fans are so pessimistic. Ok so we are third rather than drawing on points with MK and Sheffield United but there are still many games to go. I just don’t get the mentality! If it was towards the end of the season and we were chasing teams for the top two promotion places then I could possibly understand.
Chris Powell lets not forget has signed 18 players, the fact they have gelled as quickly as they have has surprised many including myself. Saw glimpses of what they were capable of doing pre-season and yes I was excited about the start of the season but did I expect it go this smooth. 8 Games without loss in all competitions…..hell no!
I expected to lose against Reading if I’m honest, but our second team, that’s right our SECOND TEAM beat them! How often over the years have we been in a position to say that our second string team would have been able to beat a team in the league above us?
And still people find reasons to moan……frustrating.
So turning to yesterdays game against Exeter. Remember last year with a crowd of 27,000 and they turned us over, I had a feeling we would win yesterday but I stayed quiet on that front so not to jinx it. An officials decision really sparked the game off, especially as Nardiello decided he could not let it go. As their manager said in the press conference, a ref is likely to let go abuse from a player when it’s 30 secs after the incident occured. But when it’s about 3/4 minutes after then Paul Tisdale conceded that the red card was probably right. Remember this was all being said without really knowing what had actually been said to the linesmen.
So let’s cut to the chase.
Bradley Wright-Phillips scores his fith goal of the season just before half time and in the second half, he cuts the ball back in front of the north stand. Wagstaff just missed it and Stephens ran onto it and belted the ball into the back of the net. Luckily he did better than the chance he had on Monday night against Sheffield Wednesday.
Ok, so looking at the performance. The crowd are quick to urge the players forward, so like on Monday it’s easy for the players to resort to long balls. Yesterday they refrained from doing that….progress!
Also when Exeter broke against us we are definitely more resilient when dealing with quick attacks against us, we have players ready to cut out the ball. We seem more up for it! The team ethic seems better, each player is more than happy to cover for someone else. It seems they are being educated to play as a team.
Yes it can be frustrating when we lose the ball or a move here and there does not quite work, but when we lose the ball we are more switched on it stifling the oppositions attack and working on getting the ball back. Maybe we could be more potent in front of goal, but maybe that will come as the season progresses.
Bradley Wright-Phillips is still looking sharp and fighting each week, the fact he blew the Exeter fans a little kiss after their chants towards him was a nice little touch.
Two players for me that I think could come in for some criticism are Wagstaff again for me and Paul Hayes. Hayes seems to lose possession the most and his touch lets him down now and then, Waggy again runs out of ideas and his crossing needs to improve.
Solly has really started to impress me. At first I felt he was leaving so much space to be attacked but he seems to be learning and progressing and Chris Powell is especially pleased with his performances.
So the moaning after Mondays game was wasted as yesterday MK Dons lost and Sheffield Utd drew so it can all change in 90 minutes and we are now joint top once again. 7 league games down with 39 remaining anything can happen to us and other teams in the league, lets try not to find things to grumble about. (including the big screen)
Onwards and upwards, still unbeaten and we have a joint league top goalscorer in Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Roll on Tuesday night in the Carling Cup……up the Addicks!