Mr Phillips Excellent SFTW
Hi and welcome to this holiday/not holiday (depending on who`s working) edition of something for the weekend. Not sure how long this is going to be this week as I start writing with all the Christmas madness but here goes.
So the weather has been pretty bad the last week and perhaps unsurprisingly the home game against Rotherham was cancelled. Probably no bad thing with Christmas looming, a new manager and a few games to pack in as it will have given John Ward an extra couple of days with the squad and staff and work on anyone plans for the following games and the transfer window. It sucks for anyone travelling when the game gets called off and I can understand Rotherham being a bit upset given that there had been plenty of rain previously and more was of course forecast. Unfortunately these things happen and it happens to all clubs plenty of times and is something we all seem to have just put up with. In some respects we were probably victims regarding the timing of the decision of the now excellent drainage at The Mem with the call of on the day. Perhaps previously without the improvements the game may well have been called off a lot earlier and might have stopped many travelling.
As I write we have just come off the back of a 2-2 draw against Aldershot. I didn`t hear the commentary and haven`t read much, but what I have heard was that it wasn`t much of a game at all. I am sure we would have taken a point away, and it was good to see us come back twice but judging by the stats (which I don`t like to look into too much to be honest) and some of the general views, we are going to have to play a lot better. Apparently we only had one shot (Assume the penalty is excluded from said stat) which thankfully due to a large slice of luck secured us a point. Certainly we are going to need create more if we are going to get draws and wins as once again we conceded another two goals. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I am guessing we were going there to be tight and not give much away judging by our shots at goal and the line up and to concede two again just highlights the defensive work we need to do. It`s the problem that we have had all season and one that is going to need hard work and extra hours on the training field. Not least as some players still look so far from anywhere near fit. Hopefully John Ward will be working them hard and getting big improvements from them.
Saturday sees us travel up the M5 to face the next difficult game against Cheltenham Town. Hopefully we can improve on the Boxing Day performance and come back with three points. I am a bit confused as to whether Tom Eaves is available or not as I have heard differing stories, but if it is his last game or not he is going to be a big miss after and is going to need replacing in January. You can`t really blame Bolton for not wanting to come back. He has done pretty well here and they would probably like to loan him out to a better performing team. With Wayne Brown leaving and Derek Riordan finishing up with us and loan deals up there should be some scope for adjustments to the team in January and we are going to need some new bodies and definitely some experienced, strong ones who can come in and do a job and dig us out of this hole. It will be interesting to see what Mr Ward can work in the transfer window and how he can get everyone playing as soon as.
Well that`s it from me this week and if you are have had to go back to work or are still on holiday, I hope you have all had a good Christmas and hope we can bring in the New Year with three welcome points, even if it won`t necessarily drag us off the bottom just yet.
Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips