We dropped two points against Southampton last night and it was a bitter pill to swallow. Having played well in the first half, we appeared to be coasting at 2-0 against our relegation rivals, so there is no getting away from the fact that it was a disappointing result in the end.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. Having scrawled the message boards this morning, the negativity has been overwhelming. ‘We’re in trouble now’ seems to be the general consensus. All I can say to this is – when exactly were we out of trouble?
Even if three points had been achieved last night, we would still be in a relegation battle. This is going to be the case for the rest of the season. For me though, last night’s game produced enough positives to suggest that we can achieve our aim for this season – to stay in the Championship. That is, after all, the best we can aim for.
So, the positives……….
We have now scored six goals in two games. Prior to this, it was six goals in the previous eight games. Two of these were scored for us by Forest. Overall, the attacking freedom is encouraging.
The performances of Wes Hoolahan have to be taken as a positive. In the last two games he has been excellent. Against Southampton last night, his creativity was superb and as for his strike – fantastic. He could be our key man in the final third of the season.
The players are playing without fear now. They are bursting forward with more purpose and actually look like creating something on the break. I am aware that we aren’t perfect going forward, but compare the last two games with the Charlton one and it is a significant improvement.
For the first time in a while the crowd, the players and the management team are united. When was the last time a manager’s name was sung during his first official match in charge for example? This will win us some crucial Carrow Road points in the coming weeks and it could be the difference between staying up and going down.
Even though it is not football related, the steward stacking it while trying to eject a Southampton fan was worthy of the admission fee alone. He fell right into the green material separating the home and away fans and it has to be said that the words ‘down like a sack of spuds’ come to mind. Comedy gold!
Finally, the fact that Mark Fotheringham is suspended for the Wolves game has to be a positive. He was decent enough last night, but if his suspension means that Russell reverts to a midfield role, with a more accomplished striker (answers on a postcard as to who this is) alongside Lupoli or Cureton – that’s a good thing.
So, even though the football odds will still expect us to be very much in trouble for the remainder of the season, I believe we have enough to get out of it. I even expect a cheeky win at Donny on Friday.
By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting