Tuesday, 15 February 2011

5 out of 5?

I love my away games.  I live in a part of the Country with excellent access to the many of the football grounds in League One and I get to a good number of our away trips, but driving 4 hours and 30 minutes on a Tuesday night is just a step too far.  This fixture is one which should have taken place in December, and one I was due to go to, but was called off because of a frozen pitch.  Therefore it is a vital one to win.

All the teams above us have played more games.  We need to pick up points in these games to put the pressure on, and let's be honest this tie does give us a good chance to keep our momentum going.  Hartlepool aren't exactly in a rich vein of form right now so are pretty much there for the taking.  One win in their last nine matches is quite telling and their confidence should be pretty low after the 4-1 defeat dished out by Brighton at the weekend.  So this gives us an excellent chance to leapfrog Southampton in the table should we manage to pick up a win.

If we harbour ambitions to gain promotion this year, then it's teams like this that we absolutely have to beat.  This would be a good match to start to show that we are capable of putting in a performance over two halves and pick up a convincing win.  We need to show that we are going through positive changes as a team and club and prove to ourselves that we are good enough to beat anybody on their day through performances and not just good fortune.  It's important that the team earns some wins through good craft, hard work, and a bit of quality as it is through these things that players and teams get their confidence, and we are going to need bags of it in the weeks ahead.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the team that got us back into the Posh game walk out as the starting eleven, except with Fry replacing Bessone who still appears to be injured.  Abbott deserves a recall to the team and it seems as if Nathan Eccleston was far more effective on the wing than he was up front.  With this in mind, and the fact that Anyinsah and Benson are carrying knocks, Pav definitely seems in with a shout of getting a rare start.

It could be a lottery as to who plays from Hartlepool.  It's rumoured that Wadsworth may make sweeping changes in an attempt to stop the slide.  The monkey hangers have scored the fewest goals in League One this season and with Charlton scoring more on their travels than any other team, the omens aren't looking too bad.  Of course we have to watch out for complacency and be mindful that our opposition might just be out to prove they are better than their last result suggests.  Their last win at home should also make us take note as they defeated Colchester, a team that we played recently, and it has to be said struggled against at times.

A win is required, we are capable of getting it, but this is also a potential banana skin for us.  5 out of 5 for Powell?  It seems unlikely if I'm honest, but then so did 4 out of 4.  Our run of wins isn't going to last forever, but let's hope the bandwagon marches on for another few games at least.

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