We were taught a real lesson today. Middlesbrough came to The Valley with an impressive record. In fact they had won five of their last seven games. It was easy to see why. Mowbray's side played with a confidence and style that us Addicks could only dream of right now. But more importantly they had an aura of positivity about them.
It's becoming clear that if we want to kick on in this league, we are going to have to seriously reconsider our approach. Whilst I understand caution, I'm certain that our current strategy is doing us more harm than good. I don't think damage limitation exercises are going to keep us in this division.
Looking up the table it seems obvious to me that 'having a go' at teams is where the benefits lie. Those teams that are bold enough to take the risks are flourishing, whilst those that have a more negative approach are finding life that much more difficult. This is especially evident when looking at our home form and results.
I think the reason our home form is so terrible is because we are not being adventurous enough. I've always felt that a home team should have the impetus, should take advantage of the conditions and drive the game. Unfortunately we just do not do that. Too often we are chasing the game instead of dictating it.
Away from home our form is significantly better. This does not surprise me however. The standard strategy for an away team is to soak up the pressure, keep the home side out for as long as possible, and hope to nick a goal at the earliest opportunity. The way Powell sets out his side does that very well, but it's not a tactic that I can see working well as the home side. There has to be a more positive approach.
Currently it is only our away form keeping us out of the bottom three. In fact, if there was a league table which was based on home form only, we would be in the bottom two, four points adrift of the safety zone. On the flip-side, if we were to look at a table based on away form only, we would be in the top ten. In my opinion this clearly highlights a huge issue.
We have reached a point in the season where we have to start making some bold decisions. Would it be such a huge gamble to instruct the team to take our home games by the scruff of the neck and really go for it? I think not. Two points from a possible eighteen at home proves that a complete re-think is necessary. It remains to be seen whether change is forthcoming, but what is there to lose?
Cardiff's away form isn't special, in fact they have lost three of their last four on the road. Now is the perfect time for us to make changes. Let the team off the leash a bit so they can show us what they've got. Let's start laying siege to opposition's goals BEFORE we go one behind. I want to stop saving our best performances for when we are a goal down (today was an exception to that rule obviously).
This Charlton side does have the necessary qualities to stay in the division, I just don't think they are being utilised properly right now.