Well that's a quarter of the season gone and we marked it with a gutless home defeat to a Brighton side who had everything we were missing; confidence, organisation, responsibility, teamwork and belief. Man-for-man, I don't believe they have any more quality and capability in their squad than we do. It's hard to get away from the conclusion that our faltering efforts are more to do with the management.
Parky's post match viewpoint will make interesting reading because I don't see how he can avoid taking responsibility here. My suspicion is that he will heap praise on Brighton but that will be a cop out. The odd poor showing is excusable but this coming on the back of the shambles in the first half at Brentford is unacceptable. There might be a "lot more to come from these players" but they aren't showing many signs of delivering it and with Kyel Reid stretchered off with what looked like a serious injury, we look to be in a pickle.
Our back four look incapable of going through a game without gifting the opposition at least one goal. Gary Doherty will be criticised for their first when he was caught flat-footed by a clever lob back into the box. That might be harsh but he gave the ball away for the second and Johnnie Jackson compounded the error by leaving a back pass woefully short which Brighton took full advantage of. Lua-Lua's beautiful strike for the third was salt in the wounds but the game was already settled. I am pleased to report that I missed the fourth because I left with the mass exodus after the third.
Racon and Semedo simply cannot run the midfield and provide attacking impetus as well as a defensive cover. We manage the latter but do very little of the former. Instead we have been focusing on our wing players to provide the ammunition for two front-men who look increasingly like third division plodders. Reid did at least manage a succession of crosses today but most were over hit or at least put to the back post when our man was on the near post. Lee Martin was again lightweight although he did manage one superb run and cross in the first half which found Abbott only to be steered wide of the post.
Benson saw very little of the ball today and Abbott was left to lead the line. His first touch is particularly poor and he appears to rely on stretching rather than jumping for the ball.
We are now past the "gelling" stage and I am afraid we look like we are lacking motivation. This was an easy win for Brighton and, frankly, it was an embarrassment. I am glad I am off to India for a week because I don't want to think about Charlton for a week at least. We are down to 14th and with Carlisle away next week, a relegation battle could be closer to hand than a promotion push.