Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Udderwhelmed

The F A Cup draw was a tad disappointing. Yes we got a home tie in the 3rd Round Proper but Huddersfield Town won't set the tills ringing. Expect the club to run a Rick-style promotion. To be fair to Huddersfield, it's hardly a more attractive fixture for them having to return to SE7 a couple of months after their last visit. We live in hope, of course, but I am not anticipating a Cup run and by then we might all settle for a graceful exit if we genuinely have something else to focus on.

Our current form suggests that might just be the case. Unbeaten in six, with an improving defensive record and more players to return from injury, the signs are good. If we look at the forthcoming opposition, the average position of the sides we face over the next six games before the Terriers is 15th;

Brighton (8th) - well beaten in their big derby on Saturday and we should look to apply some salt at the Valley to an injury-hit Seagulls.

Bolton (18th) - potential banana-skin up there but not yet fully recovered from a difficult start.

Wednesday (23rd) - obviously struggling and will be under enormous pressure from their deluded fans at home.

Ipswich (20th) - looking for recovery under Mick McCarthy but we have already beaten them at their shop and a double should be achievable.

Derby (16th) - have not maintained their bright start and have been beaten six times away from home so far.

Watford (6th) - probably the toughest of the lot away from home but it's New Year and with a bumper noisy Charlton following, we could capitalise.

I may have the rose-tinted glasses on here but I don't think it unreasonable to expect to pick up more points than those around us through these games which should lift us into the top ten and position us nicely for a second-half charge. We have undoubtedly learnt lessons in this division through the first-half and if we can apply those we can expect a better second-half return which would make things very interesting indeed.

We have a better squad than I think most realise and we have a couple of key players yet to return. Wiggins is the obvious one who would give us one of the best defences in the league. It would also strengthen our attacking left side. With Lawrie Wilson restored on the right we would carry more direct threat and could expect more high quality supply - we have the front men to score the goals if they are given sufficient opportunity.

In the circumstances, I am looking forward to slipping quietly out of the Cup once again.

1 comment:

Bob Miller said...

Dave:

I support your thinking on the possible progression of Charlton over the balance of the season.

With the majority of Championship teams having been once Premiership members and wishing to once again occupy that position, there are really no easy games in this division, including the five coming up.

Come hangover day, January 2, we should have a pretty clear picture of what lies down the back-stretch.