Friday, 30 August 2013

Foxes in the Valley

I was cleaning my old car yesterday and a Charlton-supporting mate of 30+ years pulled up in his work vehicle. After the usual pleasantries he told me he was heading to the ground where I know his firm has a contract for pest control. Having set some traps, he was returning to remove three foxes which have a habit of making a mess of the pitch.

As he drove off I recognised this coincidence "as a sign." He told me he will hope to see me on Saturday but as I drove off I wondered what he would make of the visit of big numbers of Foxes on Saturday and just what did the sign mean?

Leicester City will arrive in fine fettle following the ultimate disappointment of the play-offs last season. They have started brightly with three wins and a draw and are up in third place. Boss Nigel Pearson has a settled squad and they will arrive on the back of five League Cup goals against Carlisle which has earned them a plum home Derby derby tie.

I haven't seen a football coupon this week but will assume Leicester will start as warm favourites in this one. We are capable of upsetting the odds (we did the double over them last season) but I do worry that our team is unsettled and that we will crack if we go a goal down. The defence is showing massive gaps in concentration and I can see Leicester scoring two at least. Wood, Schlup and Nugent should give us plenty of problems at the back.

The key to our chances may rely upon possession and taking the game aggressively to the visitors. Again, I have concerns over that. Chris Powell always sends his teams out at the Valley with a conservative first-half mindset. We are going to have to take any chances that come our way and hope to establish a lead to build on and put Leicester on watch. Relying on the Kermogant-factor alone may be too much to wish for.

More than the result, I will be watching the performance closely. Chris Powell made a comment about wanting his players to be happy this week which could be interpreted that they are unhappy right now. Lack of contractual security for most is the likeliest explanation and lack of funds will be driving this. If that is the case, then I suspect we will be overwhelmed on Saturday and beaten with something to spare. 

Following the alarming sinking against Doncaster and the final capitulation at Huddersfield in the week, another home defeat may lift frustration levels to breaking point, and Slater and Jiminez could be on the receiving end, even if they are likely to be doing something else with their Saturday.


Wyn Grant said...

Reading the Leicester press it seems that their plan is to get the game done and dusted in the first half which they could well do.

Dave said...

Wyn - you don't need to be a highly experienced former professional still nicking a living as a Scout for a club nowadays. You just need to read a handful of blogs and a message forum of the visitors!