Sunday 21 February 2010

Fixtures provide encouragement

Bouyed by our win yesterday and a return of sorts to something approaching our pre-New Year form, I thought I'd take a peek at our fixtures and those of our promotion hopefuls in the coming weeks. I'm pleased to report that there are some positive signs....

First thing to say is that the games in hand that some of our rivals have should all be played by the time we face Millwall on 13th March and the interesting thing is that they are all away from home! Leeds go to Tranmere, Huddersfield to Southampton, Millwall to Carlisle and Swindon's two are at MK Dons and Southampton. I'd bet on more points being lost here than gained. With our current points cushion, that should mean we can hold fourth spot.

Then, if we look at the next three games for the top seven, the top five have two at home and one away whilst Huddersfield and Millwall have to play two away and one at home. That might suggest less change amongst the top five? When  you then consider the respective opposition, then in only one of those 21 matches, do top seven sides face each other - Huddersfield v Leeds in a fortnight. So, it's pretty much a case of knocking over lower league opposition fo everyone. On that basis, we have every chance of making more ground up as face Brighton (22nd) at home, Southend (18th) away and Stockport (24th) at home. We don't always make respective league placings tell but you wouldn't swap these fixtures for say, Colchester's - Brentford (11th) at home, Bristol Rovers (10th) away and Brighton (22nd) at home.

So, in summary, we have another great chance here to recover and at least re-establish ourselves as the primary contender for the second automatic place. It would also be good to keep pace with the top two if only to avoid the stress of perhaps having to win games in order to avoid the catastrophe of missing the play-offs which has been looking a distinct possibility based on recent current form.

Bring on the Seagulls!

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