Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Home sweet home (or league one as we call it)

This isn't a negative moan, just a bit of honesty as our season slowly (oh so slowly) runs down.

Barring a minor miracle (ie. the players suddenly acquiring a winning mentality) and a championship form winning run in, we need to positively look forward to another season in the third flight of English football.  Last time we spent three season in this division was back between 72-73 and 74-75 getting promoted in the third season. (A good omen there then!)

Looking at the last five seasons in League One it has on average taken 75 points to sneak into the play off's.  In fact the last two season it has needed 80 points to grab 6th spot.

If we win all of our remaining games (including those against Southampton-twice!, Bournemouth, Leyton Orient, Hartlepool and Huddersfield) this would put us on 84 points, which historically would be enough for a play off berth.  That would be twelve consecutive wins, half of which are against fellow promotion hopefuls.  I can't really see that happening.

What's more likely would be for an improvement on the last seven results and, based on our average points per game this season - 1.4, would leave us finishing on 64 points and around 8th or 9th in the table.

It is the reality.  When you look at our form over the course of this season it really was only the good run late October and through November under Parky that has enabled us to reach the position we are now in. (Safe.)

I think now is the time to take an overview of what we have and what we need to launch a consistent and realistic promotion campaign next season.

Management need to decide what system will win most games at this level and start work on bringing in the right personnel to carry it off on the pitch.  I recall Gus Poyet bringing a struggling Brighton side to the Valley last year.  They were not great players, but were well drilled, new their jobs and turned us over.  He then added what he needed and they have romped the division this time round.

We won't get up this year. But we do have the resource, and the support to start again and do the job properly next season.

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