Writer: Jorge's Jottings
Date:Monday March 24 2008
After a season which has brought more than a lot of Saddlers fans expected after August saw the Saddlers rock bottom, it seems rather cruel to be talking about must win games. However this is perhaps the first that could be described this way. Orients manager Martin Ling has dismissed their play off hopes after saturdays home defeat and they have the same points as us albeit having played one game more. Three defeats in the last four and no wins have seen other teams take advantage of our hicup and steal into the play off places. defeat could see this gap stretch to six points if other games go against us. A win could bring us back into contention, couldn't be simpler.
So what has gone wrong, well as others spent we found ourselves robbed of 1.5million pounds of defensive players, alongside the loss of midfielder Sweeney to Leeds and the loss of striker Micheal Ricketts has added to the problems. We can argue about finances and directors but the truth is that this is the nature of the game for most at this level as I am sure any fans from Rotherham, Bradford, Luton etc will testify as they have all had there flirtation with the championship only to be relegated to find life harder than expected.
We can also argue about the relative strenghts and weaknesses of the replacements that have come in, the truth is that amount of disruption would effect any team, it is what happens from now on that matters.
As for today, we need to find a cutting edge perhaps it is time for a gamble, Ishmel up front with Moore or perhaps Alex Nichols or Troy Deeney to come in. Our defence will need to be solid and keep Nickey Maynard under wraps. Whilst I will not be over critical of Ian Roper for the service he has given to the club, the defence isn't the same with Ian in the centre as it was with Scott Dann....do we take a chance with Mannie Smith perhaps!!
So win lose or draw what happens after today, well if we will have four of our last seven games at home winnerable games against Bournemouth, Bristol Rovers, Hartlepool and a six pointer against Tranmere. With away games at Southend next saturday before we visit Cheltenham and Huddersfield. If we want to push on we need a centre half and we need a goal scorer, not easy to find but crucial to secure a play off spot. If the chase is up I would suggest we put the money back in the bank and let our loanees go back to their clubs, let the players under contract prove there worth let the youngsters gain the experience in the first team which will be invaluable.
Today could just well be a turning point in the short term future of our club.........so come on you Saddlers.
Date:Monday March 24 2008
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