|[Blog] Town Are Finally Digging Deep|
written by Pessimistic Monday, 6th Feb 2012 14:51
<i> And at last, it would appear we have found a tunnel to dig our way out of - even if it is not all that enlightening at this moment in time. We must however be grateful for this small breakthrough in the great scheme of things and certainly the emphatic win against league leaders West Ham United was something that I think none of us saw coming. </i>
The size of the victory and the quality of the football played by Town was sometimes bordering on the brilliant and how many times have we had the pleasure of saying that of late?
One good win does not make for a good season however but it was vitally important that Town held their nerve against Championship basement boys Coventry City - even if it was very much touch and go to the end.
Finally it was Town who stole the points and if football over a season levels out then perhaps the tide is beginning to turn. Two penalties in two games is a bit of a novelty for Town and is good to see that Lee Martin has the appetite for the challenge now that ex-captain Grant Leadbitter is currently a full time-bench warmer.
I applaud Marcus Evans for having the brains to not press the panic button at the first sign of supporter unrest. Yes, I know there are lots of you out there that will not agree with me on this but we are a broad church of opinions and long may this continue but I think Paul Jewell will find that winning formula given time.
Time sadly is not what a lot of managers get much of these days, to the detriment of the game in my view. Look at Ken Bates attitude at Leeds, for example. How absurd the dismissal of Simon Grayson was with Leeds United still in the play-off places and not completely out of the running for automatic promotion.
If Paul Jewell has admitted to his errors then Marcus Evans in the matchday programme seemed to do likewise. He has realised that swapping and changing managers does not guarantee improvement. On the contrary, in most instances it works against a team because apart from the financial considerations of hiring and firing, there is also the transition that involves a change in personal because every new boss has his own squad of backroom staff he wants recruiting.
We know, that there are notable exceptions like Norwich and Southampton, who have landed back on their feet when it did not seem at all likely, but generally speaking, these are the exceptions to the rule and only through continuity, which involves a lot of patience, do you usually get the recipe for success right.
Paul Jewell has used lots of ingredients so far and many would say he has relied too much on his old tried and tested formula that is no longer a very tasty dish. He is the first to admit he has made mistakes but if you don't make mistakes you generally don't make anything and now he is getting much closer to marinating this squad into a winning team.
Most of us would agree however that it is the defence that is Town's Achilles' heel and he has taken far too long to address this issue because it is still costing us dear. Ipswich are still leaking two goals a game, which is one of the reasons why it is so difficult for Town to go on a sustained winning run.
Ibrahima Sonko sadly is not the answer and I am not entirely convinced that Tommy Smith has the focus to defend well week in week out. Carlos Edwards will never make it as a wing back and although he looks good going forward his distribution is found wanting and his making is sometimes quite appalling.
Arran Lee-Barrett is worthy of his place, if only his understudies are looking even more vulnerable than he does these days. Only Aaron Creswell fits the bill in this department sadly. It is clear for all to see therefore that if Town want to make lasting progress the defensive issues need to be addressed without further delay.
Yes, Town are showing self-belief and and digging deep once more but a porous defence can undermine all that good work in a blink of an eye and this is not the time to get buried by another avalanche of disappointment.
Let us look on the bright side though. We are scoring goals and some of the young guns are finally finding their feet. Relegation seems now about as distant as the play-off places, so let us hope this is a learning curve that provides the club with a platform on which to build.
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