|[Blog] Time For Town's Acid Test.|
Written by Pessimistic on Tuesday, 6th Mar 2012 14:30
Five wins out a possible six and up to the heady heights of 14th in the Championship and things are looking up! We cannot forget however our disappointing result at Brighton - even if the 3-0 scoreline did not accurately reflect the game as a whole. In this roller-coaster of a season so far, I think the game this evening against the Saints will be a good time to test the water.
How far have we progressed over the last few weeks since Luke Hyam and more especially Andy Drury added pace, determination and no little skill to our midfield will depend on how well we perform this evening.
Certainly, their never-say-die attitude has had a positive impact on the whole team and let's not forget Tommy Smith and a rejuvenated Damien Delaney who have looked quite solid at the back in recent weeks but tonight of course will be the ultimate test of our progress so far.
A big defeat and it is back to the drawing board. A narrow defeat would suggest that we have made some progress and anything better would be a real bonus, at one of the most intimidating stadiums and against arguably the best team in the division.
There are real signs at last that Paul Jewell is getting the chemistry right. Whether it is by luck or good judgement is anybody's guess but the gaffer has never been afraid to admit to his mistakes and he knows better than most that this is still very much a work in progress.
Encouragingly though, there are other positive signs of progression. Carlos Edwards taking the armband seems to have enhanced his performances when they seemed to hinder Leadbitter's. Lee Martin is excelling in his free role and finally Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is showing his real worth with his undoubted flair and wonderful left foot!
Daryl Murphy too seems to be enjoying his wide left berth role and for all the problems Michael Chopra has had, his knack of being in the right place at the right time remains undiminished thankfully.
Football is all about confidence and there is nothing like that winning habit. It has even been suggested that the beautiful game is about 20 percent skill and 80 percent self-belief and all habits, whether they are winning ones, or losing ones, have a significant impact on team performances, of this there is little doubt.
Town's Achilles' heel for some seasons now has been as much about switching off at crucial times and perhaps we all underestimate the values of staying focused and good concentration levels at all times.
The defence has been helped by a revitalised midfield and PJ must guard against tampering too much with this winning formula. The diamond system is a thing of the past but the question remains does he really have a Plan B and if so what could it be?
Tonight is a night to be judgemental. How far have Town progressed? The building blocks for next season are now beginning to take shape and we all need to know what is the shape of things to come? After tonight's encounter we may all have learned a little more.
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