Saints Slowly Playing Their Way Back Into Form
Monday, 5th Apr 2021 09:26
Whisper it quietly, although there are still a few things to iron out yet, Saints have started to put together a run of form, could this be just at the right time as they look to surge towards safety in the Premier League and to earn an FA Cup final place at Wembley.
The last few months have been hell for Saints fans, it seemed to be defeat after defeat, injury issue after injury issue and poor refereeing decision after poor refereeing decision.
But in the last month things have changed a little, the win over Sheffield United gave us some confidence back and although we lost to a Manchester City side who have won every game bar one in the last four months and had a blip against Brighton, the victory over Burnley gave us our third win in five games and that is a crucial boost in regaining more of our confidence.
The return of Danny Ings and Theo Walcott on Sunday was a big boost to the depth of the squad and for the first time in four months we had options in the squad that haven't been there since early December.
The starting line up against the Clarets could be said to have been our strongest line up with everyone fit aside from Oriol Romeu.
The squad seem to have that positive vibe back and it is time to focus on what we can achieve not what we can't, the last three months are in the past, but the next month or so is the future, FA Cup semi finals don't happen very often, the game against Leicester will be only our 3rd in 35 years, when they do come along we should embrace them for the opportunity it is, we did so back in 2003 but three years ago in 2018 we didn't.
With six weeks left of the season, this still has the potential to become our greatest ever season in our history and that is also something that we should embrace and enjoy and not moan about what has gone on.
For the first time in a long time it seems that good times are back, perhaps they will end in tears, but let's not worry about that till it happens, we have won only one major trophy in the club's history, this could be the second, if it is we will have won it the hard way and that will be very satisfying.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though it’s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it there’ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the U’s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that they’ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the U’s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City – still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the U’s will know this too. Whilst I can’t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
Letters from Wiltshire #43 by wessex_exile
Well, that has been a lively week for Colchester United in the press, and not least for Robbie Cowling, with not one, or two, but kind of three club announcements in rapid succession to try and put the record straight. First, we had Tribunalgate, which certainly looked very poor according to the initial press reports, but which on closer inspection when some of the ‘fact gaps’ were filled in wasn’t anywhere near the story that some would have us believe. Then of course we had the ‘leak’ that the U’s were about to go into administration, despite all the reassurances we’d been given in previous statements from Robbie. Not so said Robbie again, and particularly angry at what he believed to be the source of the story. Hence statement #3, repeating his assurances, but this time after passing through the lawyer filter to remove his thoughts on the source. To paraphrase Robbie’s conclusion to that statement, let’s hope we can all have a day off from this sort of media shenanigans and enjoy our game at Oldham tonight!
Letters from Wiltshire #42 by wessex_exile
Well, these sure are strange times at Colchester United, particularly for a club (nor a Chairman) not usually associated with the ‘managerial revolving door’ approach. With results not matching expectations or even minimum requirements, and a brief spell after being appointed Interim Head Coach, Wayne Brown has been released to return to the Jammers, for whenever their pandemic-interrupted football restarts. In comes not one, or two, but three new ‘appointments’. Hayden Mullins steps up as Head Coach to the end of the season, Joe Dunne apparently comes back to the U’s in a sort of unofficial coaching/ team-spirit sort of role, and exceptionally experienced lower-league former Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale arrives to provide Hayden with advice and support – crikey!
Letters from Wiltshire #41 by wessex_exile
This afternoon the U’s take on Bradford City in a bid to gather sufficient points to stay clear of the bottom two. It’ll be a tough gig though, even if (as I suspect) Bradford City have left it a bit too late to challenge the play-off spots. They were on a decent run of form, that is until defeats at Newport, Carlisle, Scunthorpe and a goalless draw at home to Oldham put paid to any lingering promotion hopes. For us, it’s simple, to stay out of the bottom two, for all intents and purposes we only need to gain half (or more) of the points that Grimsby or Southend do. Sounds easy, just wish I felt more confident we will…
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