Welcome to 2019

Just a very quick update…

I’m glad we’ve got a cup game tomorrow, as the grind of the league fixtures partly caught up with us at Fratton Park.

Seven points out of twelve – or two wins, a draw and a loss away to the league leaders – isn’t a bad return at all. Especially over a Xmas period where we could have been really fucked.

As it stands, five points off the drop and back to the bottom is a bit demoralising, and we’ve simply got to knuckle down and get all the points where we can.

It’s been said on here more than a few times recently – there is still a long way to go, and the way things are going, there is more than a couple of teams in mid-table right now who are already starting to look over their shoulder at the chasing pack.

Which includes us.

I didn’t write anything up for Pompey, but fortunately most teams in this division can’t raise their game like they can. Like Charlton away – the game on NYD won’t decide our fate this season.

True, there will be weekends upcoming where we’ll slip back – we’ll lose or draw, and teams around us will win. The key is to not have too many of them where we can help it.

And we still have to play most of the teams around us, albeit many of them away from home (and when you look at how badly we did against fellow strugglers at home – just how much self-harm did we inflict on ourselves?),

Not to mention there’s always the unexpected bonus.

Even so, as said earlier, I’m happy we’re distracted at Fleetwood tomorrow. It’s an important game in a different sense – the prize money for winning, for starters – but nothing too drastic will change before we get sent to Coventry.

Lose at Highbury and it will be disappointing, but a win or draw?

We do need to boost the transfer kitty though, as trying to shift the deadweight won’t be easy. And while we’re already getting some more (perhaps a lot more) out of this current lot, it’s still clear we need reinforcements.

Primarily up front, which is why we’ve already moved for Dylan Connolly. Somebody with much-needed pace, and apparently can play as a striker.

No pressure on him, like.

At the very least, his signing should be a warning sign to our current forwards to buck their ideas up. You don’t need me to tell you where our biggest problem lies, even if Appiah is starting to have a few decent moments.

It’s also the first test of Walter’s transfer dealing credentials, although he’s not likely to do much worse. How many others he’ll be able to get in remains to be seen, and if it is only two in total then I don’t think he’ll be blamed for that.

Or to put it another way – we’re about to see how serious the club’s decision makers are in helping us stay in League One…

I won’t be updating until Monday, where hopefully we’ll be getting excited for the FAC draw this weekend. But I guess just as importantly as everything else in 2019 – we need to start enjoying life at this club again.

People don’t seem to have that dread about going to games any more, even if there’s a growing resignation to us going down.

Even losing to Pompey didn’t seem quite so bad, and it was more us kicking ourselves about their first goal and letting the game slip after pulling back. That’s a good thing, even if the result did us no favours.

The last month alone has put into context just how awful and soul-destroying the last eighteen months were. And football is a hobby that is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.

We may yet go down, and unless our forward line starts scoring we will do. But why does something tell me 2019 might end up being a good year…?