Pre Coventry thoughts

Well, if you can call them “thoughts”.

After the distraction that is called the FA Cup, it’s back to survival tomorrow at the Ricoh. Although like games have been this past month, the feeling of dread beforehand has evaporated.

Strange, that.

A quick thought on the next round of the World’s Oldest Cup Competition™. There was a bit of a sigh of disappointment when we drew West Ham, and I’m not sure why.

True, we played them in the League Cup at KM, but it’s a game we can win (and WAG will be making sure they go in with that attitude beforehand). Also, we’ll get some more money out of it, and come on – it’s the FAC.

Yes, it’s lost a lot of its magic in recent years, but it’s still a competition that gets the juices flowing on occasions.

We haven’t had much to shout about full stop in the last couple of years, but I’m struggling to remember the last time we beat anybody in a higher division in a cup game.

Scunny when we were L2 is the only one I can think of right now, and that was under TB.

Imagine the psychological boost if we can get them back to the Olympic London Stadium? Or even beating them – hell, Newport dumped Leicester out in the last round.

We’ve entered into a rut in recent seasons, as we all know, and part of that is an erosion of the “can do” mentality. Even a gallant loss can do a lot for our league form – ask Rochdale fans about last season.

While writing this up, it’s announced that it will be on the Saturday, at 19h45, and it will be on BT Shite. A strange time to watch a game, although wasn’t t’Stanley in the L2 playoff at home on the Saturday evening as well?

The Met will be happy that all the games get staggered too.

Your editor has worked out he will be on a flight between Charlotte and Boston during that game, and it will be just my luck the inflight WiFi won’t work…

Still, that’s to look forward to. The game that is, not me going Stateside. Tomorrow is much more important though, and we’ll have to do it without Ben Purrington.

I have to admit, it was a bit of a surprise when it was announced he was leaving (and it felt a bit of a teeth kickener when he was soon photographed in a Charlton shirt).

But after that initial shock, and as said in a previous SW19 update, it just confirms nobody in this squad is irreplaceable.

Sure, he’s been part of an improving back line, but if it’s fitting Deji in there and it works well then it’s probably not so much of an issue. WD seems happy with Garratt in there, anyway.

Purrington’s departure does highlight the big problem with loanees though – they’re not your players. Rotherham had the right to move him on, and that’s something we’ve got to accept.

And of course, it highlights just how much we need a different approach to recruitment – in other words, not getting caught short to begin with…

Still, while one hopes (and expects) WAG will be ruffling feathers already on that score, we’re in the transfer window and we still only have two players in. And one still without international clearance.

That will come, and it sounds like Walter is looking for about 4/5 more positions to fill. The ITK types are suggesting it’s a case of when, not if they’re completed.

So it’s a case of just sitting tight, unfortunately. I’m sure everyone would like the business done ASAP, not least our new management duo, but we’re not the only ones relying on a replacement to replace a replacement.

Or something.

I haven’t thought much about the game tomorrow, if I’m being honest, but this is one of these ones where a point will help. Though three is infinitely better.

We’re finding the net now, which is never a bad thing, and hopefully losing Purrington won’t turn out for our defence to be like losing Lyle Taylor was up front for us.

The need for replacements is still pretty bloody obvious, but one hopes there will be a couple of players out there tomorrow playing for their L1 futures.

Just as we’re apparently looking for 4/5 in, one can assume there’s as many on the out list.

Even – or especially – somebody like Appiah, if his agent really did say “interesting month ahead” after Fleetwood last week. Again, as also said in a recent update, we should think about cashing in as long as we don’t leave ourselves high and dry.

We’re not even half-way through January yet, although after we play the Cods that window starts getting very tight indeed. And this time, we don’t have the excuse of having no money to spend…