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A wonderful time of the year

I’m starting to like this feeling of winning games…

So, two back-to-back victories. And in a period where the matches come thick and fast too – if you’re going to get momentum, now isn’t a bad time to do it.

Thanks to my agency almost being as bad as AFCW is over comms (I said “almost”), I ended up at QPR v Ipswich yesterday instead of KM. But even following from slightly afar, I always had that sense we weren’t going to lose this game.

Even when they did score their worldie that he wouldn’t otherwise get in a month of Boxing Days. Though learning to clear properly might have helped.

You’re probably all still salivating over our equaliser, although Pinnock’s winner was equally difficult on review. And yes, the second goal had a large amount of luck to it.

But come on – it’s nice that we got a bit of fortune on our side for once. Christ, look at the penalties we don’t get. I’m certain that if one of our players was openly sodomised in the area the ref would wave play on.

Yesterday did banish a couple more unwanted records. This was WD’s first win at KM, so that particular monkey is off everyone’s back. It was our first back-to-back set of victories since April, and before that January.

A quick reminder of how bad we’ve been for much longer than just this season, by the way.

But the stats bar the very important ones may not matter at the moment. We would have lost this game under the previous regime, yet we deserved to win this one according to even the Plymouth fans.

I can well imagine the post-match glow at KM, and I think it’s simply a case of doing what we should be doing.

We’ve already become hard(er) to beat, and that’s been part of the issue beforehand. And the players seem to be growing into that – even something as cringeworthy as this on Xmas Day suggests a good spirit within the camp.

At least we know what the standard of dancing is when they go out for their Jaegerbomb specials.

New manager bounce? To be honest, I don’t think it is – if there was one, we would have beaten Rochdale and Charlton, then slipped back into the bad old habits.

I think it’s more a new managerial attitude, one that is focusing on hard work and “winning each half”. Already, the squad are responding to that, and in a good way too.

I read Walter’s post-match comments, and it was telling one of the first things he said was about going to make it a third victory on the bounce against Blackpool. Already, not resting on our laurels.

True, it’s not as simple as that – or is it? Sure, there’s the whole tactical side of things, but even just going into a game thinking you’re not going to lose can go a long way.

Should the season end now, we’ll be in League Two next season. But it doesn’t, and we’re still just about halfway through this campaign.

And while I expect we’ll slip back to a 4/5 point gap after we play Pompey, even that can change pretty quickly in our favour again. Two points off safety at this stage isn’t nothing, but it’s certainly more than surmountable.

Hell, I’d fancy our chances of overcoming that even in April, let alone December.

That’s the over-riding message I hope is being drilled into these players – you can get out of this. Hell, you will escape the drop…

It doesn’t change the fact we need some surgery next month, but even getting better performances out of seemingly lost causes (Appiah? Jervis?) helps. It means that instead of replacing 7/8, we would need to change “only” three or four, which makes life a bit easier.

We need to get a decent striker from somewhere, which will be tricky, although if all our earmarked transfer funds go on that particular position then money talks and bullshit walks.

Not so long ago, sending Jervis and King back to whence they came was mandatory. Now both have played a good part in our last two wins, and maybe we don’t need to replace them after all?

Or more accurately, we don’t need to return them first thing on Tuesday morning.

It’ll likely be one-in-one-out, and there’s three departures** you can think of already. And one suspects this is already planned and ready to go after/before we go to Fratton Park.

** – Deji being the other “obvious” one – best to cash in on him now, and I can see a L2 side pushing for promotion bidding for him. I’m sure we’ll also happily sell Trotter to Franchise…

All in all, it’s nice that we’re talking about this kind of thing without a sense of doom and decay – something that had crept in far too much within AFCW until very recently.

It gives us a chance to think a bit more clear-headed, to progress that next step upwards without having to constantly bail things out. I’m sure you know what I mean by that.

Couple of other minor thoughts about yesterday. I had to remind myself that Simon Bassey is still involved with our first team coaching squad, though that probably says more about the influence of WAG these days.

If you didn’t know already, you’d struggle to name anyone involved beyond those two, though anonymity isn’t a bad thing.

Plymouth fans must be wondering who they upset to get us on Boxing Day – I assume that Brizzle Rovers wasn’t a viable opponent. That said, they did get a 3pm kickoff – it’s not like even just a few years ago when half of yesterday’s games would have kicked off at 1pm.

And boy, they were shitfests and a half.

Very good crowd in, helped by the London/SE based Pilgrims no doubt, and this despite no trains and other transport issues that this time of year brings up.

One wonders how many we would have got back home. Which, by the way, was the biggest news – and Xmas present – we could have had this yuletide.

Simply put, the big plot of land with the concrete fillers** at the arse end of Plough Lane now belongs to us. We own the freehold – or in other words, we own that plot of land outright. Not a leasehold. like we have with KM, it’s ours now.

As in, we can’t have it taken away.

I don’t think it can, anyway, and I do believe once it’s all built etc we should do a Chelski Pitch Owners type arrangement. Fool me once, shame on you, and all that.

** – speaking of which, would it be too much for AFCW just to give a brief update on what is happening behind the hoardings, along with the revised planning application to LBM?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not against the DT Constitution to give out information that people would be curious to know, and come on – it is Xmas…

But this is obviously a big thing judging by the tone and importance of the article. In fact, quite fundamentally massive as well.

First and foremost, we now get the money in to pay off more of the Barclays loan. It’s better to pay off as much as we can on that without affecting AFCW functioning, certainly.

I don’t know the ins-and-outs of the whole grants thing, and what it means with what we can do with NPL, but we have now become tenants at KM.

That might un-nerve some of our more paranoid supporters, but I imagine it’s all as safeguarded as it could ever be. We’re likely tenants in name only, or ones with very favourable rental terms.

I can’t see things breaking down to the point where we would have to leave next season and move into Selhurst again. Though my warped sense of humour would find that arrangement quite amusing.

And anyway, we own the land now, so why not just get a few temporary stands, some Portakabins and a new pitch and sling it down instead? And there’ll be a roof too – after all, the club had to deny that there wouldn’t be one…