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(Still) Up for the cup

And our march towards embarrassing defeat at Barnet continues…

It’s a bit of a shame in some regards that Fleetwood wasn’t a league game, although for that fixture in a fortnight – let’s go 2-0 up and keep it that way.

For now though, we can dream about a mouthwatering tie against a Premier League reserve team** to not only boost the coffers but to remind us why we support football to begin with.

** – although it’s noteworthy that the likes of Yenited, Citeh and Spurz happily play their big guns in this, while other Prem sides don’t. Perhaps that’s why they win trophies (except Spurz, unless you count “Finishing third in a two horse race in 2016”) and the rest of the division doesn’t – they have a winning mentality rather than accepting 17th each season…

Be honest – if we get a PL side this evening, you’ll be salivating over it big time won’t you? Just like you did when we played at Wembley last season.

OK, there’s also the potential for a disappointing fixture against Gillingham or Pompey, but in that situation take the money and the opportunity to progress further.

But I’d rather have somebody different than the sort of team we play most weeks. That’s kind-of the point of this competition, after all.

As we await tonight’s draw, a quick think back to Saturday. Fleetwood showed the two sides of AFCW, the one we want to see more often and the one that still has the soft underbelly.

To go 2-0 up away from home is one thing. To let it slip to 2-2 in the matter of minutes is another. But to get a winner in the 89th minute or so? That’s balls.

Even Walter himself was banking on a replay, so his reaction when Appiah found the target must have been the same as everyone else’s. The journey back down the M6 must have flown by…

And when you watch the strikes by Barcham and Hartigan as well, they weren’t tap-ins or scrambles off somebody’s scrotum – they were proper finishes.

Actual goals, not this pseudo-intellectual “expected goals” bollocks.

Enough has been written about the efforts that got Fleetwood back into it. Suffice to say, the last time Ched Evans went down that easily, he was in a hotel room.

But this morning, that doesn’t matter. Why? Because we’ve proven that we have a spine.

Whether you like this bunch of players or not, and whether you think they should be shipped out ASAP, to do what we did took a genuine bit of character.

If the rumour mill about there being more transfers in than first thought is remotely true, they’ll certainly need to be on their toes beyond this month. But are they playing like they have a point to prove?

Whoever comes in (and how many) remains to be seen, but we’re already seeing the type of player WD prefers to sign. After the last SW19 update, we got Bournemouth keeper and Seb Brown lookalike Aaron Ramsdale.

He came straight into the team at Highbury and by all accounts did well.

He’s 20 years old, Dylan Connolly (who didn’t play, presumably because of the dreaded international clearance) is 23 and no doubt any others incoming will be of similar age.

And I don’t doubt we could get more in of that age this month, though it might rely on us shifting a couple.

Which leads us onto transfers out of KM. To be honest, unless we really don’t have anyone lined up as a replacement before the window, if somebody comes in with cash for Appiah or Deji – or anyone else – then snap their arm off.

Everyone in this squad is replaceable, and even now wouldn’t be missed if they went.

I would expect (not hope) to be the first signs that we’ll have a realistic list of replacements to swoop for in case anyone did leave. And I hope (not expect) we’re able to get as much incoming before we start letting others go.

If somebody wants Appiah but we have nobody to fill his boots, it may be better for us to turn the money down. We can cash in on him in the summer if people are still interested.

Deji is someone I think we should cash in on anyway, given he’s out of contract come the summer. And if IKEA has a wardrobe in their throwout section, we can swap it for Trotter and Soares.

It’s not so much who comes in for our players, but when. It would be better to get any deals done ASAP (in or out) because it will give us time to search round, although some transfers always happen on the last day.

I’m just glad we try and do our business a lot earlier these days, rather than just waiting around and praying something comes up.

At least we now have a week of training rather than another Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday grind. We need those days off from match preparation, especially as the important stuff starts again at the Ricoh.

We’re already looking a different side from a month ago. How much further changed will it be when we face Sunderland?

For now, we can look forward to the potential of facing Yernited or Arsenal, along with the crushing disappointment of discovering we’re home to Oldham. We haven’t had too much to enjoy this season, so maybe things will change this evening…