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Worth Waiting Four

Two League One victories in a week with goals to boot. What is this sorcery?

I’m sure somebody has already pointed out we had 666 visiting fans at Roots Hall yesterday, and after scoring four – count them, four – goals yesterday, one wonders what we’ve sold to Satan himself right now.

A replica of the 1963 Amateur Cup? The club’s official 1978 programme collection? Wally Downes’ William Hill account? The devil’s got my live copy of Black Sabbath in Paris 1970 though, so don’t offer him that as well.

Whatever has been offered, it’s working. And let’s face it, things have been a lot worse this season already.

So, where to start? Well, two goals up isn’t to be sniffed at, especially when it’s from our Flying Finn. The old defensive concerns are still there though (where is Nightingale?), and it wasn’t any surprise when it went to 2-1.

Nor should you be gobsmacked to hear that we did well to stop it being 2-2 (or worse). Same old, same old.

Which is why Forss’ eventual hat-trick – and what a penalty it was, if you can see the highlights – was as welcome as, well, somebody who knows how to find the net on a regular basis.

OK, with us there’s always the chance of fucking it up at 3-1. Even when it went 4-1 you had that slight nagging doubt in the back of your mind that if Southend could just get one more…

That said, those there suggested we were in control in the second half, and no matter how bad the opponent – that’s how you want us to play.

Dare I suggest this is the sort of result and performance we should be having against fellow crap in our division?

And yes, Southend were the other team who stayed up on the final day last season, and who also have failed to act upon it this campaign as well.

They’re a club in a mess top to bottom (not my words), although we can forgive them their one victory this season.

So while I don’t doubt we’re still in trouble, and we’ve got to somehow find a bit of steel when we concede a goal, results like yesterday and Rochdale help massively.

All of a sudden, you’re almost looking forward to Pompey at KM next Saturday. I said “almost”.

Just as losing becomes a habit, so does winning, and you can’t deny the players themselves have a spring in their collective step this morning.

They’re starting to be in a good place again – the reactions to us scoring show that.

True, Wordsworth returning is a help, but it’s not just down to him. Perhaps the answer lies with the elephant that’s still in the room…

Walter may still return to his old job, but performances and results like these make it harder for him to do so. When even some of his biggest supporters are now saying we’re looking more of an attacking unit under GH, perhaps this is the break that needed to be made?

What makes it worse for Walter is that if the FA took a month extra to make a decision on him, it now wouldn’t matter. GH is in charge, winning games and building up the confidence again.

I’d go a step further, even if this is just post-victory euphoria : AFCW could keep our current interim manager in place until December and we wouldn’t be worse off.

You can’t argue with beating a side 4-1 away in this division, no matter how crap the opposition are. Nor can you argue against three wins in a week (yeah, the Cup), or indeed the way we’ve now found the goalscoring trail.

As somebody suggested on Tuesday against Orient, was WD suspended partly because he was proving to be a toxic influence at the club, and needed to be kept away?

Which is why I doubt if we miss Wally Downes being at AFCW now. If we did, we would have collapsed further, but if anything we’ve got stronger. And happier.

OK, the issues of the brittle defence can’t be sorted right now, but they weren’t being dealt with under him anyway.

Whoever is in charge will need to make that a January priority, and that’s why we will need a final decision before too long.

Sanders and Forss may have come to AFCW because of Walter, and if he goes we’ll need to continue upgrading the recruitment. If WD does have a legacy beyond keeping us in L1, it will be forcing the club to face up to that.

He’s not the only one with contacts though, and should GH get the gig full time after all – let’s see who he knows and can recruit. Walter isn’t the only one at AFCW with a decent coaching CV…

All decisions to be made in the near future. Our aim right now is to get to January with as little damage as possible, and this isn’t a bad way to do it.

It’s easy to forget that the transfer window opens again in ten games time, and this is the time of the season where extra funds are sought after, and the database gets uploaded again.

Forss could return to Griffin Park** and we’ll need to be mindful of that, but we already know what we need to do.

** – your editor may have a bit of insider knowledge here, from my last trip to TW8. Brentford are planning on getting another striker in January, and they’d rather Forss be on loan and scoring goals in first team football for this campaign.

The quote at the end of said conversation – “I’d be amazed if he isn’t with you the rest of the season”. From a pretty decent source…

But after so much shit this campaign alone, it’s nice to have just that little glow for the week. No midweek games to balls up, and dampen the mood again.

We’re currently out of the bottom three, though Tranmere have games in hand, but at this stage of the season it’s more important that the gap isn’t getting wider already.

But things are looking up. Hell, even your editor might be going to the Pompey game next week. Though after my record this season, I expect my ST to be revoked immediately…