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AA Gill

What a nice end to the week…

It’s funny that we’ve now got a fortnight until we head up to the Reebok Macron University of Bolton Stadium, thanks to our meek surrender at the Keepmoat a few days ago.

But with such a gap, at least we can look back and bask in the post-match glow of victory.

By post-match comments, it was a vintage performance, much in the same way as a mouldy sandwich that has been left in an airing cupboard for two years can be described as “vintage”.

Right now though, I seriously doubt if you give too much of a shit. Victory trumps everything else, after all.

Ignore the stats that suggest that we had very little possession, or that the Expected Goals number crunching states that we should have actually lost by five goals, with us finishing the contest on -2 instead of zero goals to our tally.

Only one statistic ever matters, and that is the full time result. All else is bullshit, only beloved by pseudo-intellectual types who don’t believe in winning games. People like Neal Ardley, for example.

OK, that’s a dig too far on this Sunday, but it was nice to hear we’ve got a bit of resilience again. We’re not a good side, but the next best thing is to be tough to beat.

Last week at Blackpool, and presumably at Donny, we were too brittle when we needed it the most, so it’s good to see that we’ve finally started to toughen up.

Wagstaff’s goal was decent quality, and he’s already making noises about wanting to stay beyond this summer.

Oh, and it appears that not for the first time, we’ve upset Steve Evans. Mind you, you just have to say “hello” in the wrong tone of voice to him to do that…

Make no mistake though, we needed this win. Not just because we hadn’t won since October 19th – though we’ve only played three league games in that time before yesterday – but because we looked like we were going to go on yet another losing run.

Knowing that you can win games goes some way to actually winning them.

If you’re counting down the matches until the transfer window opens, we now have five of them. That we’ve gone out of the FAC at the first time of asking is a major disappointment, considering we could do with the money.

But in the last few years we’ve faced WHU, Spurs and Liverpool, so we were probably due a stinker.

Victory yesterday suddenly doesn’t mean we can keep the £2.50 budget in the kitty, we clearly have issues and we need to do as much as we can to remedy them. We still need experience, as you can focus too much on youth.

We may or may not need to replace Forss**, but this is where I’m hoping Daws and his legitimate L1 knowledge will help us out here.

** – he wasn’t happy about being subbed for Mr Championship-Quality, though apparently he took a knock. But providing it’s for the right reasons, it’s better to see a player pissed off for being subbed than not.

We’ve lacked somebody like him – namely an individual who genuinely knows the division we’re in – since maybe even the Terry Brown days.

If football is as much who you know as what, could our new assistant manager be one of the most important people at the club now? Perhaps.

I missed the Meet The Manager shindig on Thursday (I couldn’t get back from France in time). which is a shame as I would have been very interested in what was said.

For some reason, there’s been precious little discussion about it. People don’t rely on the SW19 reports that much, surely?

A quick aside. The one MTM I’ve done when GH was there (the first one with Walter), he impressed me a lot – dare I say perhaps more than the guy who was actually in charge at that point? – so I don’t doubt he handled the challenge well.

One thing about Hodger that’s become apparent is that he gives the aura he knows what he’s doing. He looks the part of being a manager, if that makes sense.

Sure, he doesn’t get everything right, but like Lawrie Sanchez he was always one of the more understated, more intelligent members of the Crazy Gang era. And it’s possibly starting to show…

I believe there might have been discussion about transfers on Thursday, the most important January transfer window since, er, the last one.

Obviously what money we have will dictate things, but so will the games up until the window opens. Looking at them, we could do ourselves a very big favour.

No game is a nailed-on certain victory, not even Southend on NYD, but now wouldn’t be a bad time to have a little bit of form.

Yesterday should give us a bit more spring in our step. Go to Bolton and do likewise – and if t’Stanley can gub them 7-1 we should be able to get at least a point – and then the confidence starts building again.

For at least the second season in a row, the awful start had caused us a lot of damage, but this time around we’re seeing daylight before December.

A three point gap – four if you include goal difference – over the vermin is not to be sniffed at, and if we can repeat that a couple more times before Christmas, we can start looking upwards and it might start getting more comfortable.

Still a long way to go, of course. May is still six months away…