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Northern Souless

Some of our older fans will be reminiscing about Wigan Casino on reading that title right now…

I’m of an age where I have to wait at least a further month before a Rona jab, so most of that culture is lost on me.

Which is why I’m not even going to attempt a Northern Soul related quip about our draw on Tuesday.

But a point remains a point.

Yes, many after Wigan were saying that it should have been three, and that drawing isn’t good enough to stay up.

That may ultimately be true, but there’s a truism when you’re down the bottom that we might have forgotten.

Which is – any point you get is a bonus.

Yes, we’re still making errors that lead to the opposition scoring. Yes, our attack is as shite as ever.

And yes, we’re still having to rely too much on coming from behind and scoring late on.

But we’re still in games now, without us collapsing to going behind 2-0/3-0/whatever as soon as we let the first one in.

That’s one major problem that is being sorted, even if not fully.

Because of this, we’ve earned valuable points against Shrewsbury and Blackpool earlier this month, and kept in touch with everyone else after Tuesday.

Your editor watched the Wigan highlights in the middle of writing this, and at least we are starting to create chances too.

Not enough of them, perhaps, and the lack of quality up front is still painfully obvious.

Yet when you’re only 1-0 down with fifteen minutes to go, it does make it a bit easier than when you’re further behind and the game is effectively done.

We need to remember that there’s still twelve games remaining, or as somebody elsewhere calculated there’s roughly 25% of the season to go.

In that 1080 minutes (plus additional time) of playing time between now and May, there’s a great deal to come.

That’s an awful lot of football, and before you say it – that’s a lot of awful football…

Which is why I’ll take the point against Wigan, and I’ll take a point for Saturday too.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love all three points against Charlton, but realistically speaking we’ll be struggling for goals again.

Many are commenting on the quality of crosses, or the distinct lack of it. Although it was how we got our equaliser on Tuesday.

And even if our delivery improved, it doesn’t help when nobody is capable of putting it in the net.

Piggy hasn’t scored in nine games, since he scored twice against the Latics in early February.

The lesser spotted Ollie Palmer has just played 90 minutes for the first time since George VI was on the throne.

As for Ryan Longman? Six goals all season, his last one being against Crewe at Plough Lane, where we lost 2-1.

That was the 19th of December. It’s been a while.

So while we’ve clearly tightened up at the back, and actually look like we’ve got some sort of gameplan now, you can see where our biggest problem now lies.

It’s nothing new, needless to say. We’ve never properly replaced our strikeforce since Lyle Taylor and Tom Elliott put on blue-with-yellow-splodges shirts.

True, we were fortunate to have Forss for a time, but that was never a long term thing and was a very notable exception to the rule.

Next season, assuming he’s willing to sign a new deal – would you keep Pigott?

That decision might be made for us anyway, in which case we’ll have to do something we’ve failed to do in too many recent transfer windows.

As in, get somebody who happens to know where the net is from time to time.

We might have to front-load our transfer budget to do that (ie pay more for one or two, and cut back on other areas of the squad), but we’ve been too poor for too long on that side of things.

That’s for the summer, like a lot of things are going to be. For now, Charlton becomes the latest Most Important Game Of The Season (TM).

I genuinely don’t know what the outcome is going to be for this one. They went 2-0 down to Brizzle Rovers before winning 3-2, and they’ve lost Lee Bowyer.

We’ll possibly if not probably lose, but we’re more than capable of getting another draw. And Satan help our collective tickers if we actually won.

Do that, and it will be a good thing we’ve got no midweekers next week. We’d need the recovery time.

Finally, I just realised that tonight is the rearranged FAYC game against Burnley, which is at 6pm.

It’s also live on the club’s Youtube channel, so if you really can’t get enough of looking at an empty Plough Lane, here’s your latest opportunity.

Our yoof has been one of the biggest AFCW success stories of the last few years, and another scalp would add to that.

Those who went to Newcastle in January 2016 may still remember that evening.

When you cast your mind back to that, and assuming our current Head Coach was involved back then, you can at least see what we’re trying to achieve in our first team.

Back then, our thumb suckers wrote letters to all the fans who went up on the supporters bus.

Can you imagine our first team doing that when away support is allowed back? You’d have to get adult supervision the minute they pick up a crayon…

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