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On the Seventh Day…

It’s not just politics where things can be radically different in a week.

So, a good seven days was had by all. Three games, three wins, and an aggregate score of 12-2 in the process as well.

Reading back this place after Fleetwood seems almost a lifetime ago right now.

I’ll be honest here – despite gubbing Accrington and Ipswich, I was shitting it against Swindon yesterday.

Not because I didn’t think we were capable of winning, but because we were capable of one of our classic fuckups.

AFC Wimbledon. It’s what we do. Well, what we did anyway.

OK, that might yet be a premature statement, but stuffing Swindon 4-1 yesterday evening might have been the most important of the lot.

When we went up to Lancashire, we were licking our wounds and needed a reaction (which to be fair, we got).

When we faced Ipswich, it was still a free hit and turned out to be a rather nice bonus.

Yesterday though was more of a must-win game than we probably realised, because it was a bottom-feeder clash.

We’re so used to these type of fixtures going wrong, and a defeat could have put us right back in it.

Had we lost, at least I would have been able to put in a bit of dark humour**, but in the end we needn’t have worried.

** – I so wanted to write “Yesterday was a solemn occasion that brought great sorrow to many. The funeral of Prince Phillip wasn’t much better”.

OK, we started off cold, and the Swindon goal was us visibly easing off. But Piggy getting the pen seemed to calm the nerves, and the rest is history.

Attacking wise, we seem to have found the way to play at just the right time, and even their (about to depart) manager admitted we could have scored six.

He also reckoned they could have scored three, but who cares?

As many of you know, your editor has been on a self-imposed ban on watching us since Easter.

But I dared to watch the second half, when we were 3-0 up. I figured that if we’d messed up from there, we would deserve to go down.

My thoughts? That display scared me at times.

OK, that’s not the first time I’ve said that in the last couple of years – but this is in a good way now.

What struck me was how we managed to ping the ball around and everyone knew where to be.

Couple that with a level of pace I don’t recall for a good while, and I’m left wondering why we haven’t done that earlier in the season.

But then, things were different up until the Franchise game in SW17.

Reading Robbo’s post game comments on the OS, I think it suggests why even before Accrington, we were getting better under him.

There’s an attitude of, constant improvement no matter the result.

We win 4-1? Great. But we need to tighten up on our defence a bit, so we’ll focus on that next time at the training ground.

We’ll need that for Oxford on Tuesday.

I think it is finally proving that getting into the heads of the players, and convincing them to buy into what you’re doing, is half the battle.

MR talked about the “Mindset Coach”, and like NA with the sports shrink – they make a difference**.

** – I also notice our Head Coach mentioned Andy Parslow’s role, one that has been criticised by supporters. Has he been reading social media again?

We’ve shown a ruthlessness in the last three games that we haven’t seen since the half-season that ended at Wombley.

And it’s also – pleasingly – proved that budget is only ever part of a successful side.

True, the money aspect will always be important, but over the years it’s become a smokescreen for not doing things.

It’s something that has constantly irritated me over the last few years, because it’s been used to justify a crap attitude.

MR got left with a poor set of players who were mentally shot, and with no ability to go into the transfer market.

I doubt if he was happy with what he took over, but did he whine and bleat about how small his budget was?

No he didn’t. Instead, he made it his business to develop a culture where attitude and application trumps all.

What money we do have has gone into the coaching side, where that can make a difference.

Do we still need to boost our transfer kitty each year? Yes we do, and that will continue to be an issue at AFCW.

Will we still need an overhaul in the summer? Probably, and it may yet be more of a cull than many think.

But we’re now doing what we should be doing as a club. It won’t be successful all the time, but this last week has shown us what the future could (and should) be.

Or to put it another way – this week has helped destroy a mentality that has held us back…

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