I wrote a few weeks ago about the Magic 73, a detailed breakdown of how much we needed to push on in the final weeks to secure 6th place this season. With an ever pessimistic outlook I concluded that I felt the season may have faded away already.
Since then, the Saddlers climbed to 8th place in the table before the trip to Charlton and all of a sudden it seemed that the season would not fade into a boredom but a late tail wag might see us surge into 6th. Whilst it is easy to point to the teams around us with games in hand (as I have done myself many times in this blog) I do believe it’s more important to have the points in the bag than the games in hand.
Which is why I was so infuriated when Tony Watt equalised with a rifling shot into the bottom corner at the weekend. If the Saddlers could have held out for the final third of the game, we’d currently be sitting in 7th, just 3 points behind all important 6th. Instead we look past Bristol Rovers and Southend to get a view of Millwall (5 points ahead).
We can’t complain too much with a point away from home against a team like Charlton but to me it feels like one of those games that might just linger in the memory over the next few weeks, especially when we should have gone in to the break 2 or 3 goals to the good. The equivalent feeling I had after the game was of when we drew to relegation bound Blackpool in the final weeks of last season; a game we should have put to bed long before their injury time equaliser found the back of the net, how we needed those 2 extra points last season…
Despite all this, 10 points from a possible 15 since this time last month is good return. Though it may not be the string of wins we needed to keep a real push going, it is enough to keep the season alive (just) and with a bit of luck you just never know. A few teams above us are in free fall, results, as always in this league are unpredictable and any one really can beat anyone.
Fleetwood come to town tomorrow night- a real test of what this group of players think is possible for the rest of the season. It felt not too long ago that Fleetwood were in touching distance of us, a team to maybe aim to catch before the season was out. The Trawlermen now find themselves in second place and whilst I would love to come away with all three points, a point against a team that has only lost twice in the league in 2017 would be very important…COYR