5 games in. Hardly enough to really warrant predictions for the rest of the season or to judge the squad just yet. That being said, cautious optimism is how I would describe my current mood.
3 points this weekend makes for a decent start, anything but and we would have probably been disappointed on the face of it, but with some people predicting us to not even pick up a point in our first 5 games before the season started, a total of 8 points is not bad at all and no less than the lads deserve.
The team looks quite solid IMO, weirdly a lot of our best performances have come from our defensive players, which seems odd when we haven’t even kept a clean sheet and have conceded 10 goals in our opening 6 competitive games. Somehow that doesn’t sum up to the performances the back line have put in. Devlin, Wilson and Donnellan look exceptionally capable at this level, Guthrie is quietly performing well and though I was a little concerned about Leahy’s defensive talents at first, his ability to come up with goals and assists is more than welcome in a squad that we thought would struggle for goals this year.
A couple of loanee signings on deadline day have added to the attacking capabilities of the team: Agyei making an instant impact putting the saddlers in front at the weekend. He looked confident on the ball, pacy across the ground, aggressive and effective in the air. Hopefully a successful 6 months will see him extend his loan till the end of the season, and maybe when Makris inevitably bags a hattrick at the Bernabeu we can use some of that clause money to throw an audacious bid in for the Burnley man… all jokes a side, Agyei looks like the type of player that we were all craving for and hopefully he can be a big player for us whilst we have him.
In the second half the points looked to be safely in the bag when Ozzy showed us some more of his quality with a fine solo goal to put us two nil ahead. But Morris’ heavy touch when the boys looked set to counter gifted the ball to Plymouth who threw a hopeful cross into the box, leahy ‘fouling’ the attacker and conceding a penalty that was buried into the top corner. Live I actually did think it was a penalty, leahy being the wrong side of his man and not really looking to play the ball, but replays show it was very very soft. If that is a penalty then every single corner/cross/contested ball in the box would end in a penalty.
Regardless, Plymouth did not really threat after that, Gillespie robbed of his first clean sheet of the season but the reds took all three points to send us all home happy. Another tricky 5 games coming up now, a trip to Bristol rovers on Saturday who have been scoring quite freely in their opening competitive fixtures, but find themselves with 3 league defeats from the first 5 games. Potentially a good game in the offing, a point would suffice for me, but we are long overdue a win on the road- COYR
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