January 31, 2010
We have a run of games coming up that should allow us to put a run together if we can build momentum:
3rd Feb, Leeds United (A) FA Cup
6th Feb, Aston Villa (H) Premier League
10th Feb, Wolves (A) Premier League
21st Feb, Wigan (A) Premier League
28th Feb, Everton (H) Premier League
Not easy fixtures by any means, but if we can get wins against Leeds and Villa, we’ll feel confident going into the Wolves and Wigan games, and then I’d fancy our chances against Everton.
In that time, we need key players to re-find their form, particularly in the absence of Lennon. We need Dawson to cut out the mistakes that have crept back into his game in the last few matches. We need Defoe to find his feet in front of goal again (yesterday was a great start). We need the midfield to chip in with a few more goals. We need one of our bench options (be it Kranjcar, Keane or even Pavlyuchenko if he stays) to be pushing the first eleven hard. And most of all, we need to stop playing long to Crouch.
I still fancy us to finish 6th or 7th, but if we want to be in with a chance of 4th or 5th, this is a critical run of matches, remembering that our run-in to the season is pretty horrific!