Onwards and Upwards
After a 2-0 defeat to Chesterfield 2 weeks ago the morale amongst fans was through the floor with some going as far as to saying we'll struggle to stay in the division but a promising 3 weeks has put pay to those views and the 'Lambert Out' front has gone deadly silent.
It seemed yesterday that the side was getting to know each other better. Slotting the numerous new signings into a the squad and starting line-up isn't easy and to the player's testament they seem to be warming to their new colleagues and developing an understanding that is crucially important in the lower leagues.
The manager has also decided on his best XI by the looks of things too. The only changes made since the win over Bury nearly a month ago have been forced upon by injuries and it looks like this has done the players the world of good. Leon Johnson and David McCracken's partnership still looks suspect at times but they're adjusting better and better as each game comes and despite a physical aerial bombarding, they coped with pretty much everything that came their way. However, with Will Antwi's return becoming ever imminent, it is hard to see one of last season's star performers being omitted from the team.
Natural width is now also evident. Martin Bullock has been a handful all season and the surging runs by Tom Williams from left back have been a sight to behold. Sergio Torres has been absolutely pivotal to the team so far. You could see yesterday, that the way he carries the ball past 3 or 4 players is such a rarity in this division and if he stays fit for the rest of the season I can see him chipping in with a few goals in the process.
Although, it's not great just yet. It's quite curious how Paul Lambert does not rate Craig Woodman, an established left back not only in this league but more than competent in the league above. Instead of lumbering Tom Williams with defensive duties (which he isn't bad at by any means) we could see two natural wingers on the field which we've been crying out for in recent years.
Secondly, is Jermaine Easter. He's never looked like repeating the form from last season and just seems in a foul mood ever since he had his Championship move turned down. The lack of chasing and general effort leaves us wondering why we didn't accept that £300+k bid now we're seeing the traits that leave ex-employers angered by his behaviour. He's got the ability to come good but I feel it's time to give John Sutton or Reuben Reid a chance from the start and maybe the upcoming JPT match with Swansea will give an opportunity to experiment with the front two.
So....things are definitely on the up. An impressive and resilient display yesterday which is up there with one of the best of the season breeds confidence. An imposing trip to Bradford awaits next Saturday with a near 15,000 attendance expected will certainly be a test to see if the side is coming along. We've started well before and I'm not getting carried away by any means but this season could be a prosperous one.