HI everyone. Another exciting week with the Terriers!
Millwall on Saturday brought to us a strong League I side who are very hopeful of automatic promotion.
For once, we didn’t edge the opening stanza ... both teams struggled to find their rhythm in challenging windy conditions, although Millwall would definitely have taken a points win in a boxing contest.
They looked stronger and busier and seemed to be on the front foot. But it’s not a sport that’s judged in that manner, and we went in 0-0.
Second-half we played with ambition and passion, definitely were the better team and, going into injury time, we were pressing for the goal that would bring us victory, three points and move us closer to our play-off place aim.
Gung-ho from a corner, at the end of a game we believed we could and would win, cost us.
At home, with our tails up, we were going for three points instead of consolidating one, as we may have done in similar circumstances away from home.
If we are to get into the play-offs we need wins from this position not just draws ... and if we can’t show ambition at home where can we?
You know the outcome, from the corner they break, score and take the points on the day. Disappointing, but always a cost that may be charged for out-and-out attacking.
In the big picture I was not discouraged, another very close contest with a play-off rival showed that we weren’t that far away with this group of players.
The progress we know we are making is manifesting itself in developing a hugely competitive unit week-by-week where, against the best teams in the league, the outcome is decided by a decision here and there, not by being statistically inferior to the opposition.
Tuesday was to put that philosophic theory to the test away at M K Dons.
Currently acknowledged within the game as probably the best team in League I, with as big a pitch as you’ll come across in British football, with one of the best surfaces available to play on ... in other words, in all aspects, no hiding place!
We embraced the situation and the challenge and over the 90 minutes were, at the very least, deserving of a draw.
Still, showing the ambition that, I’ve told you, had in reality cost us the game on Saturday at the Galpharm, we so very nearly won it in the very last seconds when Flynny’s shot was adjudged not to have crossed the line. I’ve spoken at length to over three million impartial observers (our travelling fans, their playing and background staff!) and they all say that the ball was definitely six inches over the goalline.
I’ve also decided to believe that, and to go forward even more convinced we’re on the right track, ... intolerant of our position on that track, but knowing if we can get up to speed that track is the right one for us.
Now for Tranmere!
They’ve just ended Leicester’s 23-game unbeaten run – and are going to help us start our own run!
Our lads are really looking forward to the challenge, and are on such a high, they are excited about picking up where they left off against MK Dons.
Hasn’t Chris Lucketti come back with a bang?
At 37 years old Chris is the elder statesman of the team, but he strode across the stage like a colossus in his comeback games against Millwall and MK Dons. He’s a great pro!
He looks after himself, trains hard, works at his craft and takes pride in his performance on the field, and in his position as club skipper. Well done Chris!
Young Tom Clarke came in against the Dons and gave an honest and very effective performance.
He won brave headers and tackles to epitomise the courage in this bunch of players. Tom’s distribution was also tidy and considered. Good on you Tom.
Boothy also played his 600th game. What a milestone ... and example!
Quote of the week.
“Would the kid you were be proud of the man you are? Only you know.”
Don Shula, the former Miami Dolphins coach in American Football.
Until next week. Onwards and upwards! Blackie.
P.S Thanks to you all for the letters and support.