A win at last – what now?
Before Saturday, Robbie Savage claimed we needed 4 wins to guarantee Championship football for next season. We didn’t think we’d be talking like this a couple of months ago. For me, the target is to get some wins quickly and salvage something from this year. But what?
With one of the wins already in the bag and two winnable home games coming up, I reckon we should be targeting 6 points from the next week – not four as we’d probably take. There isn’t a full programme on Tuesday so the Doncaster game is a “free hit” in terms of getting points and climbing the table. A decent win could see us up to 14th. Despite the relegation talk of late, don’t forget the original plan was to finish higher than last season i.e. 14th, whilst also sorting the squad out. Getting points on the board would allow us to do the following over the next three months:
- Barker can have his knee op sooner rather than later. Despite his tremendous efforts, its often been said that he’s barely trained all season. He’ll be captain next year and needs to be fully fit.
- Savage can gradually and gracefully retire. We need him at the moment and despite his critics, his effort never wanes. However, allowing Addison and Bailey plenty of games together can only help us for next season.
- Frank Fielding can have a decent run. If he performs, our goalkeeping dilemma should solve itself.
- Bueno can get involved again. I know he’s on loan so it has no bearing on next season but it would be great to get back to playing attractive football rather than trying to grind out points as we have recently.
- Young players can be get some games. Pringle has come in for stick recently but Crawley and Leicester were two awful games to play in. Doyle would also benefit from some pressure-off end of season football. With Ball, Hendrick and O’Brien all turning pro next year, I’m sure Clough would also love to blood them before the last ten minutes of the season.
So for me, the target now is to finish above 14th with a young streamlined team, needing a couple of additions before the next campaign. I’m sure Clough will say that was always the plan. First though, we need these 6 points.