As we approach the Pompey match, The Rams sit third from bottom in the divisions form table for October. In stark contrast to last year, no one got too carried away when we were vying for top spot and no one is suicidal now. The Championship is the same as ever, with anyone able to beat anyone else.
I remember saying to a mate that being near the top in September meant that we could be still be top six after a tough October. A decent result on Saturday will mean this is the case. A good place to be when you consider that Brayford, Tyson, Barker, Bailey and Green will all be gradually returning between now and Christmas. That’s half a team and I’m sure every Rams fan would have included four if not all five in a “strongest 11” before the season had begun. Bryson, Hendrick and O’Brien made that question a far more difficult one now but to use the well-worn football cliché – what a great problem to have! I can’t remember the last time we were spoilt for choice. Whether because of injuries or quality, it’s usually a case of playing who we have. Add Riggott,Anderson,Addison, Davies and Bucko to that and you’ve got a whole outfield team of players who would be a decent Championship team on their own. We just need to get a few fit now.
Pompey are a similar proposition to last year. They have some very good players but a wafer thin squad and a few real veterans still hanging around who won’t enjoy chasing some of our marathon men for 95 minutes. If Croft continues at full back with some attacking intent, he and Ben Davies could run the likes of Ben-Haim, Rocha or Hreidarsson (who have all filled in at left back) into the ground. Whichever of them plays in the centre will have Robinson and potentially Bennett to chase around; if we play to our strengths it could be an uncomfortable afternoon for them.
However, I do have a bad feeling about Luke Varney obeying the God of Football decree that “Thou must score against your ex-club (especially if you were a bit crap there)” but hopefully this either won’t happen or not matter if it does.
Fingers crossed for Saturday then but if it doesn’t happen for us, we’ve still got plenty more in the tank – roll on November!