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Four points from nine over the Christmas period doesn’t really tell the full story.

It’s a decent return that stopped what was a bad run, turning in to a really bad run.

But with players returning from injury and others stepping up to be counted, it was a lot more positive than just the results would have you believe.

There’s no doubt about it, we were poor against Derby.

Certainly in the first half.

We never got to grips with the match and deserved to be behind, but following the substitutions at half-time and the return of one Thelo Aasgaard we were markably improved.

The positives of that Boxing Day second half were carried over in to Friday night and I don’t think it would have been a shock if we had gone in three or four goals to the good at half time against Carlisle. As oppose to the two we did have.

New Year’s Day was totally different once again. We dominated the match like we hadn’t managed to, for a month or so and should once again have gone in ahead.

If not for poor misses from Jones and Magennis, not to mention an uncharacteristic mistake from Stephen Sessegnon to let Barnsley get a foothold.

Our second half display was fantastic and a point was the least we deserved.

The fact that Johnny Smith had already put the ball in the net that was ruled out for a non-existent foul on the keeper made his virtuoso goal all the more sweet.

Smith has been excellent the last few games, and has had a hand in most of our goals over the festive period. He’s had to bide his time since he arrived but he could be a really positive option for us over the next few weeks.

The same can be said for the surprise return of Martial Godo and his 90 minutes against Barnsley. Having him back ahead of United is a huge plus.

Things are looking up once again, ideal timing ahead of Monday night and the visit of you know who.

Sean Livesey

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