You’d be forgiven for not noticing that we were currently unbeaten in the league since Boxing Day.
Or that we had gained eight points from the previous twelve on offer, rising to fifth in the form table.
Or maybe it’s escaped your attention that we in to the lofty heights of eleventh place.
All of this with a bunch of kids, free transfers and waifs & strays not wanted by any other club.
Oh yeah, not to mention that eight point penalty. I think some have forgotten about that.
There’s been some accusations levelled at Maloney and the team over the last few weeks about boring football, which is ironic in a season where survival by hook or by crook is the aim.
I sound like a broken record – I really do but in a so-far unbeaten January which has seen us rise up the table we’ve managed to earn points away from home at play-off chasing Barnsley and in-form Northampton before two hard-fought home wins against clubs in and around us in the table.
Has it been prime Brazil 1970? No of course it hasn’t but as many of our supporters have liked to point out over the years it’s a results business and since Christmas well – we’re getting results.
With reinforcements coming in the form of Charlie Goode and Luke Chambers and the returning Jason Kerr the backline arguably looks as strong as it has all season.
Have we sacrificed some of our more expansive play?
Possibly but if we’re tight at the back and we’re scoring enough at the other end to earn points I would argue we’re doing more than enough.
Is Maloney and the team immune to criticism?
Of course not, but it’s mid winter it’s the time where results are a slog and I think with all of our well versed issues we’re doing ok.
There were two pieces of brilliance in the last two games, well three really and they were all made in our academy. Firstly Thelo Aasgaard’s stunning virtuoso goal against Reading.
It’s easy to forget that he’s still only 21 years old but that’s what we’ve been forced to do over the last four mad years. Blooding literal kids and Thelo is beginning to show some maturity to go alongside his un-doubted talent.
Second was Sam Tickle who’s fantastic double save at the death made sure that we took all three points against Reading. When Maloney says he’s arguably the best keeper in our division he isn’t wrong.
Finally the winning goal against Wycombe, it came from one of our original academy graduates.
Callum McManaman was ridiculed in some quarters when he returned last summer, quite a few saying it was a ridiculous decision to bring him back.
They’re not saying that now.
For me he is up there with the signing of the summer, he may not start many games these days but every match he’s played in this season he’s had an influence on.
Be it winners against Northampton and Peterborough or the assist last night, he has that bit of world class about him that means every time he gets the ball he can create something.
The cross on Tuesday night to Charlie Hughes was McManaman to a tee, drop the shoulder beat the man and deliver a pinpoint cross. Which brings us to Charlie Hughes, we know this lad is going to the very top.
Very rarely will you see a footballer of his age so composed, but to be able to produce a goal like that? Stick another zero to his fee.
It’s been an excellent week so far and we round off the home matches against Stevenage on Saturday.
We arguably owe them or at least the referee after the horror show there back in the Autumn.
But we’ll have to do it without Callum Lang. It’s been clear for a while that it’s not just working out for Callum at the moment, and it didn’t come as a surprise to hear that he’s asked to leave.
An all firing Callum Lang is a fantastic asset at this level but it’s been a long time since we had that kind of player.
It’s been a torrid 18 months for him for one reason or another and if he moves on for a suitable fee I wouldn’t hold that against him. He played a big part in keeping us up during the administration season and an even bigger part in our promotion the following year.
He deserves nothing but our gratitude and best wishes if he does decide to move on.
Anyway, back to it Saturday. We’re already looking good but another win would see us really motoring.
Bring it on.
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