Good performances eventually yield good results, that’s the theory anyway. This was very much the point Roberto Martinez was making at the end of last season and referred to the draws against Villa, Spurs and Everton in the latter months of the season.
Roberto was keen to point out that if we hadn’t have been in a pressured situation all three could have been wins for Latics and having seen all three games I tend to agree.
However, having lost to all three in recent weeks, albeit it two of them on their home ground, it seems that we have taken a step backwards with no points and performances which were best described as abject in all but small patches.
Nevertheless, to emphasise my opening statement, Saturday’s trip to the North East offered considerable hope for the future, we just need to learn to score goals and as with any team in this league, our home form will be key. Teams like Stoke are invincible at home yet terrible away, and even Swansea have barely conceded a goal on their home turf. Our home record so far this season reads: Won one, drawn one and lost two and when you consider that three of those four teams are in the mix with us then it’s going to really hurt us later in the year if we don’t start winning more at home.
Saturday represents that chance especially given the way we rolled over against Bolton. Fulham are very strong at home (last week aside) but not so much on their travels, although they are still a very competent, capable side.
Previously I appealed to home fans to turn out in numbers and get behind the team. Sadly when the opponents are gifted a goal after barely five minutes, well it’s not a great way to get the natives on your side is it, so it’s up to the players to be accountable this weekend, make amends for the Bolton game and give us the performance and the result that we need.
It’s a classic chicken and egg discussion as to whether it’s up to players to get the fans going or vice versa but I do feel like they owe us one after last time and dare I say us home fans can play a small part by using the lack of travelling support to our advantage for once to create a decent atmosphere of our own as recent games have been decidedly flat at the DW with home fans desperate for something to cheer about.
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