It's difficult to overestimate the importance of the 4 games over the Xmas and New Year period. Two weeks ago we were riding high in position and expectations. Then 1 point out of 6 against teams we should be beating raised the old questions again; are we good enough to get into the playoffs, would we get promotion if we did, and if we were promoted what chance would we have of surviving in a very tough PL?
We have Sheffield United (H), Brentford (A), Middlesborough (H) and Bristol City (A). These are good sides and two of them are our immediate competitors. Good results would see us firmly back on the promotion road. Poor results would be yet more confirmation that under Bruce we simply aren't good enough.
If we drop the equivalent of a draw (1 point) relative to the 2 teams below us, come January 2 we will be out of the top 6. If we drop the equivalent of a win (3 points) relative to the 4 teams below us, we will be back in 9th.
My feeling is that if we're out of the top 6 by January 2nd then it can't be shrugged off as a blip; it means we really aren't good enough. It's not the squad, in spite of our injuries. In the last two matches we were too easy to play against, and that reflects on the way we were set up. Teams find it too easy to have a plan against us which blunts what little threat we have up front. Our defence is fine, third meanest in the league behind Wolves and Cardiff. Further forwards we don't attack with enough speed and end up hoofing in desperation.
If we can stay in the top 6 we can have hope; it means we are showing some glimmer of resolving our problems. If we drop out, the problem isn't the position as such. It's a strong sign that we can't compete at the top of the Championship. It's a sign that under Bruce we only have a thin chance of making the playoffs, are unlikely to be successful if we did, and if by a fluke we did get promoted we haven't a chance of surviving the PL, even with more signings.
Bottom line: Sheffield United have slumped into a bad run and we ought to beat them. Will we? If not it bodes ill for the other 3 matches. Failure in those means we can forget about promotion (so long as Bruce remains at the helm).
Really good post McP - most of us would agree but I think even if we remain in the top 6 then this managers options/tactics are never gonna be good enough,at present we are no where near the other 5 teams around us in terms of tactics & ability - yes I know that I am anti Bruce & negative but one thing I am not is blinkered I view from afar & see other EPL teams along with last years promoted teams into EPL & think are we really able to achieve promotion & then stay there ??
We have a lot of really good promising youngsters who are being denied the chance of playing 1st team football these guys are our future but guess what, our clown manager obviously does not agree.
We are not in a position at present to obtain promotion so above mid table is for me acceptable - so now is the time to remove this clueless idiot & replace with ????? how would I know but anyone would be better than this well past its sell by date & green at the edges clown who I think is looking for a good pay out !!!
These 4 games are make or break as you say. Bruce needs to use the kids sometimes in these games. Get them on the bench if he is too scared to start with them and let them spark us as the opposition tires.
We must be in the top 6 come Jan or we will slip I think.
I agree with you McP and I also agree with Bosco that Bruce should use the kids. Don’t hold your breath Bosco I don’t think Bruce is that bright, he’d rather rely on the likes of Flabby.
if we are not in the top four never mind six after these games then Bruce should be shown the door and he can go back to Portugal and count his pay off. We should beat all of the four over the holiday.
2-2 HT. Splendid start. Two massive errors from Jedi.
That was rubbish, Flabby injured again he’s taking the pee.
this is crap
I watched the game, the first I've seen in a while. There is no way we finish top two, on that showing we will be lucky to stay top 6. Also if we did get lucky and win promotion we would need massive investment to stop us from being embarrassed.
I know we have really suffered with injuries, but something needs to change. Davis does a decent job up front, but at 19 is not going to lead us to the promised land. How did Hogan get all his goals at Brentford? Adapt to him.
No kids on the bench again, I don't get it, they might freshen up these old has beens.
Anyway, Brentford up next, we might be out of the top 6 by kick off.
Happy Christmas everyone.
All I want for Christmas is a Striker!!