August To December 2015
Hello once more! (Yes, if you noticed, I am writing in the first person now as it's far easier) My second season is about to begin, and after a bit of an overhaul transfer wise we now look to secure our position in the league. Could we make a decent return to life in the Championship? Let's find out.
Our opening match came quickly, and it was to be against Nottingham Forest at The City Ground. A tough first day, but we prevailed in style with a goal each to striker James Wilson and Matt Smith. We continued this form into our next game against Derby, winning 2-1 once more but a Wilson brace was not enough for us to beat Leeds away from home. Recently relegated Sunderland pushed us to a comeback 2-2 draw, and to finish off the month of August
we snatched an unlikely 4-3 win over in Cardiff.
began with an exciting comeback to draw with Rotherham 2-2, but it was soon forgotten as we then travelled to Ipswich and demolished them 5-0 on the back of four goals by James Wilson. Unfortunately, we couldn't carry it over in ou next 2 games, losing 2-1 to Coventry and 4-0 to Wolverhampton, but the goalscoring prowess resumed in our last game against Charlton as we thrashed them 5-1 in front of a capacity crowd.
Deadly - James Wilson scored 8 goals in the league over September, including 2 hat tricks
began with no tough clashes, Fulham and Blackburn, which we weren't up to, losing both. Luckily a trip south to Britghon brought back some spark, winning 2-1, whilst emergency loan striker Armand Gnanduillet scored a brace in a 4-1 win over Wigan. A late fightback against Reading wasn't enough to win however as we finished the month with a 2-3 loss.
An international break in November
went we played just 4 games, starting with a 2-2 draw at Bristol City. We then hosted Sheffield Wednesday, expecting a win, but came up empty-handed after blowing our lead, losing 2-3. Blackpool was always a game we'd win, but Norwich probably wasn't. An 87th own goal from the Canaries' Kyle McFadden was the last play in a thrilling 4-4 draw as we pulled off a stunning result.
Leaky - Adam Legzdins wasn't the most reliable in goals, but luckily we generally scored more than the opposition
began with disappointment as we lost to Leicester away, which was a match I thought we could challenge for. However we soon made up for the blunder with a stunning turn of form, smashing West Brom 3-1, snatching a win at Millwall, and then demolishing Birmingham in the 2 games we played them that month. 5-4 over at St Andrews, and on our home turf a 7-1 thrubbing. We ended the year with an unlucky loss to Nottingham Forest but all in all, a good month.
So after 25 games, we are sitting in a marvelous position of 8th which is just where we want to be. We're clear of the mid-table jumble and knocking on the door of the playoff spots, so a good run of form could see us rise. As you can see, we're also the highest scoring team in the league, but that GA tally keeps us down. We'll need to work on that in the coming months.
Capital One Cup
We were handed an easy draw to start with, against Portsmouth
. and it was an easy game to play as well. James Wilson did as he pleased with a thrilling hat trick whilst Darius Henderson chipped in with a goal himself.
Division rivals and Heskey's old club Leicester
awaited us in the 2nd Round, but we were once again far superior in the cup tie. Yet another James Wilson hat trick fired us to victory and a red card for Leicester in the 36th minute didn't help their cause. Eventually we romped to a 5-2 victory.
Our 3rd round clash was against a familiar foe, having met then in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup last year and celebrating an unlikely win. This year however, Bournemouth
were in the Premier League and had a far better squad in relation to ours. We held our own, almost scaring the EPL boys, but in the end fell to a 3-2 loss and thus ended our League Cup campaign.
Usually the first player listed here, Wilson turned his League 1 form into something quite extraordinary and is on track to have a brilliant season. The poacher has teamed up well with a variety of target men and is on an absolute roll, hitting the back of net almost every week. The amazing youngster has already bagged 35 goals up to this stage. You can't help but think where he might go.
Last season he broke into the first team as an aerial master and this season he simply dominates. Has developed into one of the league's best centre backs, and at 18 has plenty more room to grow. A roadblock for opposition strikers, he's been one of my bests and I hope he can continue to perform.
For such a small fee (£29,000), Garbutt has been a revelation at the club, dominating the left flank week in, week out. He's turned into one of the league's best attacking full backs, delivering cross after cross to Smith and Henderson and racking up 8 assists to this point. Is on track to beat last season's Herculean effort and I might be fielding some calls about his availability in the future.
We definitely have the right to be proud of our achievements so far, sitting in a wonderful position in the league and scoring goals left right and centre. I really think we can push forward, we just need to have the belief that we can lift a notch and really challenge for that playoff spot. Even if we don't make it, we can hold our heads high and say this was a successful season for the club.
Now A Word From The Manager