Season Nine: January Update
After a lot of drama and finally securing the signature of Gary Gardner, we were looking to progress in the FA Cup, stay away from relegation in the league and challenge Newcastle for a spot in the Capital One Cup final and a potential European spot.
We played nine games in a very busy January. We started off with a 2-0 win away to Accrington in the FA Cup. We then hosted Newcastle in our first leg in the Capital One Cup semi finals, where we recorded a surprising 3-1 win, with Euan Smith bagging a vital brace. We then suffered back-to-back defeats against Spurs and West Ham in the league before bouncing back with a win over Norwich. Next came our second leg in the COC, where we battered Newcastle in a 4-1 win (7-2 aggregate) at St. James' Park to put us through to the final. We then just about beat Grimsby to advance in the FA Cup, before new signing Gary Gardner inspired us to wins over Crystal Palace and Liverpool in the league. I am delighted with how we did this month, and we certainly stunned a few! We are also guaranteed European football next season for reaching the final of the COC, which is fantastic for us.
Player of the Month
Sander Kaljuste has to be my player of the month for January. He inspired our two victories over Newcastle, aswell as playing an instrumental part in our wins over Norwich, Crystal Palace and Liverpool. He has developed very well over the last year and a half that he has been in the club and I can't wait for him develop in to a top, top player.
Barclays Premier League
Our impressive league form has seen us shoot up to 10th in the league. We have now restored our 8 point gap between us and relegation, with just twelve games to be played. This has been a fantastic first season for us and I can see us finishing in a mid table position. Next season will be another great season for us, if we can invest in the correct players during the summer transfer market.
Gary Gardner is our only signing of the transfer window, and he has been a fantastic player in the two games he has played! He has a long way to go to prove that he is worth his fee of £9,250,000 but I believe that he can prove his critics wrong. His passing, technique and creativity make him a top playmaker, not so different from Barcelona legend Xavi. I believe that Gary Gardner is our "Xavi".
We have just five fixtures next month, but two very big fixtures in the middle. We start the month with a league game away to West Brom before hosting Derby County in the FA Cup 5th round. We then travel to Wembley to play Arsenal in the Capital One Cup Final (will have special update for that). Our remaining two league games are against Forest at home and Everton away (technically at home considering we are ground sharing). We'll try our best in the final and hope we can pick up our first ever cup trophy!