Dear Roker Report,
I can sum up the win at Derby in just two words - quite unbelievable.
Never in a million years could I have seen such a result coming, certainly in view of the respective form/League placings of Derby and ourselves, what with The Rams aiming for the Premier League, and ourselves trying to stave off the seemingly unthinkable prospect of a second spell in England’s third tier. The most I, and doubtless many others would have hoped for beforehand would have been a point, though I guess it wouldn’t have been Sunderland, if they hadn’t gone and surprised us when we least expected it/pulled “a rabbit out of the hat” of sorts. But in all fairness the win was thoroughly deserved, and full credit not only to the team, but also Chris Coleman, who appeared to get his line-up/tactics spot on.
In fact, 4-1 didn’t flatter us at all, for with better luck we could have added to our goal tally, though I must confess that when Derby got it back to 1-2 just before the break, I was fearing the worst, having seen us implode so many times previously when in a potentially winning position. But the fact is that when all seemed lost, the result at Pride Park, our first League success for two months, has seemingly offered fresh hope that we can pull off what appeared to be an impossible task, what with the gap between ourselves and safety now down to three points, though it also raises one or two rather fundamental questions:
1) Why have we not seen similiar performances, and indeed results more often this season, especially perhaps at The Stadium Of Light, which was once more or less “a fortress”, and where our record has been abysmal to say the least for too long now?
2) Was the result at Derby merely a one-off/“flash in the pan”/yet ANOTHER false dawn, or was it a GENUINE turning point, and can the side now REALLY go on to achieve Championship safety?
I guess “the proof of the pudding” may come on Monday when we host Sheffield Wednesday, who are now more or less safe, when we seek to register back-to-back League wins for the first time this season, which if achieved, may well give an indication as to whether or not we can pull yet another relegation escape, seemingly against the odds.
However, in view of the fact that we’ve fallen flat on our faces many times previously immediately after a good, promising result, I’m tempted to approach the game v The Owls with a certain degree of caution, for there would appear to be scope for us to end up with (Easter) egg on our faces once again. But the incentive is certainly there, one good result will not define our destiny this season, but having taken a positive step in the right direction, our destiny would seem very much in our own hands. So now, it would appear up to our team to decide whether or not they want to go from “zero’s to heroes”.
We can but hope (as always).
Ed’s note: I guess we can go into the Sheffield Wednesday game now with a degree of confidence. We knew a win would lift spirits but the manner of the performance has really given us fans a boost, and it couldn’t have come at a better time really.
I just hope it’s not too late.
Dear Roker Report,
Are there any players that have not come through the reserves that could break through into the first team soon?
It seems we have young players that have become regular first-teamers in attacking and midfield positions, are there any u23’s or u19s in the heart of defence that could bring some vigor and skill, and are expected to break through into the first team?
Ed’s note: Good question! We’ve got some solid lads coming through. Alex Storey looks a good prospect and could do with some experience out on loan, whilst I’m a big fan of Denver Hume - he’s an attack-minded left back that would also benefit from going out and playing men’s football. I’m surprised that Sam Brotherton hasn’t been used more in the U23s, particularly since he’s a regular in the New Zealand national team. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with him.