Yeah, the headline has two 3's for e deliberately ok. 3 goals twice in a row makes the fan giddy like that after our run.
I spoke at length yesterday about how things were starting to feel positive again. Two wins and 6 goals is definite progress. And with the same players and system Pearce liked to implement, yet there just seems more cohesion. It begs the question what was going wrong or if this is coincidence
Having an awful Wigan team facing us helped. They are frankly doomed. Just absolutely nothing happening for them, and 2 years after winning the FA cup, they will disappear back into the mire of League One.
But as is with this season, any joy is immediately tempered with bad news. Assombalonga being out for a minimum of weeks, and for a longer likely period if worst fears are realised will be a loss, especially with how we are looking to play. We will look more at striking options in another article later.
So what does this all mean? The playoffs still look impossible. But we have stopped the slide towards relegation. Again for me we always had too much, but had we took nothing from these games we would be in serious trouble. It's impossible to know whether a Stuart Pearce led side would have fared differently, but we can deal with the present circumstance. The form suggests we may not have got as much from these games.
It does mean Dougie has a 100% record. I don't care what anyone thinks, that can't be sniffed at, even if luck and circumstance mean he was facing poor teams in his first games. You can only beat what’s in front of you, and Pearce led a team to defeat versus Millwall, who are in the same position.
Dougie didn't choose to have to follow on a legendary figure some didn’t want removing. So for me his rather understated start means he can grow into the role, rather than begin with pressure and the gaze of expectation. The bars been set low, so now achieving anything is good.
And listening post match, his comments about how the question of youth pleased him adds something for me that the manager relishes bringing through players, not that Pearce didn't, but it’s still good to hear.
Maybe it is the new manager bounce. Players keen to impress a new boss. Maybe there’s more behind the scenes. It’s obvious it wasn't working before. I have heard comments suggesting that the instructions tactically under Pearce were so vague as to leave players without a clue what to do. Players at this level are all talented, the difference is how they are directed and formed. Players out of form coaxed and cajoled or how to handle those in purple patches. Perhaps Pearce was getting that wrong. I don’t know, I doubt we ever will.