Farsley Celtic 0 Us 1

A victory, which offers a good opportunity to get some perspective. Let’s be clear, we are not in the position we wanted to be. That said; I’ve never felt that battling it out at the top is a healthy position for us at this stage in the season. We get drunk on success and start doing silly things. There’s just too much pressure up there and we expect too much.

Torquay, for example, score a lot of goals, but they concede a lot – only two teams in the top half have conceded more. As exciting as this is for their fans, that’s a lot of pressure on the strikers. We know their strikers, and we know that there’s every chance they will hit problems. We couldn’t cope with that pressure and there’s every chance that they won’t either.

Aldershot, to me, look a solid tip for the championship, but they’ve lost as many as we have. Stevenage could lose their manager this week. Cambridge and Burton both draw a lot. There’s a lot happening up there and it may be wise to stay out of the melee for now.

Notionally, if we were seventh, I’d be comfortable, and to do this we’d need only two more points than we have. Bar Aldershot, Droylsden and Histon, which can be taken as isolated aberrations, we have lead in every scoring game. We’ve been throwing games away but we’ve also been missing two quality and experienced defenders. I am right about Quinn; as dedicated a pro as he is, he is not a defender.

I’m not looking at this with rose tinted glasses. I’m saying that the season hasn’t yet found its rhythm and until it does we have a chance. The championship looks beyond us, but fifth, and the play-offs, isn’t. After that, it could all go a bit Morecambe.

There’s much to fix, we have injuries to key players. Gilchrist and Willmott are both injury-prone and they may well disappear once again before the end of the season. We’re not scoring enough and strikers a falling like flies. Confidence on the pitch and in the stands is low. In the stands, emotions run from apoplectic to hysterical and back again. But, we’ve played all the top eight and taken points off six of them and if Gilchrist and Willmott can get match fit, it may solve our kamikaze problems.

Football is a macho world and macho means ruthless and decisive. Firing people is the ultimate, because it emasculates the person you’ve jettisoned. But perhaps, a little intelligence and compassion will help us settle into a rhythm.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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