We were naturally disappointed about going out of the FA Cup last weekend. After our victory over Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Worthington Cup we really felt we had the beating of them again.
Losing the first goal put us under pressure but having said that, we had a good 15-20 minute spell of possession where we had Chelsea on the backfoot a little bit and if we’d have scored in that period and gone in at half-time at 1-1, the whole complexion of the game would have changed.
But they held on and when they came out after the break and got the early second goal, the game opened up. When you’re chasing a match like that and you want to get back into it, it’s very difficult to keep it tight at the back and you can end up losing by three or four.
If you’re going to lose you’ve got to go down fighting and I think that’s what we did really. They’ve probably only had five shots on goal in the game and scored four of them. As I said, we were all very disappointed to go out of the competition.
So having been on the wrong end of a 4-0 defeat it would have given us so much pleasure to go to Stamford Bridge and get a result in the league, but again it wasn’t to be.
We started very well, we changed our shape to a 4-4-2 to combat the way they played and began positively. Although we were 1-0 down at half-time we had played some good football and put them under quite a bit of pressure.
Again though, when you’re chasing the game against quality sides it’s very easy to end up losing by a big score and going down to 10 men obviously didn’t help us on the night.
Having said all that, there are still 27 points for us to play for in this campaign and we know we need to start winning. It might seem like there isn’t much left for us this season but that’s a lot of points at this stage of the term and you just never know in football.
We can still get into Europe and that is still our aim. Seventh place might just be good enough and so that is what we have to strive for and we’ll be trying our best to do that.
Tonight’s game against Charlton will be a tough match though. They made it very hard for us at The Valley earlier in the campaign and I’m sure they will again this evening, judging by the way Alan Curbishley gets his team going. It’s going to be difficult so to come out on top will be a great result.
In closing, I’d like to congratulate our youth team who beat Blackburn Rovers in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup here on Tuesday night. They played very well on the night, stuck together as a team in what was a difficult game and came out worthy winners. Good luck to them in the semi-finals against Everton.
Enjoy tonight’s game.
Tonight’s game gives us a chance to get back on track after what has been a difficult couple of weeks for us all.