THE JOL VERDICT
Martin Jol offers his considered reaction to the weekend win up at Middlesbrough and looks ahead to the challenge of taking on Charlton next time out at the Valley...
Martin Jol offers his considered reaction to the weekend win up at Middlesbrough and looks ahead to the challenge of taking on Charlton next time out at the Valley...THE AMOUNT OF goals we are scoring at the moment is a very pleasing factor and we added another three to our tally up at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The downside is the goals we are conceding, we have to put it right. If you want to be a really top team you can't concede goals like we have from set pieces. There are reasons for everything, but it has been frustrating and I feel that we have only had about 18 or 19 goals against us from open play and we could have been in a better position had we defended better from corners and free-kicks.
On the other hand, our strikers and attacking midfield players give us the extra quality to win games and we have not suffered many defeats in the last couple of months.
Our current goals tally is at 99, with our strikers Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov and Jermain Defoe having scored 58 goals between them and without their contribution we would not be in the same position.
We are certainly a more attacking side this season and it has shown with 16 different goalscorers, including Paul Robinson. Only Manchester United can equal that.
But what we did over the last couple of months is not important now, it is about what we do over the course of next week that matters and we have to give everything to achieve what we want.
We now face three games in a week - starting at Charlton - and, while it is probably not ideal to be playing on a Monday, Thursday and Sunday, we will get on with it. I am sure we will still be pretty fresh on the Thursday, after hopefully winning the points on Monday, but we will probably need our crowd to help us along against Manchester City on the final day of the season.
It could be an advantage in that we'll know what we have to do as nearly every other team will only have one game remaining and, as always, the supporters will play a big part. We have had many similar sequences this season and I feel that we need nine points from this one.
I am told that the visit to Charlton will be my 100th Premiership game in charge full-time and it will certainly be a tough one. As for them, as long as results do not go against them over the weekend, it is a must-win game.
I feel it is the same for us so it should be one hell of a match.
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