Players leaving the boundary Park pitch on Saturday
Obviously Saturday's vital win took a lot out of our boys. Sadly we never really got going yesterday against a side we'd realistically expect to turn over quite comfortably. However, they have proved hard to beat of late and as I said, Saturday was a draining experience.
Although the three members of the ANEM team left feeling a bit deflated after the game, I guess the saying that the result is everything is what we must hold on to. Nerves, as well as physical and mental fatigue are no doubt playing their part.
Yann was his usual self and was full of running whilst getting hacked on a frequent basis. Player of the year, Solly, again turned in a polished performance and dealt with whatever came his way. In fact, the defence as a whole was its usual efficient self and one couldn't really see Walsall scoring.
I believe that Stephens had a good game on Saturday, however, he was largely anonymous yesterday and for me isn't deserving of his place at present. Pritchard continues to impress seemingly to have more time on the ball than most. He is calm, rarely panics and makes good, simple use of the ball.
BWP had another poor game for me. No excuse of tiredness for him. He had two or three poor attempts at goal. In addition, he also seems to be caught offside all too often. He needs to work on that and generally work harder if things aren't going for him. At present N'Guessan should start ahead of him as Yann's strike partner.
The midfield remains the one problem area in the team. It shouldn't be with the players we have now. Jackson should partner Hollands ( when not suspended ) or Hughes or Pritchard in midfield with Cook left and Green / Wagstaff on the right. It appears clear to me so why we don't see it I don't know.
I was again frustrated by the use of the subs yesterday. BWP for the second home game running should have come off a lot earlier leaving Haynes to attack a tiring defence. Stephens should have been replaced by Hughes too. Sir Chris needs to appreciate and learn that as I feel we've got away with our poor employment of the subs.
I shouldn't moan really as we are in a position that all other League One teams would love to be in. It's just that we can make life so much easier for ourselves and we do need to look to next season when, if we do go up, the oppo won't be so forgiving.
Carlisle's recent faltering hasn't helped us in my view. I had hoped that they would have cemented their play-off spot by now. We travel up there next Saturday in the hope that we can keep them quiet and that nerves will get the better of them. We have played better away from home this season so let's hope another good display will bring home the 3 points.
In reality 4 points from the remaining 4 games should be enough see us promoted automatically. I'd love it if we could seal that at home to Wycombe. I can't see either of the Sheffields losing any time soon so the title will have to wait a while longer.
The ideal scenario is promotion secured at home to Wycombe, the title away to Preston, leaving the final game at home to Hartlepool for a big celebration. However, this is Charlton Athletic F C............ !!!