Monday, November 09, 2009

The Aftermath

Much will be made of Sunday's terrible performance and rightly so, but the most important thing now is Charlton's riposte. This season was never going to be a walk in the park, even if our early-season form suggested otherwise, and we are going to have our setbacks; our level of success will be determined by how we deal with them.

What needs to be on show against Southampton on Wednesday is commitment. I thought the back five showed that against Northwich - Randolph in particular. Yes, they were were given a torrid time by the up-for-it Vics but I cannot question their desire. The guys further up the field, though, must do better.

The 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 debate pales into insignificance if there is no effort and that is how it seemed at the weekend. Our midfield should have had far too much craft for our non-league hosts and with Bailey and Semedo in it, should have been more than able to stand up to the test physically.

McLeod should not be absolved from blame, for both his performance and his shocking swipe at an opponent, but playing up front alone can be a fruitless task and he had no-one behind him busting a gut to get him into the game. Even a far superior striker would have struggled with that level of service.

The sight of Alan Pardew is sure to get some of our men fired up but if we are to cause the reinvigorated Saints any problems, then Shelvey and co. will have to battle their players and not their manager - something they failed to do in the league match between the sides.

With the fixture airing on Sky Sports, it represents a swift opportunity to right some wrongs and show a wider audience that we are not that bad. Not that the Addicks should require any extra motivation.

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