I must be the first to admit, I could never in my wildest dreams have seen this fine run continuing.
Eight wins – more importantly – five League One wins – on the bounce have seen us climb safely into the top half of the table and now only 19 points from the ‘psychological’ survival mark of 50. And, long may it continue.
Perhaps the difference between now and the start of the season, when it seemed we could neither buy a win, nor a goal, is the strikers are taking their chances.
With a bit of luck last Saturday’s win at Gigg Lane could have been all that more emphatic had Kevin Lisbie buried his chance straight after the break and David ‘scores when he wants’ Mooney had not put a sublime stoppage time Dean ‘Tiny’ Cox pass wide of the goal.
But, that would be nit-picking as, after all, we did hit the back of the net twice and – more importantly – kept another league clean sheet. This not only goes to improve our goal difference – when was the last time we were in credit? – but it also gives you a platform for winning football matches - something we are doing at the moment – with interest!
Another plus point is our wins tally. There aren’t many sides in the division – or the whole Football League for that matter – who have managed to get into double figures. However, having been playing ‘catch-up’ for such a long time, we are now on a par with the games lost.
I would though be interested to see when was the last time we had racked up ten wins before Christmas. Probably in 2007 when Martin Ling’s side had a long spell as league leaders, only to fall away in the New Year.
In the 1981/82 season – the year we dropped out of the old Second Division – I was firmly against three points for a win. But, what goes around, comes around and – although perverse – it is good we have been decisive in 20 of our 21 games, either winning or losing. It’s much better to win one, lose one, than keep drawing and dropping two points in drawn games – if you see my logic. So, all those years down the line, I might have finally been won over.
However, it doesn’t matter if we are approaching a near 60-year record. The most important thing this is the next game and Scunthorpe – who have always been hard to beat – and will be just that this coming Saturday, and won’t be going down without a fight – especially as Brian Laws is back at the helm.
With the matches coming thick and fast, at least a week of no games and time to hone the team’s skills on the training pitch will no doubt have the players in fine fettle for what is going to be a busy festive period with four games in 11 days, coupled with the FA Cup trip to Hull and the Yeovil Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area semi-fnal in the new year.
And, if you’re winning – though - you just want to keep the momentum going.
But, as the saying goes ‘complacency is the enemy of success’ – you’ve been warned!
Keep the faith, Up the O’s