How have the last couple of weeks been for you? We have spent a large chunk of that time twiddling our thumbs and gazing out of the window at the latest watery thing to fall out of the sky and plunge Britain into chaos. Not playing sucks. Having three weeks off is boring. And watching Luton Town do what they did to Norwich City is distressing.
You’d think the torture of seeing Doncaster Rovers’ late winner appear on Sky Sports’ videprinter on 12 January would be enough to put us off football for a bit. And you’d also think our poor home form would make us fearful about Leyton Orient on Saturday. But after three weeks of having to entertain ourselves, we’re excited for football’s return.
Other clubs have been more fortunate in fulfilling their league fixtures during that period; that would be the reason for dropping to 14th in the table. We’ve stood still because of the FA Cup and the feckless weather; others haven’t. But the mathematics still give us cause to be optimistic. Three games in hand over Bournemouth and nine points to make up – you’ll not need that GCSE Maths textbook to do the sums there.
Our next two games are at home to teams immediately around us – we could do with a full quota of points from those. And then we have four on the bounce away from home, which includes another 13-day layoff because Oldham Athletic had the arrogance to make heroes of themselves against Liverpool. Brentford stands out as the toughest of those four, but we then go to three teams below us. Ask for nine, see what happens…
Now, we’re being wildly optimistic in what February will bring us. But we’ve just had three weeks off and having that impromptu winter break gives us a chance to regroup ahead of a demanding last three months of the season. We just need to make sure we use that chance and come back fighting on Saturday. It may be wildly optimistic, but we wouldn’t have just written 370 words if we didn’t think it possible. Would we?