Before the game, I thought we would lose. The combination of a Premiership squad at it's core, and the natural exuberance or hurt that might have been expected from a team no longer as Kean as it once was would be too much for us was my reasoning. Indeed, with a cleverly worked goal for them, and a missed penalty for us, all the signs were that we would be in for a difficult and ultimately fruitless game yesterday.
Whilst I still believe that our issues are in midfield, they were masked to a large degree yesterday by five across the middle. Whilst it was a formation enforced by the mystery virus that laid Fuller low, Kerkar and Green did well from the wide positions, although I was less convinced by Jackson playing in the hole. Having missed the penalty, I was pleased that the captain scored the equaliser minutes later, but with his injury likely to keep him out on Tuesday, and possibly Kerkar as well, it may well mean an enforced shuffle of the midfield pack. Whether it is too soon for loan signing Razak to make his bow, or whether Cook and Haynes are recovered enough from an operation and injury respectively are both debatable points, but I believe that a shakeup of the midfield is possibly no bad thing.
One thing that should be remembered is that the majority of this squad has never played at this level before, and as such they are on a steep learning curve. What was pleasing about yesterday was that the lessons are being learnt fast. We looked considerably better, and more dangerous than against Palace, and whilst a win was merited, the reality is that we are not sharp enough with our chances yet at this level. Wright-Phillips is not a sole striker, and his role yesterday along with Jackson's was enforced by the late withdrawal of Fuller. That the team did as well as they did with such little notice, bodes well for the rest of the season.