Looking at our mid-table position of 10th in the league it wouldn’t surprise me at all if you were thinking – yep, you’re safe there. That was my first thought too but after looking at our remaining fixtures, and bearing in mind we haven’t hit the fabled 40 point safety zone yet, there’s still a chance we could get sucked in to the relegation whirlpool.
Our next five fixtures are very tricky (Liverpool, West Ham, Arsenal, Palace, Man Utd) and aren’t likely to boost our points total much. That’s my worry, we could be dangerously close to the bottom when we reach the remaining five games. If morale drops too from a few negative results the pressure’s going to mount.
The three successive home games that follow (Derby, Hull, Leicester) are a beacon of hope in an otherwise daunting batch of contests. Win two of those games and we should be ok, fail and our final two games against Southampton and Man City could become relegation deciding games. Little things like an inspiring team meeting at the right time could make all the difference.
Average ratings have been relatively high this season. I can’t fault the lads attitude and performance levels, they’ve worked very hard this season and against better opposition. For a team likely to struggle, and having relied on relatively defensive tactics, I’m pleased with my strikers goalscoring return too. Libor Kozak has led the line and has 9 goals to his name, with James Wilson (on loan) adding a further 7. The remaining goals are mostly spread around the midfield, same with the assists. An end of season flurry from the front-men could make all the difference in this survival season.