The regular look back and look ahead from Marcus Braddock
Another week has passed and I can’t help but ponder upon what might have been. We went into Thursday’s game at Bradford knowing that we could make up some ground on Blackburn if we could better their draw on the Tuesday before. Instead, we lost another influential defensive player to two yellow cards that in all honesty I can't argue with. We won an away point which is a positive but on Saturday when Blackburn drew, it felt like a missed opportunity.
Time for a reality check; if you told me this time last season what I was going to see this season, would I be happy? YES! At the back end of last season an away point felt like a win but just 12 months later an away draw feels a bit like a defeat. An amazing turn around in just twelve short months and if we feel disappointed with a result or two it's a sign of our success because this team has increased our expectations.
Part of me thinks our season is going to end with play-off games, being five points behind, albeit with a game in hand, with so few games left to mount a challenge suggests that. But then Blackburn and Wigan slip up again with draws at the weekend and with some difficult games for both you start to realize that a couple of wins in a row and a hiccup or two in the north could mean an incredible end to the season.
Whether or not that happens isn't in our own hands though and it would rely on a few factors. Either Blackburn or Wigan's expensively assembled teams would have to slip again, maybe a couple of times. When I look at the games they have to come, I notice that resurgent Doncaster have to play both of the teams above us and they might be the banana skin we need.
Another factor is how we cope with the loss of Abu Ogogo. I have mentioned this a couple of times but it's important, as teams know he's out and pressurize accordingly. Players are uniquely different so an exact replacement would be impossible but I think between Ben Godfrey, Jon Nolan and Bryn Morris we can find a solution. .
Tomorrow night brings Charlton Athletic to the Montgomery Waters Meadow. The Addicks are one of a few teams hoping to make a late claim for a play-off place. They've played one more game than Plymouth in 6th place and are behind them by a couple of points so there is plenty of motivation for them to come to Shropshire for all three points. They've had a little bit of a wobble in their last couple of games but they have the quality to make things difficult for any team.
In other news, the youth team won 2-1 at Morecambe on Saturday and face Walsall away this weekend.