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Half-term report

The first half of the season ticked off then, well plus one. How nice it is being back in The Championship, and when I look at the struggle to get up that Pompey and Sunderland are having this season, it makes me even more thankful for Patrick Bauer’s 94th minute goal.

Relegation favourites, our budget the lowest. We started the season on fire, unknown to everybody, scared of no one, surprising all and sundry including ourselves, and we quickly added points to the board. Then we lost a whole team to injury, naturally teams countered our style, defensive errors cost us points, and we lost some confidence, but significantly we have stayed in games, and vitally won on Boxing Day as we began the second half of the season.

⬆️ Half a season in a paragraph.

Staying in The Championship remains the only goal this season, and we sit 7 points above the bottom. I would’ve ripped your hand off for that on August 2nd.

I said above and Bow has said it a lot, but we have stayed in games, even when we have been outplayed. Only at Boro were we really poor. At Wigan, and at home to Preston and Huddersfield I don’t think we deserved anything from the match. I need to caveat that by saying I have by no means seen or heard every game, so open to debate.

Take those four games away and we have been in each of the 20 others, winning seven, drawing seven and losing six, three of those in injury time.

We took four points of the promotion favourites Leeds and West Brom. We played so well against both, but they showed why they enter the New Year 1st and 2nd. I’d argue Brentford were the best team we’ve played and Fulham, Swansea and Bristol City were good too. This division is undoubtedly a big step up.

The majority of our points have come against teams in the top half, and just two wins and a draw against teams below us. That may reverse as the season enters its second phase as the chase for promotion makes teams harder to beat, but the relegation battle oozes nervousness and mistakes.

Plenty to build on and the half-term report reads very positively with some gloss put on it after Boxing Day. The quicker we get Cullen and Williams fit the better and I’m hoping Gallagher just needs a breather. The transfer window is huge, not forgetting at all that Roland Duchatelet still owns the keys.

More of the same please boys. B+

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