Monday`s after international break weekends are always more exciting because you know league action is coming back soon – in the opposite way to regular Mondays in which the next game seems ages away, unless we’re playing Tuesday, of course.
The last three outings were such a weird spell for City, and now that a bit of time has passed, the performances have sort of decanted in my brain.
The Derby County contest was such an odd one. City were cruising, and out of nowhere Nugent scores. What came next was a classic story of misfortune and misadventure that we should be used to by now.
Wolves was never going to be easy task. Maybe with a healthy Alex Tettey, Alex Pritchard and Nelson Oliveira things would have been different, but with a squad as diminished by injury as ours, it just wasn`t going to be.
At Bolton, lack of finishing power always has a high price to pay, and when Jerome missed a goal that a nine year old child would have scored, I thought to myself that it might not be our day either.
When you don`t take your chances in football, the game condemns you. It seems that the more chances you miss the harder it is to score later, it eats at your confidence – when you score with fewer chances, confidence is high, and you might put most of your chances away.
As Cedric Anselin once wisely said, “football is a game of confidence.” And it`s not a mystery to anyone that our firepower – which seems quite small calibre at this time – is enormously lacking confidence.
The international break will have come as a much needed re-boot button for Daniel Farke and the squad.
I just can`t take off my mind how Derby County goalkeeper Scott Carson was riding his luck at Carrow Road. Would fortunes be different had Stiepermann scored that day? Or had the referee given the clear penalty against Josh Murphy?
Scott Carson was extremely lucky. On any other day we would have scored at least three goals, and maybe Wolves and Bolton would have turned out differently as a result.
With most of his players to work with, this international break will be key for Daniel Farke to gather his forces and hopefully find the key for a squad that has basically not been able to score at home. Barnsley comes next.
The next run of matches will be key in deciding where will City stand at the end of the year, and crucially one of the most important times of the season.
I personally think that things can only get better with all the players that were injured and hopefully will return. I think we could use some of those heavy tackles coming from Alex Tettey, the mastery coming from Alex Pritchard, the goals coming from Nelson Oliveira, even the underachieving Steven Naismith and the “man of glass” Matt Jarvis, could be useful in the later stages of the season.
For now, only five days remain until Barnsley and I`m really looking forward to seeing some of the old faces back in action, sooner rather than later.