IT was a mixed bag for us this week as we made it through to the second round of the FA Cup by beating Grimsby Town on Wednesday night, but we couldn’t follow that up in the league on Saturday as we had a very disappointing loss at home to Oldham Athletic.
The win against my former side Grimsby was a very hard-fought 2-0 victory but it was deserved. We knew it was going to be tight and the first goal was going to be key. The game lacked quality in the first half but a great counter-attacking move early in the second half set me up with the opportunity to score.
It was the first bit of quality in the game and it settled us too. We didn’t grab the second goal until very late on, but we were comfortable even though there was just one goal between us for so long.
We never looked like we were going to concede which was another positive to take from the game and we now have a second-round tie to look forward to against Maldon and Tiptree this Friday night live on BBC.
We should have been going into Saturday full of confidence after a good win on Wednesday but if you had witnessed the performance you wouldn’t have believed it. It was as poor a performance as I have been involved in since I joined the club and we were very disappointed after the game because we let ourselves down badly. The manager had a lot of things to say to us and everything was spot on.
We also had a lot to say to ourselves because we have a great opportunity to be successful in the league this year. If we aren’t careful it will pass us by.
We still have two games in hand which will put us into second place in the league if we win both of those games. But we are putting pressure on ourselves by dropping points and we need to be better all over the pitch from now on.
After a disappointing result like Saturday’s, training is always quite tasty and we need that this week more than ever. While we don’t have a league game to look forward to, we have the potential banana skin of Maldon and Tiptree away from home in the FA Cup with a lot of money up for grabs for the club and a possibility of a lucrative third round tie against a Premier League side awaiting the winners.
They are the second-lowest ranked team left in the competition and we won’t be taking them lightly whatsoever as they have already knocked out fellow League Two side Leyton Orient in the previous round. We know they have some very good players in their ranks.
They would have had scouts watching us last weekend and they will fancy their chances after what they witnessed, and you can’t blame them for that.
The BBC picked this game for TV for one reason and one reason only. That is the chance of a massive cup upset.
We of all teams should know about cup upsets so we should know how to deal with it. A victory would not only get us back on the winning trail and build our confidence, but it would also make some more money for the club that can be reinvested to strengthen our squad in January. That will in turn give us a better chance of winning promotion in the league.
From a personal point of view, I want to continue my record in the FA Cup and score for an eighth consecutive round. It is a record I am very proud of and one that I want to keep going for a long as possible.
In saying that, I would happily not score if we won and then drew Manchester United away at Old Trafford in the next round. That would be something else.