It's three out of five to go down - 11/02/2003

After the last two games, it appears that Birmingham have definitely been dragged into the fight to avoid the drop. In my opinion Fulham have a bit of a cushion and it’s three from the five of Sunderland, West Ham, West Brom, Birmingham and Bolton who’ll drop out of the Premiership. Looking at the five – their players, form, and who they’ll be up against, I feel that Bolton are best placed to avoid the drop.

The home win against Birmingham gave us a massive boost, it wasn’t just about the three points, but also the confidence that the win brought the team, AND the fact we’d scored four goals. A cliche maybe, but it’s goals that win games and that’s where the focus of our remaining games will be. We’ll see what the new lad Ballestra can do, but it’ll take time for him to settle in and I hope that we’ll be afforded that luxury.

With the three home points in the bag, I was confident we’d get something out of the West Brom game. Although I’d probably have settled for not losing at The Hawthorns, to concede such a late equaliser was very disappointing. It’s happened on numerous times this season and if we’d managed to keep them out, I think we’d have an extra ten points and we’d be sitting pretty in mid table. If I knew that answer why this happened then I’d be straight on the phone to Sam. Whether it’s the pressure of being at the bottom, and the defence dropping back at the 90 minutes approaches, I just don’t know. Like I say, I really think we can stay up, but if the disaster did happen, then looking back at those lost points will be even more painful.

It’s Man United at the Reebok this weekend, we’ll be doing very well to get anything out of the game. OK, we’ve beaten them twice at Old Trafford in consecutive seasons, but we know what we’re up against…and they don’t come much bigger than Alex Ferguson’s men. Last season at home they gave us a bit of a lesson, and depending ‘which’ Man Utd turns up, we may well be in for another 90 minutes with our backs against a wall. Nevertheless, if we can get at them, we can definitely get something from the game. It’s no good sitting back and letting then come at us, if that was to happen, I really can’t help but feel that an away win would be inevitable. One things for sure – irrespective of the result, we can go into the match knowing that we’ve got points in the bag from the previous two games…points that are no doubt invaluable.

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