This hasn't been written in response to the Orient defeat last night, its been brewing for weeks. Each time I look at the league table I'm gaging the gap to the team in sixth which has gradually increased in recent weeks while keeping an eye on the cluster beneath us. There's no doubt conceding so many goals, and late ones at that, has turned victories into draws but our free-scoring strikers could only bail out the leaks in the rearguard for so long. Imagine where we would be with a watertight defence?
I don't believe there's a City fan out there who expected Callum Wilson to make the impact he has this campaign. Seeing him strike that fine goal against Colchester last season was impressive but there was no way I expected to see him on 15 goals by the start of January. His sidekick, Leon, oh dear. It was all going so well, the second highest number of goals (27) in a calendar year by a City player (after George Hudson - ref Jim Brown) but as Jim also pointed out, Leon has moved club in four January transfer windows. A journeyman he is but there is a certain kudos to the way things are done and he'll leave (if Wolves fans will have him) having singed the relationship with City supporters. There's no doubting his quality but he'll be back in League One by the start of next season.
My concern was if these two were hindered in any way we'd suffer and Callum's injury has proved this. Franck Moussa and Carl Baker have chipped in admirably this season while messrs Thomas and Fleck have yet to trouble the scorers. As we all know their immense contribution has been elsewhere but we can only plug the gaps for so long. Looking back though, we replaced Marlon (eventually) with David McGoldrick then replaced him with Leon. I'm sure Mr Pressley has a gem up his sleeve, he's worked wonders so far with our starlets, whatever happens in the remaining 19 games we have a base to build upon and you can't say that very often about our club.
Without sounding negative (and I'm an eternal optimist where Sky Blue matters are concerned) I have this 'orrible hunch the points deduction will prove a bridge too far...again. It hampered us at the tail end of last season and its looking like we may now struggle to close the gap on the last play-off place.
When I wrote 'January and the Season's Over' many years ago the title was chosen to reflect the fact we would not achieve glory in the season and could write off play-off/promotion chances by the end of the month. Its looking likely this title will come back to haunt me again, I'm hoping I'm wrong but we'll need 12 wins out of the remaining 19 to give us a chance. However, you never know, its been a memorable season at times on the pitch (MK, Rotherham, Barnsley,Franck Moussa at Port Vale, Callum Wilson with nearly every goal he's scored being sublime), has Steven Pressley got any further magic dust to sprinkle upon the City faithful?
Before I close there is a little message for SISU, ACL, CCC and all other clowns involved in this ridiculous situation....
Whatever happens to any of the above there will always be the supporters of Coventry City - we will always have this and no-one can take these four words away from us...
Play up Sky Blues!