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Travelling to London ahead of this weekend's match at Upton Park brings back great memories of last season's double header down in the East End.
I'm referring of course to the League Cup Quarter Final victory and our league win there in the space of three days.
That League win was our 12th game unbeaten (10 of them won) during a terrific spell where we played some wonderful football, and I'm hoping we can now begin to replicate that sort of form following our two successive victories over Bolton and Fulham.
I know we haven't reached the heights of that unbeaten run yet this season but now is the time to believe! (Sounds like I've been watching too much of Barack Obama's election victory!) No, seriously I see this spell of games as our opportunity to consolidate our seventh-placed position. Let's face it we SHOULD be beating the likes of Bolton, Fulham, West Ham, Middlesbrough and Wigan.
Personally I'm not too concerned that we've not played well and won our last two games. Surely that's the sign of a good side? Nobody appears to make too much of an issue when it's one of the so called "big 4" that sneak a win when out of sorts.
It can only breed confidence and you can imagine now how the mood has changed at Finch Farm over the last couple of weeks. That in itself will assist us long term. Ask any ex-pro what winning matches does for the individual and the club. The lift it can give is enormous and I'm banking on it carrying us onwards and upwards over the next few weeks.
While on the subject of confidence we have two strikers who are at opposite ends of the scale. Louis Saha's will have soared following his winner. Contrast that with Yakubu's. Nine games without a goal is a definite barren spell. Time for a change. The Yak has not exactly made a massive contribution over the last few weeks and while taking him out of the spotlight may knock his confidence a little further he has to be big enough to understand that the men in form deserve to wear the shirt.
For me it's Saha to start at West Ham. The other big decision for the boss is who comes in to replace the suspended Fellaini (bet you didn't expect that to be such a dilemma a few short weeks ago eh???). I suspect we may see the return of Tony Hibbert at right back and a move into a defensive midfield role for Phil Neville. Hopefully Tim Cahill's recovered from his late night at the MTV European Musical Awards to prove once again that he's a star on the pitch as well as the stage!
Whatever the starting XI on Saturday I'm confident we can obtain the right result and I'm sure all those travelling to Upton Park believe that too. There you have it, ending on that American theme of belief, it's been their week hasn't it. And a historic one at that.
A win at West Ham won't quite have the same repercussions worldwide but it will once again serve notice to the rest of the Premier League that we're very much up for the challenge!
- Cup Fever Continues 12 0 23/02/2012
- February Optimism 15 0 09/02/2012
- Friday Night FA Cup Fever 10 1 25/01/2012
- Double Delight This Week 20 0 17/11/2011
- Next Three Matches Key 13 0 10/11/2011