We started the new year where we left off. Just take a look at this. Both Arsenal and Brighton underestimated us in the FA cup and went out. Could say we were a little lucky with penalties, but Brighton equalized in 90+6 to secure extra time. League form was also good, and we were at second for the first time this season.
After two wonderful months, the downfall was to come. Lost to Man City in the FA Cup, and that was expected and no shock at all. Went out of the EFL Trophy on penalties and only grabbed four points in the league in February. Lucky for us it’s a short month, but march didn’t go much better. The only positives in March were the Youth Intake with a so-called golden generation. Four players look like class talents, especially for League One.
After the two last months with bad results, we again found ourselves fighting for the playoffs. Some very strong wins against Hull, Blackpool(Both promoted), and Oxford helped secure the playoff spot.
We were drawn against Peterborough who we lost to under a month before. The first game away from home ended 1-1 after a Leadbitter free-kick, who I must say were world-class. Everything was ready for a good night at the Stadium of Light, and it was a great game. It also was a great game, if you’re neutral. I’m not surprised if some Mackems did have a heart attack during the game…
Charlie Wyke got 2nd place in the Golden Boot on more games played. Let’s called that a tie.
Chris Maguire won Player of the year. He played a huge role in turning the season around with 11 goals and 13 assists.
No players on the team of the season. I find it kind of odd that the player of the year isn’t good enough for the team of the season.
Before next season
I’m a little ambivalent to a new season in League One. It could be that it’s better for the long term, but we were so close that it feels kind of bitter going out that way.
We have a rebuilding job to do before the next season, as a lot of players are leaving. As we are staying in League One I’ve decided to ship out the players that have left IRL – if possible. Some others will of course leave or be sold.
Players going out:
- Charlie Wyke
- Grant Leadbitter – Retiring
- Max Power
- George Dobson
- Josh Scowen
- Chris Maguire
- Remi Matthews
- Conor McLaughlin
- Callum McFadzean
The main areas I’ve identified where we need to strengthen is a right back, an experienced striker, central midfielders and hopefully a pacey winger.