Chissie's Chat: December
BBC Radio Lancashire commentator Ian Chisnall previews the rest of December.
Apologies for missing the start of this hectic month but none of us will be arguing about harvesting 4 points from the 6 on offer. So where better to start this look ahead than up the other end of the M55. I saw North End finally win under Alan Irvine against Hull - Larry and Tony Parkes were sitting in front of me and they got more than a little grief as they left close to the end. It's a long awaited game given even more spice by the fact that we're locked together in the lower reaches of the division. But how many of us would have happily accepted going into this 1st west of the county derby above Preston? Yes, I thought so; let's just hope we come out of it still looking down on a side who can only improve. We'll need our big players to perform and if they do, we might even add to the gloom which has hovered over Deepdale for much of the season.
Struggling Cardiff next and I just can't understand why they're where they are. The fans are beginning to turn on Dave Jones who deserves much better. I'm pretty confident he wouldn't have blown all his summer money on Fowler and Hasslebaink without interference from above, so let's see if we can take advantage of a club in disarray. Arguably the most physical team in the division, Stoke City, are in the middle of 3 key home games. You have to battle against any Tony Pulis side and given that, week-in, week-out, we always look smaller than the opposition, don't be surprised to find the likes of Ian Evatt back for this one. It'll be a contrast of styles, but if we can compete with The Potters aggression, we'll have a chance. Cash stricken Coventry are our pre-Christmas opponents and they'll have probably sorted out their take-over by then. With Adebola and De Zeeuw and company around it might be more of the same from the Stoke game, but Michael Mifsud will need taming if we`re to get something.
A Boxing Day trip to Sheffield Utd can only be described as 'anything to come, glad of it.' Things certainly haven't gone as Bryan Robson planned, but they're due a good run at home and I'll travel over there more in hope than expectation.
And finally, everybody's favourite fixture... Colchester away! Horrendous journey, awful ground, uncomfortable broadcasting position... yes, I'm delighted to be going! A win to end a momentous 2007 would be fitting.