The Vital View
This is our year. I'm absolutely certain. The passion the team and fans showed from the off was infectious, and helped Bloomfield Road become a cauldron of noise. The death of Alan Ball was a huge shock for everyone connected to the football club I'm sure, and the way the tribute was handled by Tony Parr was exceptional. The speech before the game got the whole crowd going and it was the way a legend should make his bow at 'home'.
Onto the game and The Seasiders were again superb. The defence was fantastically strong with Evatt especially being the proverbial rock as always. I expect a little more from Billy Sharp - the front man being a bit too mouthy for me - but that was probably down to the fact he was excellently marshalled by the central two.
Why wasn't Claus Jorgensen installed alongside Southern when I said back in October? He ONCE AGAIN showed David Fox how to play the attacking midfield roll and his finish for the goal oozed class. The calmness in possession he displays gives him an extra second on the ball, which helps build attacks, moving the ball out wide. Southern - as ever - was a colossus in midfield.
The only disappointment was Brandon's sending off. Chris has a history of this sort of thing, and in my opinion should be sent back to Huddersfield, as his last game is Swansea on Saturday - a game which I believe Adrian Forbes will excel in. Brandon can't be used in the playoffs, so he should be sent back now.
The front two played well, with Parker certainly hitting form at the right time. Morrell did a reasonable job filling in after the red card. However, I feel Andy is a little tired and deserves a rest - and looked visibly knackered even after 10 minutes (although some would argue he looks tired normally!). Bring on Swansea next week. Could it happen - Automatic? It'll need an upturn in results but it's possible!