During the next month, the Villans face some incredibly tough away games against both of the Manchester clubs and Tottenham. We need to try and get something from one of these games, in my opinion, but we can’t approach any of them expecting anything.
At Old Trafford this afternoon, we will have to start well if we are to get anything from the game. It is important to frustrate the Old Trafford faithful during the early stages of the game but then to take the game to the Red Devils when we have the ball. The Manchester United defence isn’t up to the top four standard so we have to utilise our attack and get at them, hopefully from the first whistle.
Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor have nothing to fear when they come up against the Manchester United defence; both of them have found the net against the Red Devils during past encounters. With the service of a rejuvenated Charles N’Zogbia, we have everything to play for and an upset could be on the cards.
If we do go a goal down against Manchester United, which is a highly likely scenario, we must not drop our heads and allow an onslaught from the opposition. Instead, we need to keep our heads and look to find a way back into the game. Since Tim Sherwood took over, I feel that we are more likely to find our way back into games rather than roll over and die, as was too often the case under Paul Lambert.
The away games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will be tough ones too, with both sides looking for points as they push for a place in Europe and the Premier League title respectively. However, if we approach the games with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude then the pressure is taken off the players and you never know what might happen. We are due wins at both White Hart Lane and The Etihad, if only things worked that way.
The only game we have in the Premier League this month that really involves high stakes and which is one we simply cannot afford to lose is on Tuesday evening against Queens Park Rangers. The rearranged fixture could be the game that virtually keeps us up. If we win against Rangers, we put them back in a situation which means they have to win more games than us before the end of the season, which is an unlikely occurrence.
Thankfully, most of our players seem raring to go in the games that matter under Sherwood. The most notable of these in recent times were both games at home to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League and the FA Cup, both of which we won. There is something that clicks in the side, a spirit that gives fans the impression that the Villans cannot fail. I just hope that spirit is present on Tuesday night.