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I will get the bad news out of the way first. After starting the season brilliantly and finding ourselves top of the league disaster struck. In a matter of month or two we had 4 first team players get injured for a minimum couple of months each. Now normally that wouldn’t be a problem usually but at Fleetwood our squad is on the small side so we have had to adjust and bring in a couple of lads from the youth team to help make up the numbers on the bench. At one point we didn’t have an actual striker in the team that was a first team player. Ched Evans is probably out for the season and we probably won’t see him again as his loan ends. Another sad note is Wallace left us when his short term contract ran out after he refused a new deal.
A great month in terms of performance and results with us keeping 5 clean sheets in the league along with us beating Doncaster in the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties. A crazy game against struggling Peterborough where both teams looked good going forward and awful defending with the game ending 3-3. This is where the injuries start and we lose our leading goalscorer Paddy Madden for 3-4 months. An unbeaten month but draws are not good enough.
A couple of poor performances started to creep in to our game in November with defeats to Walsall and Coventry in the league as well as just managing to get a draw at home to Port Vale in the FA Cup. We did manage to beat Port Vale in the replay (Paul will enjoy that!) but only by the one goal in the second half and that meant we faced Oxford in the next round which will be another tough team to get past if we want to progress further. Another win in the Checkatrade Trophy group sees us finish top of the group and go in to the next round against Grimsby.
Another good month and the lads stayed fit and we were able to rotate slightly in some of the games and we were still able to pick up wins and points. A poor performance away to Oxford in the FA cup led to a reply which we was winning up until the 92nd minute when they equalised and went on to beat us on penalties which was tough to take. A massive win against Portsmouth who are on our tails, we were 3-0 up looking comfortable till they scored two in a matter of minutes for a nervy ending to the game.
Djabi (striker) and Rydel (left back/ left midfield) are the two lads that have been brought in to the first team to help cover while numbers are low with injuries. They are nothing special and will probably never make it at this level but they can do the job that is needed of them for now and honestly neither have looked to out of depth in the minutes they have played and Djabi has managed to score a couple of times.
Can you see where the injuries really hit us? Having four of your first team out injured all at the same time with major injuries was always going to be hard. We have done well to keep the momentum going and continue to pick up the wins and retake top spot in the league. January is coming up so we may look to try and bring in a couple of free transfers or a loan just to help with numbers in case this happens again although Madden is going to be back in training in the next few weeks so I will keep an eye on how he does when he is back and how soon he will be back playing. Being out of both cups quite early on is frustrating as I was hoping we could of had a run in one to help get money in to the club or get a big team down at our place but losing to teams in our league is a hard one to take. It is currently tight at the top with the top three all on 51 (Sunderland have a game in hand) and Barnsley on 50. There is still a long way to go but if it stays this close all season then it could be a nervous ending to the season.