Date:Tuesday September 29 2009
Forget games against Newcastle United and the Blades, matches like tonight against Crystal Palace can really make our season.
No disrespect to Palace, they beat West Brom on Saturday afterall, but taking points from midweek matches at places like Selhurst Park can be as big as any victories over teams like the Magpies, United, and Middlesbrough.
They're games that are up in the air at the start of the season - you know they're not going to be easy, but they're in that group of matches that you need to win if you're going to do anything with your season.
I'm sure Palace are feeling the same, their win at West Brom will count for nothing unless they get the same result from tonight's game.
I lost count of how many times we played well against the so-called 'bigger' teams last season - Burnley, Birmingham and the Blades (gulp, did I just put them in the 'bigger teams' category?!) but dropped points in games we should be getting points from.
Coventry City, Plymouth Argyle and Barnsley, all at home, spring to mind.
'What if' is a great phrase to use in football, but it's safe to say that 'what if' we picked up points agains those teams, that Laws will no doubt have marked down for victories at the start of the campaign.
They could well have been the difference between mid-table mediocrity and a shot at the play-offs - they probably were.
These games, against teams that aren't exactly high up on the agenda when you look for the fixtures when they come out, are vital, there's no doubt about it.
Of course, Selhurst Park is always a difficult place to go, midweek especially, and Wednesday have never really had a good record down there - Mr. Warnock won't make that any easier tonight.
But if Wednesday are serious about knocking on the door of the top six this season, they need points from matches like tonight, defeats simply won't do.
We have the ability, we have the quality in our first team, but have we got the consistency, and the desire to go to a difficult place such as Selhurst Park in midweek and return with something to show for our efforts?
It's what promotion teams can do, and we need to start doing it tonight and, further afield, on Saturday at Derby County.
We all know just how close the Championship is this season, and has been for a number of seasons, and these victories can make all the difference, especially against teams like Palace, who are in pretty much the same boat as us this season in terms of expectations.
Let's make tonight count, let's kick-on from Saturday's impressive victory over Cardiff and not put it to waste.
Tonight's a true test of the season that lies ahead, there's no doubt about it.
COME ON WEDNESDAY!
Date:Tuesday September 29 2009
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