Step on the Gaz
PUBLISHED: 11:22 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 24 August 2010
GETTING beaten at Sheffield United gave us a real kick up the backside, but the response on Saturday was exactly what we were after. There were a lot of positives to take from our performance against Doncaster – a first goal for Emmanuel Ledesma, some tre
GETTING beaten at Sheffield United gave us a real kick up the backside, but the response on Saturday was exactly what we were after.
There were a lot of positives to take from our performance against Doncaster - a first goal for Emmanuel Ledesma, some tremendous individual efforts, a clean sheet and a new system that worked well.
It could have been a gamble to go with one main striker at home, certainly if we hadn't won the game, but one thing you can be certain of with Iain Dowie is that there's a Plan B in the bag.
With the players we've got here, we always know we can switch it to 4-4-2 or 4-2-4 if we're chasing a game and it's something that keeps everyone on their toes, including the staff.
I can't remember the last time we scored early goals and then didn't concede, but it was encouraging to see time just ticking down, no desperation and ultimately a comfortable win.
The only negative aspect to the day was losing Fitz with a groin injury - but, to balance that, Damion Stewart came in and did really well.
Again, I think the nil in our scoreline against Carlisle was probably more important than the four, whch might seem a strange way to look at it.
But we know we're always capable of scoring goals. We had to give the lads a little bit of reassurance at half-time, but everything went right for us in the second half.
Despite his broken English, Emmanuel's fitted in really well at QPR and he's showing exactly what he can do.
It's great to be in the hat for round three - for the first time since our promotion season, not that I'm superstitious - and maybe this time we can go a bit further.
Of course, the key now is to take our home form on the road, starting with what will be a difficult test at Bristol City on Saturday.
Sometimes teams who lose the play-off final can find the following season something of a hangover, but I can't see that happening with City.
Gary Johnson was my manager at Cambridge many years ago and I know he isn't someone to dwell on the past or let it affect him.
City are a footballing side and they're a well-supported club with the potential to be a massive force in football.
They beat Coventry, who had won all their games up to then and, although they lost in the Carling Cup at Crewe, I know they rested some key players. So we'll certainly be showing them respect.
We should have won at Ashton Gate last season, so we want to put that right this time and, although I think a point would be a good result, we'll be going there for all three.