Tickle Tackle - On The Way!
Tuesday, 18th Sep 2007 20:30 by Steve Tickle
Well, that feels better, doesn't it?
The first win of the season, a screamer of a debut goal, a good performance and a clean sheet – and all against a previously unbeaten team too. Can't really ask for much more than that.
This might sound like I'm being clever after the event but as we got closer to kick-off time I felt more and more confident we might just sneak all three points. That, after being pretty convinced for the last wek or so that we'd put up a battling performance, only to lose to a late, scrambled goal from Michael Owen.
Well, Owen made this morning's headlines but only because the nation's press could barely bring themselves to congratulate the Rams on their first win of the season and he had conveniently provided them with another “England Striker Injury Concern” story.
The Rams obviously put the international break to good use and maybe two weeks to ponder the caning that Liverpool gave us was just the thing that some players needed. After that kind of a result, players often say they just want to get out there playing again and put things right but sometimes it's good to have a little time to reflect on your own shortcomings and maybe even get a little angry.
Well whatever the process, the outcome was certainly the right one for the Rams and that first three points of the season will do a huge amount to restore confidence and lift the mood around Pride Park, bacause whatever the public utterances to the contrary, confidence was bound to be sagging a little.
Kenny Miller's confidence won't need any boosting though, after getting his Rams' tally off the mark with a screamer of a debut goal. Let's see a few more of those please!
It's only one win and one win doesn't make a season but it does prove to anyone who was in any doubt that we are good enough to beat Premier League teams – and it helps put smiles back on faces.
We've all had it this last couple of weeks, haven't we? From people openly guffawing at our results to the more restrained “struggling a bit, aren't they?” comments. I've been around the block enough times to meet them all with the same shrug of the shoulders but it's still something we could all do without, however hardened we are.
And that clean sheet does no harm either. We may currently have the worst goal difference in the division but it proves to fans and players alike that we can be a match for our opponents. The task doesn't get any easier next week with a trip to the Emirates Stadium but another clean sheet is surely the mission?
In any event, we want to at least match Bolton's return from their game against Spurs and they have a potentially awkward and tiring trip to Macedonia to play FK Rabotnicki in the meantime. We want Bolton to still have the dubious honour of holding the rest of the league up when we play them at Pride Park in two weeks' time and let's not forget that four points from eighteen or not, we're still only one win (an unfeasibly big one because of goal difference, admittedly) from halfway.
© Steve Tickle 2007
Photo: Action Images
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