Albion talking point: Top six - but can they stay there?

The Argus: Jon Obika in action against Birmingham (photo Simon Dack) Jon Obika in action against Birmingham (photo Simon Dack)

Albion are in the top six at last.

A 1-0 win over battling Birmingham City was enough to send them into a play-off place for the first time under Oscar Garcia.

So are they good enough to stay there?

What grounds do you have for optimism – or doubts – regarding their chances of extending their season?

And who will pose the biggest threat to their hopes?

We’d love to get your thoughts.

Comments (20)

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7:31pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Neville says...

Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa.
Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home.
KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head.
I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.
Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa. Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home. KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head. I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules. Neville

7:59pm Sat 11 Jan 14

mark by the sea says...

A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide.
I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.
A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide. I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old. mark by the sea

8:03pm Sat 11 Jan 14

wiseman of hove says...

Neville wrote:
Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa.
Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home.
KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head.
I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.
Bruno has become a second half player, Neville. His first five passes from kick off went to the opposition. Still prefer Calde.
LuaLua terrific and Upson is simply always good. I liked David today and notwithstanding that I love Ince, I would have kept David on over Rohan at that point of the game had that decision needed to be made.
[quote][p][bold]Neville[/bold] wrote: Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa. Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home. KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head. I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.[/p][/quote]Bruno has become a second half player, Neville. His first five passes from kick off went to the opposition. Still prefer Calde. LuaLua terrific and Upson is simply always good. I liked David today and notwithstanding that I love Ince, I would have kept David on over Rohan at that point of the game had that decision needed to be made. wiseman of hove

8:15pm Sat 11 Jan 14

sussexram40 says...

The only way to finish top 6 is to splash the cash and drive a bus through the FFP rules and pay the fines.
Goals scored is the big problem. No other top half side has netted fewer goals than the Albion. Goals win matches. 1-0 scapes like today earn 3 points but scoribng 1 at home then having to bring on extra defence to try and park the bus and hold onto it isn't going to work every week.
The only way to finish top 6 is to splash the cash and drive a bus through the FFP rules and pay the fines. Goals scored is the big problem. No other top half side has netted fewer goals than the Albion. Goals win matches. 1-0 scapes like today earn 3 points but scoribng 1 at home then having to bring on extra defence to try and park the bus and hold onto it isn't going to work every week. sussexram40

8:23pm Sat 11 Jan 14

albion64 says...

wiseman of hove wrote:
Neville wrote:
Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa.
Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home.
KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head.
I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.
Bruno has become a second half player, Neville. His first five passes from kick off went to the opposition. Still prefer Calde.
LuaLua terrific and Upson is simply always good. I liked David today and notwithstanding that I love Ince, I would have kept David on over Rohan at that point of the game had that decision needed to be made.
I agree totally. The other point is that Ince seems to go off the boil late in games and when Crofts went off I looked round and thought, who on earth is going to do the tackling and keep the ball. The last 15 minutes plus 5 or so extra minutes were nervy. Orlandi and David aren't that type of players.

We also at times look like we are never going to score. We get to the last third and run out of ideas. Letting Bridcutt go is a bit too early, I feel. Ince will certainly fill his boots in time though. Shopping list should include one regular goal scorer and one attacking midfielder who contributes to the goal tally also. We just don't score enough and kill teams off.
On the positive side, we have done extremely well to be where we are right now. Tough away games to come, let's grab some points. UTA
[quote][p][bold]wiseman of hove[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Neville[/bold] wrote: Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa. Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home. KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head. I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.[/p][/quote]Bruno has become a second half player, Neville. His first five passes from kick off went to the opposition. Still prefer Calde. LuaLua terrific and Upson is simply always good. I liked David today and notwithstanding that I love Ince, I would have kept David on over Rohan at that point of the game had that decision needed to be made.[/p][/quote]I agree totally. The other point is that Ince seems to go off the boil late in games and when Crofts went off I looked round and thought, who on earth is going to do the tackling and keep the ball. The last 15 minutes plus 5 or so extra minutes were nervy. Orlandi and David aren't that type of players. We also at times look like we are never going to score. We get to the last third and run out of ideas. Letting Bridcutt go is a bit too early, I feel. Ince will certainly fill his boots in time though. Shopping list should include one regular goal scorer and one attacking midfielder who contributes to the goal tally also. We just don't score enough and kill teams off. On the positive side, we have done extremely well to be where we are right now. Tough away games to come, let's grab some points. UTA albion64

8:25pm Sat 11 Jan 14

VegasSeagull says...

Whilst I would agree that it's very possible for us to finish in the top six, I am not yet 100% convinced it will happen.
We are finding it rather hard to settle on what might be considered our best eleven starters, an eleven that might just need a tweak every now and then. Of course the cause for this instability are the continuing injuries and the, so far, modest changes in personnel. As of now we need another striker, after today it looks like we might need another attacking midfield player, and of course if Bridcutt goes, he will need replacing. Transfers aside, the injuries are the main problem.

Consistent team performances requires a consistent eleven and generally speaking we aint even close to have a regular eleven. TK, Ward, Upson, Greer, Bruno, Orlandi, Bridcutt, Ulloa, Buckley, Kazenga and was Kemmy not also unavailable for a few due to injury, or was it Andrews, I could be wrong on that one. If either was then we have an entire starting eleven out for various parts of this season.
Whilst I would agree that it's very possible for us to finish in the top six, I am not yet 100% convinced it will happen. We are finding it rather hard to settle on what might be considered our best eleven starters, an eleven that might just need a tweak every now and then. Of course the cause for this instability are the continuing injuries and the, so far, modest changes in personnel. As of now we need another striker, after today it looks like we might need another attacking midfield player, and of course if Bridcutt goes, he will need replacing. Transfers aside, the injuries are the main problem. Consistent team performances requires a consistent eleven and generally speaking we aint even close to have a regular eleven. TK, Ward, Upson, Greer, Bruno, Orlandi, Bridcutt, Ulloa, Buckley, Kazenga and was Kemmy not also unavailable for a few due to injury, or was it Andrews, I could be wrong on that one. If either was then we have an entire starting eleven out for various parts of this season. VegasSeagull

8:35pm Sat 11 Jan 14

SeagullOverSelsey says...

mark by the sea wrote:
A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide.
I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.
I believe Wickham has already gone to another ;club-cannot remember which one!
[quote][p][bold]mark by the sea[/bold] wrote: A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide. I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.[/p][/quote]I believe Wickham has already gone to another ;club-cannot remember which one! SeagullOverSelsey

8:49pm Sat 11 Jan 14

MLEE says...

If we don't replace if sold Buckley and Bridcutt.Barnes and Crofts,then we are going nowhere !
If we don't replace if sold Buckley and Bridcutt.Barnes and Crofts,then we are going nowhere ! MLEE

8:51pm Sat 11 Jan 14

mark by the sea says...

SeagullOverSelsey wrote:
mark by the sea wrote:
A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide.
I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.
I believe Wickham has already gone to another ;club-cannot remember which one!
On loan to Sheffield weds , guy is good with both feet, can run with ball, and is a good hold up player.... Think his loan ends 30th jan.
[quote][p][bold]SeagullOverSelsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mark by the sea[/bold] wrote: A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide. I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.[/p][/quote]I believe Wickham has already gone to another ;club-cannot remember which one![/p][/quote]On loan to Sheffield weds , guy is good with both feet, can run with ball, and is a good hold up player.... Think his loan ends 30th jan. mark by the sea

9:01pm Sat 11 Jan 14

KeefyH44 says...

SeagullOverSelsey wrote:
mark by the sea wrote:
A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide.
I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.
I believe Wickham has already gone to another ;club-cannot remember which one!
He's a-wait for it-Sunderland player on loan to Wednesday! Scored today.
[quote][p][bold]SeagullOverSelsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mark by the sea[/bold] wrote: A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide. I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.[/p][/quote]I believe Wickham has already gone to another ;club-cannot remember which one![/p][/quote]He's a-wait for it-Sunderland player on loan to Wednesday! Scored today. KeefyH44

9:04pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Ex-pat Arnie says...

mark by the sea wrote:
SeagullOverSelsey wrote:
mark by the sea wrote:
A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide.
I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.
I believe Wickham has already gone to another ;club-cannot remember which one!
On loan to Sheffield weds , guy is good with both feet, can run with ball, and is a good hold up player.... Think his loan ends 30th jan.
Friends of mine are Sunderland season ticket holders and describe him as a typical thick target man. No finesse, doesn't think, won't learn, over-priced.

I haven't seen enough of him to form an opinion, though.
[quote][p][bold]mark by the sea[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SeagullOverSelsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mark by the sea[/bold] wrote: A good result, pleased we pressed further up the pitch and never allowed them to much time to work the ball out wide. I would swap bridcutt for Conner wickham , he has looked a real handful at twenty years old.[/p][/quote]I believe Wickham has already gone to another ;club-cannot remember which one![/p][/quote]On loan to Sheffield weds , guy is good with both feet, can run with ball, and is a good hold up player.... Think his loan ends 30th jan.[/p][/quote]Friends of mine are Sunderland season ticket holders and describe him as a typical thick target man. No finesse, doesn't think, won't learn, over-priced. I haven't seen enough of him to form an opinion, though. Ex-pat Arnie

9:28pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Simon Mew says...

I really can't understand the drivel that gets posted on here.
I really can't understand the drivel that gets posted on here. Simon Mew

9:28pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Clean Sheet says...

Brighton has done really well to hit the top 6, with the injuries we have had to deal with. I don't think LB is going, Brighton made a big statement refusing the transfer request. Buckley is injured, and unlikely to go anywhere. If we assume Croft is out for the season, then Andrews, Ince, and Kemy need to step up, and are all capable of doing so. KLL is coming into his own. Ullua has struggled a bit since his injury, and as OG has stated, we need a replacement for Barnes. Get this right, and we are in a good place to push on.
Brighton has done really well to hit the top 6, with the injuries we have had to deal with. I don't think LB is going, Brighton made a big statement refusing the transfer request. Buckley is injured, and unlikely to go anywhere. If we assume Croft is out for the season, then Andrews, Ince, and Kemy need to step up, and are all capable of doing so. KLL is coming into his own. Ullua has struggled a bit since his injury, and as OG has stated, we need a replacement for Barnes. Get this right, and we are in a good place to push on. Clean Sheet

9:30pm Sat 11 Jan 14

OldGull says...

Neville wrote:
Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa.
Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home.
KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head.
I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.
Strange, in the same ground but saw a different game.
Lopez had a good game seen from WSU
[quote][p][bold]Neville[/bold] wrote: Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa. Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home. KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head. I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.[/p][/quote]Strange, in the same ground but saw a different game. Lopez had a good game seen from WSU OldGull

9:51pm Sat 11 Jan 14

WisdomSpeaks says...

Considering all the disruption and negativity pre season, and all the injuries we have experienced, I think it's an amazing job Oscar and his team have done to be THREE places higher and TWO points better off than we were having played the same number of games last season (25).

Crofts; injury is a major concern because not only is he such an important and influential player - he's a really top guy for the spirit - so positive all the time. I wish him a speedy recovery and pray that it's not the dreaded cruciate!

If we invest now in another striker and midfielder I think we have a great chance to go up - even automatically. Before others shout me down for being unrealistic I'll give my reasons. I love the way Oscar so understates everything. He won't entertain looking at the table at any stage and keeps only focussed on the next game. He refuses to even answer questions about our league position. I think this guy is a very smart cookie. It's like he's sneaking up slowly and surely just as Reading did under McDermott. They were also equal sixth with exactly the same points (39) at exactly the same stage as we are now (25 games) and they ended up winning the league. I like Oscar's calmness under pressure - OK he's probably not going to win the 'bubbly personality of the month award' but frankly I couldn't care less about that. As long as he has the respect of the people around him, which I sense he does, he'll do for me. I'm having a bet on us to get automatic promotion and let's see what happens. The big thing will be who comes in during this window. I'm sure Tony Bloom is ready to be in PL with our state of the art training ground ready for next season as well.
Considering all the disruption and negativity pre season, and all the injuries we have experienced, I think it's an amazing job Oscar and his team have done to be THREE places higher and TWO points better off than we were having played the same number of games last season (25). Crofts; injury is a major concern because not only is he such an important and influential player - he's a really top guy for the spirit - so positive all the time. I wish him a speedy recovery and pray that it's not the dreaded cruciate! If we invest now in another striker and midfielder I think we have a great chance to go up - even automatically. Before others shout me down for being unrealistic I'll give my reasons. I love the way Oscar so understates everything. He won't entertain looking at the table at any stage and keeps only focussed on the next game. He refuses to even answer questions about our league position. I think this guy is a very smart cookie. It's like he's sneaking up slowly and surely just as Reading did under McDermott. They were also equal sixth with exactly the same points (39) at exactly the same stage as we are now (25 games) and they ended up winning the league. I like Oscar's calmness under pressure - OK he's probably not going to win the 'bubbly personality of the month award' but frankly I couldn't care less about that. As long as he has the respect of the people around him, which I sense he does, he'll do for me. I'm having a bet on us to get automatic promotion and let's see what happens. The big thing will be who comes in during this window. I'm sure Tony Bloom is ready to be in PL with our state of the art training ground ready for next season as well. WisdomSpeaks

10:12pm Sat 11 Jan 14

To baldly go says...

OldGull wrote:
Neville wrote:
Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa.
Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home.
KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head.
I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.
Strange, in the same ground but saw a different game.
Lopez had a good game seen from WSU
Lopez was his usual self, unable to clear first man at corners and when he did nearly hit other corner flag, but then steps up with the goal, I sit in north west corner and could see the curl on his shot and knew it was in before it hit the net.
Ulloa was well pi55ed off being substituted, Obika looked good when he came on and I would like to see him pair up with Ulloa, although similar in stature and play I think they could compliment each other.
Gutted for Crofty, he could have been our player of the season but fear we won't see him again this season!
LuaLua is going to prove a lot of people wrong in their belief that he is an impact sub, defenders just can't handle him! He's one of those unpredictable players that can change the game in the first or last minute and should start every game!
Don't think we will be back for Conway, it would have happened by now! Sell Buckley for as near to £2m as we can get and give March his chance!
The Orlandi sub was wrong for me, we lost Crofty and put on Orlandi when it should have been the muscle of Kemy imo.
We keep knocking on the door but not quite getting in, when we do we will kick the door open and score a hat full, hopefully in the next few away games to keep us in the chase. UTA
[quote][p][bold]OldGull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Neville[/bold] wrote: Assuming Bridcutt and Buckley both go,which seems likely we now need to invest some of the money in an attacking midfielder and striker to ensure we remain in contention. Would also like Conway back because he is the best crosser of a ball by far,puts pace on it which will help Ulloa. Was at the match today and we really need an early goal,good overall but still frustrated by continual back passing when in attacking positions and still believe we should play 2 up front when at home. KLL and Upson excellent, thought Ulloa looked off the pace today and Bruno poor first half and Lopez quite rightly about to be subbed before his v good goal, he runs a lot but never challenges and his crossing today always found a Birmingham head. I hope funds are used to strengthen the team rather than accommodate FFP rules.[/p][/quote]Strange, in the same ground but saw a different game. Lopez had a good game seen from WSU[/p][/quote]Lopez was his usual self, unable to clear first man at corners and when he did nearly hit other corner flag, but then steps up with the goal, I sit in north west corner and could see the curl on his shot and knew it was in before it hit the net. Ulloa was well pi55ed off being substituted, Obika looked good when he came on and I would like to see him pair up with Ulloa, although similar in stature and play I think they could compliment each other. Gutted for Crofty, he could have been our player of the season but fear we won't see him again this season! LuaLua is going to prove a lot of people wrong in their belief that he is an impact sub, defenders just can't handle him! He's one of those unpredictable players that can change the game in the first or last minute and should start every game! Don't think we will be back for Conway, it would have happened by now! Sell Buckley for as near to £2m as we can get and give March his chance! The Orlandi sub was wrong for me, we lost Crofty and put on Orlandi when it should have been the muscle of Kemy imo. We keep knocking on the door but not quite getting in, when we do we will kick the door open and score a hat full, hopefully in the next few away games to keep us in the chase. UTA To baldly go

11:19pm Sat 11 Jan 14

rockie says...

MLEE wrote:
If we don't replace if sold Buckley and Bridcutt.Barnes and Crofts,then we are going nowhere !
And if my granny had wheels she'd be a bus...why is this becoming a forum for the bewildered? As the Reading cup match showed, the squad has plenty of deprh and some exciting young players ready to step up to the ochy. Now doubt if players such as Conway and his club collaegue joe Mason can be brought in by end of January we can at least repeat last year's play-off semis an maybe pass Sunderland on their way down despite their win today against a dismal Fulham team.
[quote][p][bold]MLEE[/bold] wrote: If we don't replace if sold Buckley and Bridcutt.Barnes and Crofts,then we are going nowhere ![/p][/quote]And if my granny had wheels she'd be a bus...why is this becoming a forum for the bewildered? As the Reading cup match showed, the squad has plenty of deprh and some exciting young players ready to step up to the ochy. Now doubt if players such as Conway and his club collaegue joe Mason can be brought in by end of January we can at least repeat last year's play-off semis an maybe pass Sunderland on their way down despite their win today against a dismal Fulham team. rockie

2:24am Sun 12 Jan 14

Vince says...

We'll scrape into the play-offs, as we have a very strong defence - and most successful teams build their foundations on a strong defence. We still have Ulloa, CMS, Buckley, Agustien and Orlandi to get back to full fitness. Young players like Ince, Chicksen and Solly March not forgetting Forster-Caskey have all shown they can play at this level. With one or two acquisitions in the transfer window - we should have a strong enough squad to cope with the exhausting schedule. Clubs like Derby are starting to struggle, and we are better than Blackburn, Ipswich and Reading. Wigan and Middlesbrough are improving and probably our biggest competitors for 5th/6th spot, although Boro may have too much ground to make up. Notts Forest are a good side - but no better than us. I'm confident we will make top 6, but an automatic promotion place is unlikely unless we get more firepower up front, and 2 out of the top 3 falter.
We'll scrape into the play-offs, as we have a very strong defence - and most successful teams build their foundations on a strong defence. We still have Ulloa, CMS, Buckley, Agustien and Orlandi to get back to full fitness. Young players like Ince, Chicksen and Solly March not forgetting Forster-Caskey have all shown they can play at this level. With one or two acquisitions in the transfer window - we should have a strong enough squad to cope with the exhausting schedule. Clubs like Derby are starting to struggle, and we are better than Blackburn, Ipswich and Reading. Wigan and Middlesbrough are improving and probably our biggest competitors for 5th/6th spot, although Boro may have too much ground to make up. Notts Forest are a good side - but no better than us. I'm confident we will make top 6, but an automatic promotion place is unlikely unless we get more firepower up front, and 2 out of the top 3 falter. Vince

9:21am Sun 12 Jan 14

lenward says...

Not the best game , but the right result. All the time we are winning the only way is up, and we are playing well enough to do that , just hope it don't go to goal difference. I have to ask do we know the situation with CMS and Will Hoskins, he seems to be the forgotten man .
Not the best game , but the right result. All the time we are winning the only way is up, and we are playing well enough to do that , just hope it don't go to goal difference. I have to ask do we know the situation with CMS and Will Hoskins, he seems to be the forgotten man . lenward

10:02am Sun 12 Jan 14

Clean Sheet says...

Well, if we assume that Leicester, Burnley and QPR will sustain their form, that leaves 3 places up for grabs. So, being an optimistic fan I am going to say Brighton. Wigan and Blackburn look possibly the biggest improves, although it is difficult to discount Derby and perhaps Forest. Thee is always a late surprise run too. So it will not be easy to sustain a play off place, but I genuinely believe we can do so, given our progress under adversity so far this season. I think Bridders will remain, unless someone comes in with more like £5 mil. Buckers I am less concerned about. OG is clearly looking for another striker, and we may need another box to box midfielder if Crofts injury is bad.
Well, if we assume that Leicester, Burnley and QPR will sustain their form, that leaves 3 places up for grabs. So, being an optimistic fan I am going to say Brighton. Wigan and Blackburn look possibly the biggest improves, although it is difficult to discount Derby and perhaps Forest. Thee is always a late surprise run too. So it will not be easy to sustain a play off place, but I genuinely believe we can do so, given our progress under adversity so far this season. I think Bridders will remain, unless someone comes in with more like £5 mil. Buckers I am less concerned about. OG is clearly looking for another striker, and we may need another box to box midfielder if Crofts injury is bad. Clean Sheet

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