News of the loan signing of Matt Penney provided a bit of a lift this morning, even though it would seem to follow the unfortunate immediate unavailability of Todd Kane and there’s no indication of an option to buy (which might point more towards building the squad rather than plugging a gap for a while). And a lift was perhaps necessary after the late cancellation of the game – which would have provided a great test of how we are improving and an opportunity to close the gap on those above us – and the impact of the other results. A look at the table following them is a little sobering, which some might suggest that is just what I needed after yesterday.
Now we all will have made our preparations for the Peterborough game; obviously for some this meant having set off to get to the ground before the news came through; and on that front the apology from their co-owners accompanied by the offer of a refund or free coach travel for the rearranged fixture is welcomed. Peterborough have also said they will undertake a 'full investigation’ into the postponement. Clearly someone or some people screwed up, but the club’s response to the regrettable affair looks appropriate and to be applauded.
My preparations were somewhat different. Yesterday was the Day of Saint Vincent, the patron saint of winegrowers, which is taken seriously in these parts. The Givry Societe De Secours Mutuel each year select a domain to be honoured with the statue of Saint Vincent. So the day begins with a gathering at the previous year’s selected domain, from where the members of the society carry the statue to this year’s chosen domain, in a splendid procession. This year’s honoured vineyard is Domaine Francois Lumpp, which as chance would have it is about five minutes walk from our gaff: https://francoislumpp.com/fr/accueil/
There followed a couple of hours of appreciation and sampling of the wine, which ended in good time for the game (the members of the society went into the centre of Givry for a slap-up feed). I was by that time really up for the game, as you can imagine, only to get the news. Others, I guess, had it tougher.
So this morning, instead of us having powered into the top 10, we have through no fault of our own slipped back to 14th. Worse, wins for Barnsley and Derby leave the top six looking somewhat distant, with us nine points off sixth and with the task of clambering above eight teams to reach that spot. And there will be a near full round of games on Tuesday night, not including us, so the points gap and numbers could increase further, ahead of a tough game at home to Bolton.
Three wins in a row have greatly improved our situation, but needless to say it is a Herculean task to turn that into the sort of second half of the season to elevate us into the top six. Not impossible, but highly improbable. All of which leaves me at least, in a sober fashion, hoping for a clarification of the ownership situation and with this some insight into what the goals are for the rest of this season and next. The moves made by us so far in the January window add up to a signing until the end of the season and two loan deals, one of which has already become largely irrelevant, along with the departure of two good but out-of-favour players. We’re are rapidly moving towards the closing stages of the window marked by desperate last-minute and often chain moves, all of which is hard to control. We have no idea of whether any more may come in, or if more may depart, or the ownership/investment situation. A glorious win at Peterborough would have put a very different gloss on the weekend; as it is I think another glass is in order/necessary.