Alan Pardew now has a massive job on his hands, to get the best out of the few strikers he now has left in the final 14 games of the season, after we lost Shola Ameobi last night.
Alan Pardew – last night at Craven Cottage
In a game we had hoped we could have taken all 3 points from, the result was the worst possible, as it allowed a lower level side to gain a full 3 points on us.
And of course a certain Damien Duff got the winner, which made it even harder to take.
Alan though the lads were just a little unlucky last night:
“It was always going to be about the first goal,” “Once they got that they sat on it a little bit and then caught us on the break a couple of times. But up until then we weren’t really troubled – we were solid.”
“It was a game that was tight on a really difficult pitch.” “We could have passed it better in the first half than we did, but I thought we started the second half better and had a good little spell when we could have scored.”
“It didn’t come unfortunately, and then the goal was poor on our part. That was very, very unusual for us as we have defended very well since I’ve arrived.”
Shola Ameobi could also be out for a lengthy spell, and Pardew also thinks the departure of Shola so early in the game hit his match plans last night:
“It’s a massive blow,” “We’re going to have to hope Shola’s injury isn’t as bad as we fear, but losing him early on was significant in the result.”
“We’ve got to work with our strikers now. There’s no Shola, no Carroll and we’ve got to work to make sure we get the best out of the strikers we’ve got.”
It even appears that Alan will now change his tactics to utilize what he has left of his strike force, which isn’t much in Best, Lovenkrands and Ranger.
We’ll see what those tactics are at home on Saturday against Arsenal – but last night was nothing that all 3 points on Saturday cannot put right immediately.
We need about 12 points from our last 14 games to be safe – and in our relegation year, when we went into a terrible slump in 2009, we still secured 10 points from our last 14 league games.
Hope springs eternal.