Monday, 13 February 2012

Keeping it simple

And so we returned back to the pitch, as the cold lifted and the Sale train kept on rolling. Four stops now until safety, Six stops until home. That translates to 4 more wins for the league title and 6 more wins to finish us off. The truly astute of you will have recognised that this means we came away with another victory on Saturday. You would be correct, 3-0 was the score. It was a strong showing for us, satisfied was the outcome, though we fall short of ecstatic.

Why?! I hear you cry. Well, 3-0 is all well and good (with 2 from yours truly, more on that later though) but 3-0 was all we managed against opposition that offered pretty much no threat. Now I feel sorry for the opposition seeing as their captain decided to bin them off at half time when they were 3 down leaving them with just 10 men (if this happened on our team that captain would turn up at training only to find coach waiting to insert the match ball somewhere it would certainly obstruct play). The opposition were left with little choice but to play for pride and keep the score down. They managed that and fair play to them, I should have probably scored at least one more but I'm not going to let that get me down. I was the proud recipient of a man of the match award for the first time this season, and I'm going to use my contribution as a metaphor for the road ahead.

Saturday was a typical Sale win this season, do the damage early doors and wear the opponent down through goals or passing and then toil to add to the tally later on. We play our best stuff when we play it simple. It's a common misconception that playing it simple is easy. You have to work hard. You have to move when you pass, get free for an easy ball and know what you want to do with it when you get it, anticipating what those around you are going to do. It takes concentration, fitness, and determination. A simple rule to follow is to know where the easy pass should be, front and square. If you're on the ball look front and square, nothing on? pass back. It you're off the ball get free and get front or square either to the man on the ball or to the man front or square to the man on the ball. Repeat in rapid succession whilst moving towards goal. Score. Win game. Repeat weekly. Top the table. Write blog. Simple!

I scored two of the simplest goals ever on Saturday. Standing on the back post I got the ball hit at me and then put it in from less than a yard out... twice. Now it did help me that my marker was having a nightmare and I did very nearly get a third the same way (I assume he got a bit of a dressing down at half time because the penny seemed to drop in the second half). But just being in the right place, at the right time, to receive the right ball is all we need to do to win this league and I will be waiting on the back post and the penalty spot for all of the remaining games to make sure that is exactly what happens and I hope the other lads do the same in their respective positions.

Next week takes us back to Wales in a difficult away trip against a side who are always strong at home. We didn't travel well at all the last time we crossed the border, falling to our only loss of the season. This makes the trip a potential banana skin and I'm hoping we'll be heading out there with a real sense of purpose and wanting to hammer home our determination... in as simple a way as possible of course! Nothing is more important than getting those wins, our fate is in our hands and that is always the best way to be!

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