Monday, 21 April 2014
Sun is Shining.
I do hope you have had an excellent weekend.
Clear blue sky outside. A rarity for a UK Bank Holiday Monday.
Unfortunately, I cannot make the visit to Loftus Road this afternoon, due to family commitments but I wish all my fellow fans who are making the short trip, a fantastic away day and a safe return, with three points.
I will be following via all available media, in anticipation that the encouraging performance we gave against Joey Barton et al, in the home fixture at the tail end of December (a 0-0 draw), coupled with the fact that we are now a far better team, give us the edge over The Hoops, who have been stuttering of late.
In team news, Cassetti is available for selection following his suspension. Anya and Forestieri will probably miss out and although Sannino has mentioned changes, with Tozser being the only guaranteed starter, I can't see the back three being broken up for this game. Perhaps Pudil will come in for Riera out wide (the ex Liverpool man had been short on first team football, before he linked up with the Hornets).
Other possible rotations are Battochio for McGugan and Murray for Abdi, who could be rested.
2012/13's player of the season has played far more minutes than we could have hoped for, following his most recent (and seemingly permanent) return. Perhaps, in what is likely to be a physical contest, caution with Almen is advisable. He has been brilliant since coming back. He'll be on the bench at the very least and will be a potent weapon at whatever point he enters the game.
Before I sign off, a quick word about Manuel Almunia. In my first post, a few days ago, I was perhaps a little harsh on him. When his head is right, he is a very decent keeper. As an ex-goalkeeper myself and with my son following his father down the same footballing path, we both have seen the replay of the brilliant reaction save from Manu against Ipswich, to stop us going 2-1 down, several times. It wasn't clear on the day, from our view in The Rookery, whether he had got a touch to push it up and off the crossbar. He of course had and it was that moment that gave us the platform to go on and win the game.
He was very effective throughout the 90 mins and although goal scorers always get the plaudits, moments like the one I mention, deserve to be held up as match winning. I hope Almunia can find continued confidence and stability, as he will save us a big task in the summer, if he does so.
Here's hoping today is Yellow!
Speak to you all again soon.