The Guest Blog – Volume XIV

Our regular blogger, Adam Guest, attempts to keep the doom mongers at bay with a spot of statistical analysis.

I don`t think we`ll really know the value of this weeks exertions until Saturday evening after we`ve played Port Vale at home. Valuable away points that are backing up solid home form, which over the last couple of games we`ve started to produce, is a very good combination to have. That said, there are still a number of us feeling as though coming out of tricky away games, 200 hundred miles and just three days apart, surprisingly a tad disappointed to ‘only` be unbeaten. Surely a sign, if any were needed, of just how far the club has progressed over the last couple of years.

Due to a debate I was having on the message boards last night, I went back and had a look at some of our stats for the season so far, and they actually make quite interesting reading. It follows on from a comment Dean Smith made in the press last week about how important it is to score the first goal in a game. So how important is it?

The stats are surprisingly conclusive. In all competitions so far this season we`ve opened the scoring on 10 occasions, which have resulted in nine wins and one draw, Notts County being the only side we`ve scored first against and failed to beat. Contrast that with the 12 occasions we didn`t score first (includes the 0-0 at Crawley), and we`re actually still to come from behind to win, having drew six and lost six in all competitions; and of those six defeats, the Stoke cup match was the only one we managed to score in. Meaning with 40% of the season now gone, we`re still to lose a league game in which we scored a goal. That`s an impressive statistic and also shows how strong our defence is, with only the massive club from down the road having conceded less than us so far this season.

So, to answer the age old question, do we need another striker? Well, no I don`t think we do. The argument seems to be that Westcarr needs replacing with a 20-goal-a-season striker. However if Westcarr keeps up his current level of form all season, which on his current form seems odd given that a goal on Saturday will take him into double figures for the season before the end of November.

Everything feels quite positive for the most part, and while you`ll always get the odd pessimist trying to make a lot of noise about very little, we`re actually going very well and we`re quite rightly heading into the Christmas schedule full of confidence.

Final word must go to the Chambers twins, who`ve shown incredible strength of character this last week to turn in two solid displays following the death of their father last week. Let`s make sure we show them our support and appreciation when they return to the Banks`s on Saturday (without the silly dance).

Onwards and upwards.