Back to Business
The FA Cup and weather have left us with games in hand - now while all of us would prefer the points on the board that teams above us on more games might have - I'd rather be playing those games now with the momentum the Coventry and Sunderland games have given us.
West Ham is the CLASSIC 6-pointer. A win for Pompey at home (and we've beaten Liverpool 2-0 at Fratton this season so no one should worry us) would put us 2 points behind AND leave us with a game in hand over the Hammers. West Ham may be breathing the sigh of relief Pompey would love to feel right now - but looking at their striker targets (Benjani and Beattie) I'm not too worried by that - I wouldn't mind a striker of their ilk but if Utaka keeps his form and with FP and Aruna coming back from the ACON we should be in reasonable shape up front.
Around us, of the bottom 7 clubs only West Ham have a better goal difference - and by more than 7 goals in all cases. Bolton have wasted their two games in hand and remain 4 points above us and Hull have played two more are only 5 points ahead. Let's face it - a win against the Hammers and we're not just in it, we've got momentum, games in hand and better goal difference - we're in good shape to get out and survive the season.
The key has got to be who is leaving, who we get in - the ending of the ACON - and how these new and returning players bed in - we cannot afford too long a transition period.
We're significantly better off points-difference-wise than we were during our last great escape and Hull and Wolves are both looking very vulnerable. Fact is we face a tough run with sh*tteh, Fulham and Manure away after West Ham - three points from those would be fantastic - all three to be played between 31st Jan and 6th Feb.
Feb then becomes an important month: Sunderland at home (we should be pushing for 3 pts) - Scum in the cup - Home to Stoke (3 pts it should be) - Away to Burnley (again if we're going to stay up it HAS to be 3 pts).
March is a bitch with Liverpool and Tottenham away and Chelsea at Fratton - but wedged in there is ANOTHER vital 6-pointer as we host HULL at Fratton (3 pts a must).
Then, it's not a bad run in - though trying to get something at Everton on the last game of the season could be tough - but 4 of the last 6 are easily winnable with two of them absolute 6-pointers: Blackburn at Fratton (it has to be Heinz - I mean 3pts), away to Bolton (so tough but we've got to be looking to take something from the game) - home to Wolves (God I hope this game makes us safe) - otherwise it's getting something away at Goodison!
We should be looking for:
West Ham (h) 
City (a) 
Fulham (a) [1?]
Man Utd (a) 
Sunderland (h) 
Stoke (h) 
Burnley (a) 
Chelsea (h) 
Liverpool (a) 
Hull (h) 
Tottenham (a) 
Blackburn (h) 
Wigan (a) [1?]
Villa (h) 
Bolton (a) [1?]
Wolves (h) 
Cumulative [22 points......] Which means we need a win at Goodison [3 - 25 and safety] ...
O.... M.....G.... But on my reckoning, with 36-38 being enough for safety we need 24 points - 8 wins from 18 games... lets start chalking them off!
I'm going to be sooooo much more grey in 13 weeks time.
Written by jim4pompey.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.