It was an incredible result against Liverpool. It was a weird game as there were sections of the second half that were like the Alamo, but we should remember they only had two shots on target and we had ten shots on target.
Yet because their possession and passing in midfield was so good, you felt under more pressure than you probably were. We hit the post once, they hit the post once, we cleared one off the line and their keeper made two fantastic saves.
But you have to say well done to the goalscorers. Andy Carroll is really coming good and Michail Antonio is getting better with every game. The fascinating thing for me is against Southampton, Antonio hit the post and Andy put in the rebound and then against Liverpool Andy put a fantastic header in and Antonio nearly scored from the rebound. So we’ve got two good headers in the team.
It was great to see Dimitri Payet return from injury and I thought he was sensational for the time he was on the pitch. He’ll need a few games to get back to his very best but you can see he is a top player.
Unfortunately it looks as though we’ve lost Manuel Lanzini again with a thigh injury. We hope it’s not as long as the last one but the suggestion is it looks like it could be similar.
However, as we’ve got other players back it’s not as devastating as last time. We expect Winston Reid and Victor Moses to be ready for the Wolves FA Cup game on Saturday.
We will put a strong team out for that game and it’s fantastic that we’ve sold out weeks in advance. We priced it to sell it out and a lot of people that wouldn’t normally come to games are coming.
We’re really keen to do well in the FA Cup this year, especially given it is our last at the Boleyn Ground and it would be a fantastic day out for everyone to go back to Wembley. You need a bit of luck as if you draw, say, Manchester City away in round four, you’ll find it very tough. We would like home draws every round and go all the way.
We’ve then got two difficult away games in quick succession at Bournemouth and Newcastle United. Any away points are good so two would be an achievement but I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t get four from those two games. If we’re going to keep looking up the table that’s what we must aim for. So it’s very exciting times.
As we’re into the second half of the season, people are asking if our objectives have now changed. I think we would still like to get into the top six, but I think the injuries have made the top four very unlikely, although it’s still mathematically possible.
I don’t think we’ll end this season as we did last season. Yes we’re roughly where we were at this stage last season but I think this is a better team and we have enough quality to sustain it for the whole season. We will end up with more points than last year.
Any lingering doubts about relegation are now all but gone and we’re probably now more likely to win the league than be relegated! If we can maintain our performance levels and go on an FA Cup run than the first half of 2016 will be very good indeed.