Firstly I would like to welcome the directors, management, players and supporters of Leicester City to Selhurst Park this afternoon.
It has been wonderful to see the Foxes do so incredibly well and they are remarkably still in the hunt to win the title. I have been saying for a few years that someone unexpected will break into the top four but Leicester look like they could do even better.
Clearly they have a lot of ability but it takes a special kind of belief to produce the results they have. I hope they are on the end of a defeat today, but go on to win the league and prove to everyone that there is a point to supporting clubs outside of the traditional status quo.
Last Friday night at Reading was another wonderful evening in our recent history, and the boys performed brilliantly. Their keeper had a fantastic game and you could have been forgiven for thinking that our recent bad luck could haunt us again, but credit to the players who stayed calm and showed their quality when we needed it most.
Now we have the chance to go to Wembley again a little under three years after our play-off final success, and how ironic is it that we’re going up against Watford once more. That day was a special one and I am sure that in five weeks’ time it will be just as big.
The victory at the Madejski Stadium will hopefully be a nice confidence-booster as we head into today’s game knowing that we have to turn around our league form as soon as possible. We have had some misfortune over the past few weeks, with Sunderland and Liverpool both denying us the opportunity to pick up four precious points with injury-time goals.
There has been a lot of talk of video evidence following the penalty decisions against Liverpool and Reading but watching the stop-start nature of rugby these days, I for one am against it. I think the referee is the best person to make these decisions, but I do think we need better clarification of the phrase ‘contact’.
The current rule states ‘any contact’ and I think we need to look at what level is required for contact to be a foul. For me it should have to impede the player to the extent they cannot stay on their feet or maintain possession of the ball, as currently a light touch and the player falling over seems to be becoming the norm and is making things incredibly difficult for referees.
Despite our league form, our recent performances have shown there is not a severe need to panic just yet, despite what the national press would have you believe. I’m still fully confident that Alan and the squad will turn things around in the next few games, as the positivity surrounding our cup run can only help improve things at the training ground.
After today there will only be three more home matches at Selhurst Park, so make sure you get behind the boys this afternoon and roar them on like you did so emphatically eight days ago.