There is a time old tradition within retail that after Christmas retailers sell the stuff they couldn't get shot of or stuff they no longer want going into the New Year. They call this the January Sales, in football it is simply know as the January Transfer Window.
I decided I needed cover at Right back and also in the centre of midfield. There was a lack of depth and the likes of McCarthy, White and Gape were being over used and tiredness was creeping in.
The budget was small, around 200k so I was cautious to ensure I didn't waste what we had left.
The loan Market was lacking of any quality and it looked like we would be going into the rest of the season without any back up. Then we were offered to re sign a former player......
Luke O'Nien was a fan favourite during his first spell with the club and is the epitome of a utility man.
He can play in the centre of the park as well as right back and as right wing back. Offering us cover in multiple positions. Exactly what we looking for.
January started with a home defeat to Middlesbrough at Adams Park which was quickly forgotten as we focussed our attentions to the FA Cup.
We were entering into the competition in the 3rd round for the first time in our history and have a wonderful love affair with this competition having defied all the odds in 00/01 to Reach the Semi Final.
Stoke were the visitors. Again there were changes to the competition due to the ongoing pandemic. There were no replays this season with the game going to extra time and penalties.
We took full advantage of this and squeezed by Stoke with a 1-0 win in extra time. A 94th minute Fred Onyedinma goal settling the tie.
After the game the draw for the 4th round took place, we have been drawn away at Premier League Champions Liverpool. A repeat of that famous 00/01 semi final.
First we had to concentrate back on the league. Back to back away games put strain on the squad again. A goal fest at the newly named Kiyan Prince Foundation stadium as we lose 5-2 to QPR.
Too many times this season we have been let down by conceding silly goals. Scoring away isn't easy when playing our system and to get 2 and not take anything away from it is disappointing.
Stern words with the back Five didn't appear to pay off as we went 1-0 down early at Hillsborough, an own goal from Alsop in the early moments was a huge set back.
Luckily we rallied in the second half and Goals from Onyadinma and a collectors item from Knight at centre back secure the comeback and a precious 3 points against Sheffield Wednesday, who were still struggling after having 6 points deducted at the start of the season.
It was time for the biggest test of the season. An away trip to the World, European and English Champions, Liverpool.
As expected they made changes for what they perceived as an easy day out.
First half goals from Origi and Jota were enough to see us out of the FA Cup in the fourth round.
We gave everything and should be proud of our performance, the was highlighted by Juergen Klopp himself in his post match interview.
A home draw with Birmingham followed and an outstanding performance at West London rivals Brentford as we beat them 5-1 on their patch.
I though that result at Brentford would be a catalyst for a really good decent run of results to propel us up the table.
Sadly it appeared to do the opposite. A winless February was ahead of us as 1 draw and 5 defeats set us back massively.
A poor run of results dragged us back to the relegation pack. The system of countering has appeared to have been found out a tad. A tactical shuffle needed for March and April to ensure survival.
Its going to be a tough end of the season from here and we only have ourselves to blame.