January came around at the end of a very sticky part of the season for us. A tough run of fixtures alongside some sub par performances left us with only 3 wins in 3 months.
My plan was to strengthen the team whilst clearing out some dead wood to free up much needed resources in the wage budget.
Sadly we were dealt a serious blow when Premier League Brighton and Hove Albion declared their interest in our #1 Goalkeeper, Allsop.
Allsop has been almost an ever present for us since the beginning of last season, only making way for cup games and the occasional injury.
They offered 200k for him and he was desperate to speak to them and who am I to stop one of my team realising their dream to play in the Premier League?
Better add a Goalkeeper to the shopping list.
Lets start with a list of the departures.
Excluding Alsop, there were no massive fees received, however the wages cleared from the wage budget were key in being able to bring in some fresh faces.
Three Loanees joined us for the rest of the season
N'Diaye is a defender who can play centrally or as left back.
Louie Barry is a Wide right player who can also play up front.
Viljami Sinisalo has been signed to replace Alsop in goal.
Chay Washbourne is another wide player but at 16 years of age will go immediately into the U23's.
If he gets anywhere near his potential he will be the bargain of the century at 3.9k.
Ian Davenport is a Striker who was signed from League 2 Wigan after impressing the scouts with his performances at the tender age of 16. He had 2 goals in 5 games and has fantastic potential.
We started another busy month with the 3rd round of the FA Cup. A home game against Middlesbrough. A 2-2 draw with Boro scoring in the 91st minute set up a replay neither team wanted.
Back on the road straight afterwards and an away trip to Wales awaited, a thrilling 5 goal first half was followed by 45 minutes of nothing as we lost 3-2.
A solid 3-1 home victory over local rivals Luton spread some cheer amongst the club. Jay Stansfield grabbed his first goal for the club after finally getting an opportunity after an injury to Kashket.
The unwanted FA Cup replay saw us lose 2-1 in an energy sapping trip to the north east. Its a shame to bow out of the FA Cup in Round 3, however i fell we did not need the extra fixtures and gives us an opportunity to solidify our league status which is the main objective of this job.
Another late goal saw us throw away 2 points yet again, this time away at Preston. Stansfield with his 2nd goal in 2 league games had put us 2-1 up only for another 91st minute equaliser.
Back to back 1-1 draws with Nottingham Forrest and Swansea saw out January. Stansfield deputising fantastically for Kashket with another goal for make it 3 in 5.
With only 1 league defeat in 5 it was a marked improvement over the last few months and it leaves us in 14th place with 35 points.
I am hoping that our early season performances have given us enough of a head start against the pack fighting for relegation and the improvement of the performances gives us hope of another stress free survival.