Danny Coles: Morecambe win showed the strength we have in our squad
OH! I do like to be beside the seaside, I do like to be beside the sea!
Or, at least, I did on Saturday when we made the long trip to Morecambe and ran out 3-0 winners, not only avenging our loss by the same scoreline at St James's Park back in August in the process, but also recording a club record 10th away win of the season – with the promise of more to come.
It was, I thought, an excellent performance from which we can take a lot of confidence. All the more so when you consider that, while the Shrimps may be positioned firmly in mid table, they have an enviable home record and had not lost at the Globe Arena since mid September.
On top of that, we were without a few key personnel – Alan Gow, John O'Flynn, Matt Oakley and Liam Sercombe – and, in the circumstances, it's testament to the calibre of our squad that we secured such a good result.
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I felt we were always fairly comfortable though there was a short spell while Jimmy Keohane was off the pitch having a nasty cut attended to when the Shrimps put us under a bit of pressure.
In actual fact, Jimmy was absent for a good few minutes having his boy band good looks patched up and at one point I was shouting across to the bench to see if he was ever coming back!
Tis said afterwards it was a fantastic team effort and while I don't disagree, I did think Tommy Doherty's contribution was massive and especially deserving of praise. For me, the Doc ran the show, pulling more strings than Jodie Marsh's agent – take, for instance, his pass for Jamie Cureton's opener which was right out of the top drawer.
Talking of Curo, it was great to see him back on the scoresheet. Circumstances have conspired against lately and it had been a while since he scored from open play. Of course, being a top striker, I never doubted he would be back among the goals sooner rather than later but, all the same, I'm glad his barren-ish spell is over.
Jamie was quick to let us know after the game that he's back and, in his words, ready to 'carry the team for the rest of the season'. Let's hope he doesn't disappoint!
Arron Davies was our other goalscorer on Saturday in what was, I thought, his best game for some time. Arron's been on the periphery since getting injured back in the autumn but he's bided his time and, back in the starting line-up, showed just what he is capable of.
He told me afterwards that he's feeling very fit again and, that being the case, I think we can expect plenty more from him between now and the end of the season.
As I've said once or twice before, Pat Baldwin happens to look upon me as a something of an inspiration and is, it seems, a little envious that his star doesn't always shine as brightly as mine!
Whenever I'm invited to attend an event and he isn't, I know I'll hear about nothing else for days afterwards. Paradoxically, on the odd occasion Pat is asked to make an appearance somewhere, you can bet your bottom dollar he'll moan for very nearly as long about that!
Such is his determination to follow my lead, as you may have seen, he's just started penning his own column in the Echo's sister paper, the Western Morning News.
Needless to say, he's still got plenty to learn – if he's got any sense he'll be reading this now to pick up a few tips – but be that as it may, his first few efforts were rather more interesting than I feared they might be. I say this as the unfortunate individual who rooms with Baldo on away trips and now knows every last detail of the house he has just bought in Okehampton despite having not yet visited it. If I'm ever struggling to get to sleep then I simply steer the conversation in this direction and Bob's your uncle.
As you're probably aware by now, this weekend's home game against Accrington has been brought forward to tomorrow (Friday) night.
While the move has nothing to do with our poor home form – rather it is, I understand, an experiment to see how popular Friday night fixtures might be – maybe it will provide the catalyst we need to turn around our fortunes at St James's Park.
Certainly, the atmosphere tends to be better under the floodlights and, as far as I'm concerned, that can only help. If, come 7.45pm tomorrow, the pitch has firmed up a bit and there's a little more zip than there has been in our last few home games then that can only heighten our chances further.
With tricky-looking away fixtures at third-placed Burton and table-topping Port Vale next up, we really must look to be taking all three points.
Do, please, get along to the Park and help us on the way if you possibly can!