The Tony Gale Column

Wednesday 11 September 2019 16:00

As we get ready to recommence the Championship campaign, I reckon we can be fairly satisfied with our position of sixth in the table after six outings. The important thing was to be up and around it. You don’t want to be cut adrift and have to spend the season making up ground. I don’t think anyone’s going to be running away with the league this season. It’s been a solid enough start to proceedings, but I do think there’s more to come. We’re enjoying lots of possession, but I would like to see us create more chances. I think Scott will be wise to that as well.

The new boys seem to have settled in well. Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro arrived with a lot of quality and it’s great that they’ve been able to hit the ground running. Harry Arter will be disappointed with his red card in Cardiff, but otherwise he’s been very good. We haven’t seen an abundance of Bobby Decordova-Reid and Harrison Reed, but they’ve also done well when they have been on the pitch. Importantly, they’re boys who have all been here before, so they know what it takes to succeed in this division. Michael Hector is another who knows the Championship well, so his official arrival in January will further strengthen the group.

It’s a testing return to action this Saturday, as West Brom will be one of the teams up the top, no doubt about it. They’ve still got some Premier League quality players, and they’ll continue improving the more used to the division Slaven Bilic gets. My old teammate Julian Dicks is a coach there now with Slaven. I spoke to Dicksy the other night and he was saying how difficult they’ve found the division and how every point you gain is a hard earned one.

After that we’re off to Sheffield Wednesday, which is never an easy trip. I commentated on their first game against Reading, and I was impressed with them. Lee Bullen was in charge then but of course Garry Monk’s taken over now, so they’ll be hoping to have that new manager bounce. They’ve got some experienced players in there, and they’re especially strong in midfield. It’s away from home, and Hillsborough is what I call a proper football ground. It’s a big club and that will be one of our more difficult fixtures this season.

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