North Stander: There is nothing to fear in this dreadful division, and I believe we’ll go up
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In May, when I believe we will be celebrating our return to the Championship, we should remember the day we won on the beach at Tranmere, writes North Stander Terry Hunt.
Because it is with hard-fought victories like ours on the golden sands of Prenton Park that promotions are gained.
Dreadful conditions, relegation-threatened opposition scrapping desperately for points....many, many decent teams have come a cropper in that situation.
So it is to our revitalised side's enormous credit that they returned home with all three precious points.
The top end of the League One table looks healthier again. Shame Wycombe's last minute winner robbed us of a place in the top two, but we'll be there soon.
It's been a really good week, with the thrilling home victory over Accrington followed by a battling point in terrible conditions at Oxford (a quagmire, not sand this time) and then the win at Tranmere. Seven points from three games - solid promotion form.
I hate to say it, but I can't resist. This return to form has come as Paul Lambert has abandoned his mystifying "rotation policy." We now have a system which works, with players operating in roles which they understand and which suit them. You can see understanding and partnerships developing all over the pitch.
So, well done to Lambert for finally reaching this conclusion. Sorry to be less than grateful, it's just a pity it took him until halfway through the season to realise, when most of the supporters knew two or three months ago. But then...what do we know?!
There are positives throughout the team. We have found a way of playing all three centre-backs, and two of them - Chambers and Woolfenden - now have licence to go flying forward to support the attack, and that's already paid dividends.
Luke Garbutt and Gwion Edwards are ideally suited to the wing-back roles. Inevitably, Edwards has defensive fragilities, but he's only keeping the position warm for Kane Vincent-Young anyway.
The midfield combination looks good, and we can play any two from three of Jackson, Norwood and Keane up front.
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Jackson is having a terrific season. His form - and goals - starkly demonstrate how tough he found the two division jump last season, especially playing in a struggling team. What a finish for the winner at Tranmere!
I thought Lambert played a blinder in putting Norwood on the bench for his return to Tranmere, where he enjoyed god-like status.
That smart move achieved two things. First, it meant Norwood was like a shaken bottle of champagne, just waiting to go "pop." It worked a treat, and his through ball for Jackson's winner was sublime - not something you see very often in this kick-and-rush division.
Norwood's omission also sent a powerful message to the Tranmere players, management and fans. It was as if we were saying "Yes, we know he was your main man, but we're so good we don't even need to start with him."
Another huge positive is the return to fitness of Teddy Bishop. As I've said many times, there is a dreadful lack of quality in this league, including some of the most cumbersome, lumbering defenders I've ever witnessed. A fit and flying Teddy, with his twinkling feet, will absolutely terrify them. Luke Garbutt can look forward to lots of free-kick opportunities around the box.
I described the three points at Prenton Park as precious, and that's especially true when you look at the tough-looking fixtures we have coming up.
In the next few weeks, our opponents include top-of-the-table Rotherham and also Peterborough and Sunderland.
I only say "tough-looking" because those teams are at the top end of the table. But I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until someone proves me wrong - there is absolutely nothing to fear in this dreadful division.
Those teams are only doing well because they are the best of a really bad bunch.
Have you seen a decent side this season? I certainly haven't.
There is a vast gulf in quality between the Championship and League One and that will be a big challenge for us WHEN we go up at the end of this season.
But let's not get carried away - there are plenty of games still to be won in this league - starting with putting Lincoln in their place next Saturday.
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