With the sweetness of seeing United and Chelsea crash out of the FA Cup comes the bitter realisation that 6th spot in the Prem isn't going to guarantee UEFA footy next year, but instead a spot in the Intertoto Cup.
This isn't bad news on it's own, in that the Intertoto games seemed to give us a competitive edge when the Premiership started this time around. However, it does mean that it's going to be harder to get there. Beating Villa is now a must, and no mean feat at that.
Fulham last week was a huge blow to us. 2 points dropped big time, and we need to pick things up from here on in. March and May give us a potential 15 points, as we have West Ham (A), Wigan (H), Reading (A), Derby (H), and finally Birmingham (A). I'm not saying we'll pick up all 15, but on paper that's a nice set of fixtures to have on the run in.
Trouble is, smack bang in the middle of all that is a tough April. Spurs (H), Liverpool (A), Man United (H), and Portsmouth (A) are all going to be tough. If things swing our way, there are definitely points to be had. But we could also have a very bad month. The test of character starts here.
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