JOHN McGINLAY: Find the right balance and results will follow

First published in Sport

IT was another late goal that caused disappointment at Huddersfield when it looked like we were set for a win.

I have been saying for a few weeks that the performances, on the whole, have been good, we are just not getting the wins.

I saw Sam Ricketts in the paper talking about not killing teams off, and to some extent that is true, because you have to make the most of the spells in matches you dominate and take the sting out of games.

But you never completely dominate, there will always be spells when the opposition is on top and at some point in any game the other team will get chances.

It is how you cope with that.

We have been getting chances ourselves but not putting them away. That always leaves you open to conceding at the other end.

You have to be resolute and maybe it is a bit of a mental thing with us.

There is not a lot you can do to prepare for people missing chances one-on-one, that is just part of the game.

I think we are playing well and just need to see games out, even if it means resorting to putting the ball into Row Z.

It may not be pretty but if it helps you see it out, then it is the right thing to do on occasion.

It is about finding that balance going forward and defending as well.

I tend to agree with what some have said about being positive, though, after watching a lot of the recent games.

I am sure someone is due to get a hiding from us and when that happens, it will breed confidence and give Dougie and the boys something to build on.

The pressure mounts on us with each game we don’t win and the teams at the top do.

We have a run of matches now against teams around us in mid-table and it is important we get points on the board so when we come to play those at the top in the new year, we are close enough to be able to claw them back.

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CHARLTON are the visitors to the Reebok on Saturday and it’s the start of a make-or-break month for us in my opinion.

We need to make inroads into the gap at the top quickly and it is a big month for doing that with so many games.

Charlton at home is a fixture that brings back happy memories for me personally after the final home game at Burnden Park in 1997 when I scored twice.

The current Charlton side are a funny team to gauge, though; they are capable of good wins but also of losing games they shouldn’t.

There are many teams like that in this division and they are not alone and we play a lot of those sides this month.

It is a similar game to Ipswich in many respects in the fact it is one we should be winning if we have any hopes of being at the top end of the division.

I expect Charlton will come here and play a similar way to Ipswich to try and frustrate us.

I just hope we can do better this time and get the win.

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WHAT can you say about our terrific fans away from home this season?

They have been magnificent and were again at Huddersfield last weekend.

They have certainly done their bit each week, especially away from home, in good numbers as well as vocally.

Away supporters are always a bit different I find.

They are likely to be a bit more patient and are the ones who pay good money to follow the team through thick and thin.

I think the attitude is that they have paid a lot of money to go so want to get behind the team as much as they can.

There is no reason why it can’t be like that at the Reebok as well, though, because those fans have also paid money for season tickets.

What I don’t like to hear are boos during a game for players or the team because it does more harm than good.

At the full-time whistle, I have no problem with fans voicing their disapproval if it hasn’t gone to plan.

But being supportive during a game definitely lifts a player, I can tell you that from personal experience.

Hopefully, everyone will be right behind the team and we can get the right result on Saturday against Charlton.

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ON the subject of fans, looking at what happened at the end of the Manchester derby with the coin thrown at Rio Ferdinand and the fan invading the pitch, it is time something was done.

It is an epidemic on the terraces at the minute; if it isn’t racial abuse or violence, it is object throwing.

There has been talk of putting netting up but it seems to me like all the discussion is about how we are going to deal with it rather than the source.

Shouldn’t we be questioning the people who are stupid enough to throw coins that could blind someone; a few inches lower and that might have happened on Sunday.

I have even heard some people suggest it is the fault of the footballers.

But you don’t think about how you celebrate when you score; in the heat of the moment you just celebrate instinctively without thinking about where the opposition fans are most of the time – it just flows.

The authorities need to be looking at stopping people reacting from the terraces in such a bad way.

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I WENT to watch the Under-18s on Monday and was pleased to see them get through in the FA Youth Cup.

It was a spirited Portsmouth side they faced but, while not being their best performance of the season, the young lads dug in to get a 2-1 win.

It’s been a fantastic first half of the season for the U18s and shows how important the academy has become.

I was delighted to see it be granted elite status last week.

It has come on in leaps and bounds and is a reward for the investment Eddie Davies has put into it.

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