A Dip In Form? Yes. A Crisis? Not At All. 

Throughout any season, at any level, most clubs will endure a tricky period, a loss of form, a dip in results.

At around 3:30pm on Saturday 31st October the Gills were sitting pretty.

2-0 up at fellow high flyers Walsall and looking comfortable, a victory would have seen us go four points clear at the summit of League 1.

It’s fair to say things haven’t quite gone to plan since Bradley Dack’s penalty went in.

A crazy minute and then a last gasp concession saw us drop from top to third.

The Gills let a two goal lead slip at Walsall.

No disaster, these things happen, and Justin Edinburgh said after the game that his side had, for the majority of the game, played well.

Two cup ties against sides struggling in the division below were surely a perfect way to get that late defeat out of the system.

Sadly, someone evidently forgot to give both Stevenage and Yeovil the script.

Merely a week and a half later we are out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle, and dreams of a JPT Wembley appearance were dashed in the form of last nights shoot out exit.

So what has gone wrong over the last two and half games, a period that has seen us concede seven times since going 2-0 up at Walsall just ten days ago?

Is it merely a blip, or something more sinister?

For me it is currently still the first.

Yes the performances haven’t been as good as the start of the season, but were we spoilt a little in the wins over, for example, Sheffield United and Wigan?

Were we spoilt by the manner of victories over Sheffield Utd & Wigan?

Stevenage was – according to Justin – by far and away the worst display during his time at the club.

Also, having not suffered back to back defeats – up until September – with us since his appointment, it has now happened twice this season.

We reacted superbly to the Colchester and Barnsely reversals by going on a seven game unbeaten run, and despite going out on penalties to Yeovil it did ensure we avoided a third consecutive defeat inside 90 minutes.

The boys in blue thumped Fleetwood after the Colchester & Barnsley losses.

It also kept intact a home unbeaten run that now stretches to 13 matches going back to last April.

That isn’t the home form of a team in crisis is it?

Bury will provide a massive test of our promotion credentials this coming Saturday.

Our ability to deal with big strikers – something we perhaps haven’t done well recently – will again be judged in the form of Leon Clarke (6″2) and Tom Pope (6″3), who have 16 goals between them to date.

And ironically, or coincidentally, that is the very type of player we ourselves are currently missing with Luke Norris out injured.

But that’s enough worrying about opponents, we need to make sure we once again perform to the levels that have taken us to third in the table after 16 games.

Again, hardly the form of a side in turmoil?

There has been talk on social media about how the system should be changed to such and such, and how this player should come in for this player?

But why?

We are hardly in the middle of an horrific season are we?

We have – excluding penalty shoot outs – lost five games in all competitions this season from 21 played.

Or just 23.8% if you want to look at it another way.

Yes the displays have dropped off a little bit, but you can count our truly bad efforts on less than one hand.

What we need now is continuity and consistency.

Changing things drastically may, in my humble opinion, disrupt the playing staff too much, and that’s the last thing we want.

Justin said at the start of the season that this young team will have difficult periods, and they will learn from the experience.

And yes the last two games have been annoying, frustrating, disappointing.

But that is all.

We are still sat in a great position in the league, and I am sure if we are in the top six come May then the last ten days will be all forgotten.

A dip in form? Yes. A crisis? Not at all.


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