FL72 Review: Garry Birtles reflects on weekend games
Sky Sports expert looks at big win for Coventry, dramatic draw at Crewe and defeat for Carlisle
Last Updated: 01/10/13 11:05am
You have to be tight at the back to start. Everybody will tell you, manager or player, you want to start that season well. You want to be consistent, you want to be tight at the back and when you're conceding 15 goals in your half-a-dozen games it doesn't give any confidence to the midfield, or the strikers and everybody gets flattened by every goal that goes in. And when you're missing chances as well then the confidence slides even more.
On Greg Abbott's sacking
I saw his (Abbott) interview a couple of weeks ago and they had lost another game and I've never seen a man so down and dejected giving an interview after a game. He said: 'I don't know how I'm going to raise the players', and you thought alarm bells. So in that respect I'm not surprised to see that happen.
Coventry 2-0 Colchester
They've got a goalscorer in Callum Wilson and that's just what they needed; a player like him to start the season well when they've got that 10-point deficit. But give the manager a lot of credit here, he's got his players up for this challenge and it's going to be very, very difficult indeed.
With a 10-point deduction everybody thought, great, they could be a candidate for one of the relegation positions, but they've gone about it professionally and they've started absolutely fantastically. A goalscorer with eight goals already in that number of games, that can only breathe confidence to the rest of the team.
Crewe 2-2 Peterborough
These are the two teams you want to watch on a weekly basis. They both get the ball down, they both pass it for fun and we know all about Crewe's academy system; the players keep coming of that production line brilliantly.
Darren Ferguson would have wanted a reaction from his players after defeat last week as they've started (the season) particularly well. They are favourites, because they score a lot of goals. He'll be disappointed with the ones they're conceding at the moment, but it's a decent point. To come back from a defeat against a team which play football as Crewe do is not bad.
Crawley 3-2 Gillingham
Gillingham were promoted last season and that can be difficult. Sometimes you come up from a lower division and the momentum keeps going, other times you have a faltering start and it can be a difficult season. But when you're getting red cards in a game - that's the most frustrating thing for managers.
Silly things that don't need to happen, it really frustrates managers, but under Martin Allen you can see Gillingham picking and doing particularly well.
York 0-2 AFC Wimbledon
Players have to respond to somebody like Neil Ardley. You're talking about an ex-player who has come in and will pass his ideas on. They realise he's played the game at a decent level, knows what he's talking about.
The lower you go down the divisions concentration levels have got to be spot-on. AFC Wimbledon have made the perfect start; they're in the top three which nobody expected and it's all about maintaining it now.
They'll be looking forward to the challenge against Chesterfield this week - They've also had a magnificent start to the season and it will be a real test, it will be one I hope they'll be really looking forward to.
Chesterfield 1-0 Accrington
It's always nice to get a victory over your old club. Everybody thought this might be an absolute hammering, top against bottom, but there was only the one goal in it and that's all you have to do.
When you're at the top, even if you're playing against the team at the bottom, they're going to put up a fight. They don't want to be bottom, they want to beat the top team, it was just the 1-0, but that's all Chesterfield needed.
James Beattie has already paid off some of that tax bill for Accrington and for that reason you want him to do well and he's convinced that he can turn it around. It will be a difficult job for him, but he's got the knowledge having played and if he does want to come out of retirement I'm sure he'll do a decent job. He won't be playing every game I'm sure, but he has the knowledge to pass on to the players to hopefully move them out of the bottom two places.