Leamington lose 3-5 at home to a team lower down the table; Charlton go down 3-1 at Carlisle; and then yesterday Coventry Blaze lost 1-2 at home to the Cardiff Devils. It wasn't so much the fact that they lost, but the way in which they lost. It was a lacklustre performance against a Welsh side who were well organised, but lacked flair, leading to a poor quality game.
The moaners are out in force after Charlton's defeat at Carlisle. Some people who went whose judgement I trust thought that we were poor, so there are real grounds for concern. However, as usual at Charlton, the doom and gloom is overdone. Moaners are pointing out that we are 18th in the form table, but these are the same people who were forecasting relegation at the beginning of the season.
Parky has come under criticism for using loan players, some seeing this as a return of the bad old days of Pardew. But Parky brought in loan players because of injuries which were bound to unsettle the side.
Some fans seem particularly upset that he didn't use Randolph. There is always a vein of sentiment at Charlton in favour of players who have come up through the ranks. I haven't seen Randolph enough to form a view of him, but I have seen the three goals and I doubt whether Elliot could have saved them. Indeed, the two from long distance would have tested Deano in his prime.
There is, of course, a real question about why Kavanagh was allowed so much space to let loose his thunderbolts and Racon is a new target for grumbling with the accusation of show boating.
Our biggest problem remains our strike force. Burton is a decent enough player at this level, but he is playing with an injury. He needs to have his operation sooner rather than later, but who do you replace him with? McLeod has nuisance value, but has difficulty in finding the back of the net. I am not sure how far McKenzie is from returning from injury, although he looks like a player who is injury prone.
Of course, some fans say that the solution is 'simples': bring back Chris Dickson from Bristol Rovers. I have never really been convinced by Dickson. I thought it was a big ask to made the jump from his level of the non-league. As for arguments that he has been 'banging them in' at Bristol Rovers, the Pirates seem to have faded recently.
Perhaps the one good thing that will come out of this is a more realistic assessment of our prospects. Leeds have booked one automatic promotion place from the division and there are plenty of good contenders for the others, not least Norwich. MK Dons we shall see about when we play them in a fortnight, although I actually think that this is a match we shall win.
At the beginning of the season, I thought we would be somewhere between mid-table and the fringes of the play offs. 2nd in the actual table (which is still the one that counts) is acceptable for the beginning of November. I think that a play off place is a realistic aspiration.
We do need a proven striker and there is the hope that we could get a young fringe player from a higher level at Christmas. Of course, that would mean a loan, but there is nothing wrong with a loan if it meets a need.
In the meantime, I would make more use of Mooney while we have him, loan player or not.