Writer: Mike Field
Date:Saturday February 7 2009
Brad Friedel has hit back at those in the media who have suggested that our rise to third place in the league is more luck than deserved.
With how many wins we have secured lately, despite playing badly, it has led some in the press to class them as lucky wins, undeserved wins and so on.
Fair enough, I've said myself plenty of times after matches recently that we got lucky. It's an appropriate phrase to use when we've picked up three points based on a penalty, or an own goal afterall.
Even Dion Dublin commented the other week that we were benefiting from a huge slice of luck.
I'm not sure if I really care if it is luck, or whether we are creating our own luck to be honest. We've seen the top sides pick off victories against us plenty of times even though they didn't deserve the points. We've seen little teams play just as badly and then get that slice of luck in the final ten minutes that leaves you crying into your pint after the match.
Whichever is it, that luck for us has been long overdue. But more important than that, this luck or ability to secure three points by whatever means necessary, and regardless of how well you play, is a trait that all successful teams hold.
The ability to win games when you can't string two passes together has never been frowned on when the points have been won by Liverpool or Man U. I see no difference for us and maybe that's the very point Brad was trying to make when he spoke to the Sunday Mercury.
"You don`t stumble upon things like that, that comes along with hard work, determination and a very good team spirit.
"If you don`t have all those components then it`s difficult to win football matches.
"It`s not something you stumble upon. It`s not a fluke.
"If we had a lot of lazy players then we wouldn`t be getting the results. The fact of the matter is we don`t have any lazy players. Everyone works very hard in every training session and every match and that`s a very pleasing thing."
As the older head in the dressing room, Friedel is also attempting to keep the younger lads grounded. Don't get carried away with wins, and don't let your confidence drop after defeats.
"I think we`re happy but, as I`ve said all season long, there`s no sense in us looking at a league table or thinking about anything other than the next match.
"In any sport when you`re on a decent run you pick up confidence and football`s no different.
"Saying that, you can never get too carried away and you can never get above your station.
"We have to go out and be very focused each and every time we step out on the pitch.
"We always feel that we can win every game. If we didn`t feel that then there`s no sense in stepping out on the pitch.
"We have a good team spirit right now and we`re finding out ways to win games at the moment."
And long may it continue as far as I'm concerned. The season no doubt contains a few bumps for us and there's no point even hoping we can stay unbeaten until the end of the season. What we need to remember to do is when that defeat comes, to bounce back like we have before.
Date:Saturday February 7 2009
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