Cornet over Scamacca for the fight ahead

It’s going to be a hairy old ride between now and the end of the season. If you don’t like roller coasters then I suggest you find yourself a suitably well-stocked darkened room and lock yourself away until after Sunday 28th May.

A point against Aston Villa wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for – but it’s better than nothing at all. It’s the least we deserved from a game we grew into – and on another day could have won despite giving up the first goal yet again.

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That point took us out of the bottom three we’d dropped into after Saturday’s game – and when the day of reckon comes, being above that dreaded line is all that matters.

We don’t have a game next weekend while all our closest rivals will all be in action, so there is every chance we’ll sink into the drop zone again. No doubt the white flag wavers will be out in full force on social media.

There is nothing we can do about other teams and how they perform. It’s what we can do for ourselves that matters most, as it should be.

We still have the power to define our own season. But we need fighters for the cause and although we didn’t get the three points we sought against Villa, there were signs – and let’s not forget despite all the rhetoric around David Moyes, the players themselves have the most vital role to play – there was a more committed and determined attitude on view.

It was particularly encouraging to see Maxwell Cornet back on the pitch at long last, even though it may have only been for 10 minutes or so – coming as it did on top of his unexpected cameo appearance against AEK Larnaca.

Maxwel’s willingness to work and run and join the fight, even in that short time, was encouraging to see. He maybe needs to brush up a bit on his knowledge of the offside rule – but his enthusiasm was there to be admired. Whereas Gianluca Scamacca continues to frustrate and disappoint.

There will of course be those who claim the Italian is not being given a chance – and despite jogging up and down the touchline 20 minutes or so before the end, Moyes decided against introducing him to the action. Comparisons with Sebastian Haller’s time with us will no doubt continue – although I think they are two different cases.

Scamacca has had his problems with injuries which can’t have helped him or his manager. But this is no time for egos and sulks – and looking at Scamacca in the pre-match warm up yesterday, when he looked less than enthusiastic and hardly broke sweat, he doesn’t look to me a figure determined to prove a point.

Post-match when Moyes was asked about the Italian he said: "We know his physical data has got to be much better than it is. Gianluca has got to get himself back. I think his application is there, we just want the output to be bigger and more". Interpret that as you choose.

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The manager spoke recently about looking into the eyes of his players to determine if they were up for a fight. He’s a lot closer to Scamacca than any of us – so the inference I’m guessing is he’s not seeing what he wants. Whereas Cornet looks ready to roll up his sleeves and jump aboard for the ride.

I know who I’d want right now out there batting for me.

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