Yes. I am still here. I've just been quite busy this week at home and at work. I've felt so much more positive about football following last weeks win over Villa but we've still such a long way to go. The Club have been working hard to get people to travel to the Riverside for the huge game against Middlesbrough. On paper you'd think we've got a good chance of getting something, but 'Boro are on a good run of form. Undefeated in six games thay have won three and drawn three in the league and cup since losing 0-2, home to Everton on 1st January. That said their home form is the second weakest in the Premier League with 13 points from a possible 36 (three wins, four draws). Only Derby have fared less well with six points from 12 games. Let's not dwell too long on our well documented trouble away from home, we owe 'Boro after losing to them at home earlier in the season in a game that probably set the tone for our season. I think our Premier League future will be more down to our results at home over the rest of the campaign, but it would be a huge boost to even claim at point tomorrow.
I've only caught the odd game here and there but the African Cup of Nations has been a breath of fresh air amid Premier League talk of chasing the big bucks and taking the game overseas. The four quater-finalists (Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast & Egypt) have all shown how strong African football has become and I'm genuinely looking forward to the final. The ANC has also been an opportunity for the BBC to try out some fresh faces to football punditry and I have been particularly impressed with ex-Fulham cult hero Leroy Rosenior. Whilst I have to admit to getting a small laugh from his billing as ex-Sierra Leone manager (2007) I really like Leroy and have been impressed with the way he has spoken. Alongside Garth Crooks, who never fails to make himself look a complete idiot (right back to his days as a reporter on LBC radio), Leroy has come across as the consumate professional. He has clearly done his research on the players and actually talks knowledgeably about the games. I hope the BBC take note of this and don't feel obliged to continue using jokers like Crooks and Lawrensen just because they played for big clubs.
If you're travelling up to Teeside on "Roy's Express" have a great day, cheer on the boys and say hi to Billy for me! Come on you Fulham!!