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To be in Europe come February is success to a certain degree but you wouldn't think so, judging by the masses of boo's that rang out at the final whistle of today's Europa League qualifier against Maritimo.
I agree that Maritimo are the equivalent of a Championship side I suppose in standard of play but with our confidence at a low and a mounting injury list, I suppose anything but a defeat was a positive.
The game itself was one to forget with very few bits of skill but Hatem Ben Arfa showed one or two flashes before setting up Sylvain Marveux with a slide rule pass to allow him to nutmeg the keeper.
He went off soon after with a hamstring pull after being caught by a flying challenge.
Papiss Cisse also going off injured with what looked like a recurrence of that back injury that got him in bother with Senegal and Fifa.
Maritimo equalising late on to take the gloss off what would have been a very satisfactory win.
Injuries aren't an excuse but a massive problem that increases by the week with the number of first team absent now standing at eleven and that's not including those that may have picked up knocks or wake up tomorrow with injuries that haven't settled.
A testing time ahead but when is it not at St James'?
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