Happy New Year to you all and I hope 2015 has very started well.

Usually at the start of a new year the word “change” is thrown around like confetti at a wedding.

People proudly talk of their changes, the things they want to start doing and what they want to stop.

The most common things are like starting eating better, doing more exercise and to stop smoking.

In the world of football there is no better change than to start winning and stop losing.

As young kids we are constantly told by parents and teachers that it’s not all about winning. Well I beg to differ.

It’s the business end of the football season and winning is the only thing that matters.

The league tables have taken shape and all the teams know exactly what they are fighting for in the second half of the season.

Whatever goals were set at the beginning of the season are now either achievable or unobtainable.

Over the busy Christmas period when games come thick and fast you can come out of it with points and momentum or without any points and going downhill.

It can change a season, teams can get on a roll and surge from nowhere to be title contenders, but they also can go from challenging for play-offs to a relegation dogfight.

One other change that can have a massive affect on the second half of the season is player movement in the transfer window.

The month of January means the transfer window, and it’s a big chance for managers to inject some life into their teams and find the missing part to the jigsaw.

Some people don’t like the idea of the transfer window, but I do as it brings excitement to the game.

I was signed by Steve Coppell for Reading in the January transfer window of 2007 on deadline day.

It wasn’t the exciting late-night rush just beating the deadline by matters of seconds that you sometimes see on Sky Sports News.

Instead it was a relaxed planned signing that went smoothly from start to finish.

We went on to secure our Premiership status that season, doing it with ease as we had a strong push in the second half of the campaign.

January also brings us the FA Cup and the romance, drama and maybe the fairy-tale.

However, the only stories the third round brought us were repeats.

Sunderland played my old club, Leeds United, in a repeat of the 1973 final, and the game finished exactly the same, with the Black Cats winning 1-0.

Oxford Mail:

  • Sunderland goalscorer Patrick van Aanholt (right) skips past Leeds United’s Rodolph Austin during the Black Cats’ 1-0 win

Liverpool played against old foes Wimbledon, recast as AFC Wimbledon, in a re-run of the infamous 1988 Crazy Gang versus Culture Club final.

There was no shock result this time round, even though Wimbledon made Liverpool work hard for their 2-1 win.

Sheffield United and Rochdale provided two upsets by beating Premier League QPR and Championship side Nottingham Forest respectively.

The next round gives Cambridge United the chance of providing us with a real David and Goliath story after they were drawn against the mighty Manchester United.

Whatever the fortunes in January and the rest of 2015 brings for all the teams, I hope you personally have a very good month and a great year.

Start as you you mean to go on.

In keeping with those words I am off to Nandos for my first visit of 2015.

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