The most important game of the season so far? Perhaps…
It’s going to be a strange one down at KM tomorrow, and not just because we’re in that weird Easter period where you’re all out of kilter with when the games are. I bet many have forgotten we’re playing tomorrow.
Including our players.
OK, that’s a bit early to be snarky. I’m supposed to be like that after the full time whistle, not before it. Although it has to be said, this is an almost literal six pointer.
We shouldn’t really be in that situation, needless to say. Football may be a game of fine margins, but if we hadn’t lost our discipline defence-wise against both Peterborough and Rochdale (and arguably even Shrewsbury) then tomorrow would be a lot easier to get through.
Then again, that would have been too easy. And AFCW will usually take the hard option if it’s available.
So, we are where we are. We’re all Gillingham fans tonight**, but our fate for this season still remains in our hands. And that definitely includes Fleetwood.
** – prediction time. Franchise will survive and will finish above us.
Looking at the league table right now isn’t for the faint hearted, especially as the games are starting to run out. But a win, or even two, and a set of favourable results elsewhere gives us some much needed breathing space.
The stats that are inconvenient (and therefore the ones that actually matter) don’t lie though – since the heady days of January, we’ve won twice in ten games. And we’ve managed to only draw two more.
I’m sure others have calculated what that will do if we repeat the same form over the final eight games, but I don’t think it will be enough – not unless one or two more teams around us fall off the proverbial cliff.
So we have to simply go for the win in every single game from now on. We may not get three points in all games with that approach, but we’ll definitely succeed in a couple of them, which should keep us in L1.
And having a fucking go is the bare minimum of what I want to hear tomorrow.
It would almost be waving the white flag to discover we only played one up front and went out not to lose against Fleetwood. We’re at home, we need the points, and we’re playing a fellow bottom feeder.
Put in the additional factor of a large crowd tomorrow, that is almost expecting an attacking performance, and we’ve now run out of excuses for a negative approach.
A loss tomorrow won’t relegate us, but psychologically it could cause a lot of damage for the rest of the season. One could argue we still haven’t fully got over February’s slump in form.
Would a draw help tomorrow? Not really, unless all the other shit teams around us end up losing 5-0 or so. It would seem like a missed opportunity, even if we equalised in the 92nd minute.
Needless to say, a win would make Easter just that little bit more happy. It doesn’t even matter if it’s one of the lousiest three points we’ll ever get, just like the way we beat Brizzle Rovers is irrelevant.
Never mind the quality, feel the width.
True, we’ll then have to knuckle down for Monday, but it would help immensely to go to the Keepmoat with three points in the back pocket. A game your editor is likely to be at, by the way. I’ve only seen us lose our last three fixtures I’ve attended, so no pressure or anything.
I would hope that we’re a bit (OK, a lot) more lively in our play than we were against Shrewsbury. Even now, I’m still shocked at how slow we were at times last Saturday.
Especially when comparing it to Pompey v Oxford on Sunday, Karl Robinson’s team are struggling too, but looked a lot more mobile than we did.
Still, that was then and this is now. A week can be a long time in football after all. Our attitude has to be that it’s now eight cup finals – there’s no other way to approach the rest of this campaign any more
Not unless you want to go to Morecambe next season, that is. And besides, aren’t we supposed to be good in once-off games…?