… and the collective mood already seems a little bleak.
The most important thing about t’Stanley was that we didn’t lose it. Getting that first point on the board is always a massive one, after all.
Yeah, we should have won it. Yeah, they were down to ten men and we couldn’t seem to handle it. And yeah – there’s plenty of issues that are pretty obvious.
I was at Brentford/Reading this weekend, so didn’t see the contest, but did people over-react afterwards? I say that, because reading some more sober analysis it seems we played OK and it was only being a man up that scuppered us.
That’s an issue in itself, and probably one that explains why we’ve surrendered the lead in the last two league games (I’m not counting the Franchise Carabao cup).
Which can be summed up in a single word – character.
Letting it slip against Rotherham so late on, folding against Fleetwood and failing to win with a goal/man advantage on Saturday suggests we’re lacking too much in it.
Losing the ilk of Nightingale and Wordsworth doesn’t help, and we have a lot of youngsters who right now are being expected to sink or swim PDQ.
That’s not their fault, nor is it the management team who are still (literally) paying for last season’s neglect.
But unless somebody is persuaded to put money into the transfer kitty instead of Seedrs in the next two weeks, and we’re able to make just one further addition, this current bunch are going to have to figure it out themselves.
The good thing is that character is built, not bought.
While we’ve lost too many leads in recent games, the fact that we’ve gone ahead to begin with is something. We must be doing at least one thing right to not only do that in the last three competitive fixtures, but to have at least some period of the game where we’re on top.
This with a eunuch-esque strike force that we’ll likely have to scrape by with this season.
The most important game that’s upcoming is the one where we’ll take the lead and for once hold onto it.
That could be tomorrow at Portman Road (though it probably won’t be). It could be at the Stadium of Light on Saturday (ditto). It might be our next home game, or even the circus on the 7th September.
And wouldn’t that be a confidence booster?
So maybe we’re not quite as bad as the post-game reaction after t’Stanley suggests? It’s certainly too soon to write this season – or this current squad – off, because three games in is often no guide to your season ahead.
Exhibit A from last year, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
Yes, we could do without the two most difficult away journeys in the space of four days. But they’re both effectively free hits, because nobody expects anything out of them.
It’s more important we don’t get crucified in either of them, not only for goal difference but for morale.
Which is something that feels quite fragile at the moment. I know Saturday didn’t sound great, but the negativity afterwards surprised me.
I guess that was a hangover from losing on penalties to Franchise. In the grand scheme of things, that outcome doesn’t matter, although playing badly in large parts of that game left a bad taste for many.
Though had it been a league fixture, we would have been saying how we managed to get a point right at the death.
I’m not bothered whether Walter had a pre-match laugh with Dean Lewington, nor whether he shook hands etc with Tisdale. Football is a small world, and you can’t make too many enemies within it.
The only people who care about that sort of thing are our own supporters. 99% of those in football are there because it’s a job, and you never know who you will end up working for.
And that includes our current management team.
Though it’s fair to say our manager is starting to get a couple of brickbats now. True, there’s some who didn’t want him there to begin with, and who will secretly be quite happy if he got the elbow.
Whether he did make bad substitutions against Accy or not, he’s not the first or the last manager who will do that this week.
He’ll still get the benefit of the doubt from most fans this season, as he should considering the budget constraints he’s been made to work under. But his honeymoon from last season is about to be over…
As is the pre-season optimism. The penny has dropped that the needed rebuilding work of the squad has only been partially completed.
The last two seasons have been unpleasant to go through, and there’s already a growing sense that 19/20 is going to be another campaign to be endured. Not enjoyed.
And while the aim of this season is to make sure we’re in NPL as a L1 side, which I think is more than achievable – at what cost?
The need for a shot in the arm from somewhere is already apparent. A new signing is unlikely, though there’s always the (slim) possibility that the board might actually give Walter just a little bit more backing.
A win or two – especially one in the next two games – will lift the mood a bit. Maybe not for long, given the mentality of some of our supporters, but it will be a boost.
And off the field, a sense of progression on the building site next to Copper Mill Lane too will help the mood.
I note that the Seedrs tally is slowing down now. There’s still more than enough time (46 days as I write this) for the magical £2m+ mark, and I expect another boost when September comes and people work out how much they can afford.
This is probably going to be the most difficult period for it, however. There’s only so many small investors around, token sums of a tenner (or even fifty quid) aren’t going to push it, and it’s still too soon for a big second push.
The nearer it gets to the deadline, the more I expect the bigger sums to come in. Especially if we’re still short of the £2m and the angle then becomes “if we don’t get it we can’t go home”. Which I expect is bullshit, but we do like the cattle prod approach.
To be fair, it’s been going less than three weeks, and £1.65m isn’t to be sniffed at. But right now, one suspects we need a couple of people to decide they want to become Vice Presidents….