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A quiet Monday, then

And as you were getting over the shock of THAT potential second round fixture….

I guess ESPN must have a sense of humour, picking our replay against York to be their Monday Night Football game. I suppose there is something a bit NFL like about why they’ve picked this – us against Franchise would be the equivalent of the Baltimore Ravens against the Indianapolis Colts, and it’s a nice buildup.

I suppose that unlike Baltimore’s team, we could count ourselves lucky that we weren’t literally moved in the middle of the night though.

Anyway, what does this mean? Firstly, those who have the channel can get to see our collective heads fucked if we’re winning. Remember the scenarios mentioned in the last report? At least we have to wait 24 hours if we do dispatch the Minstermen back to Rowntree Mackintosh land.

Secondly, we get a bit of money out of it – £31,900 to be precise. And if we actually win, we would get an extra £18k for it. So while some fans won’t want us to win, the beancounters certainly will.

In a stroke, that’s raised double what people are trying to raise for the East Stand (and struggling to do so, though having an utterly shit name for it doesn’t help matters), and merely proves the old adage that success brings success.

Think about that – if we do win and THAT game happens – it will be on telly (in fact I think the police etc would prefer it so). And we would get a fair wedge from it – the actual game will be a psychological hurdle but the bank balance will be much healthier because of it. Even if it’s us against Cambridge City, it would be tempting for a broadcaster…

So don’t be surprised if rather than waving the white flag for the York game we go out to win it. Remember that our players and management ARE professionals, and they may not quite see it in the same way as the supporters who watch them.

Of course, there’s a third point to be made here. It’s two days after our second trip to Bootham Crescent, and by the time we face them on the Monday, we will know their players by name and know where they live, their favourite TV shows and preferred sexual position.

The risk of fatigue by that stage will be very real, and it could be a strange game anyway – especially if we don’t rotate the squad in the meantime. We will either cancel each other out by that stage in the most tedious 0-0 ever or it will end up something like 7-5.

It cannot be re-iterated enough that the next two games are more important than the MNF one. Drive for show, putt for dough, as they say in tennis, and our bread and butter games will be Exeter and the second of the York trilogy.

Which is why today’s news that we’ve signed Jake Reeves and Jonathan Meades on loan is more than a shot in the arm. Both will be going into tomorrow’s game (which your editor will be at, no promises on a report though), and importantly both are “known” to NA so at least we’re not signing players without knowing something about them first.

The talk of a left back anyway seems to suggest why we’ve taken on Meades, although he seems a pretty versatile player. Reeves does have a good reputation amongst Brentford fans, and in both cases will be up for renewal in the transfer window.

We will need to see what happens with them, needless to say, but if Francomb’s ability to fit in is anything to go by, a good couple of months from these two will help immensely.

And that’s what we need from now until January – the real rebuilding will start then, where we find out exactly how NA wants to set things up. Of course, there is the possibility that we might have already made next summer’s signings already – if Gregs is going to be here for the rest of the season on loan, then that will suggest he’s not wanted at AFCB and would be up for grabs in the summer. Ditto Reeves and Meades.

Exeter will be a good test anyway – it will show how well we can deal with distractions like we have, it will show how much we’ve taken on board how rubbish we apparently were at York, and given that Exeter’s form ain’t all that it’s a damn good time to try and get something.

These are the games where the players have to show how good they are. One would reasonably expect we are capable of getting at least a point down the West Country tomorrow (and yes, it never works like that), but we have to go out and do it.

We’re doing a lot of travelling right now, and with luck it should bond the team some more. But there’s also plenty of thinking time to be had, and now the novelty of a new boss has worn off, the hard work really does start here.

And somehow, that could be as much of a challenge as a hypothetical match-up…