*Removes foot from testicle region*
I know we haven’t won since December 7th, that we’ve not even got a point since 26th February, and that the longer it goes, the harder it gets to turn it around.
But this hurts.
Losing in the 92nd minute or so sucks at the best of times, doubly so when it turns out we actually played quite well.
And when you find out that both Fleetwood and Morecambe won, any dark clouds in the sky around this morning are over you.
It’s another blow, in a season full of them. And you do have to wonder how many more hammerblows this squad can take.
It’s taken a toll on our support, so you can guess what it does to those who can actually do something about it.
I wonder what MB is really thinking this morning, as he wakes up now knowing what he’s got to deal with.
His post-match interview is an interesting one though, almost like he’s saying shit happens and let’s move on.
I’ve been in enough press conferences with Bowen at Reading to know he’s one who doesn’t get too bogged down in jargon.
This bit caught my eye though:
A few minutes earlier Ayoub had a one-on-one with their keeper and with their goal perhaps it was a bit of mental fatigue that has caused people to switch off.
Bold bit mine.
I don’t really want to rail too much on MR now he’s gone, but did he ever talk about “mental fatigue”, which can be quite common in young players?
Did he even acknowledge it existed?
It’s interesting MB has already picked up on the whole switching-off thing, because that’s where a lot of our on-field problems have been this season.
I’m thinking back to the Cheltenham and Doncaster games, where we had the football equivalent of the batting collapse.
If we had a bit more mental sharpness at the right time, then our previous Head Coach would still be here.
Of course, identifying that is one thing – doing something about it PDQ is another.
It’s one area where the lack of on-field leadership and experience throughout the season is biting us on the arse.
Where’s the strong character on the field
yelling at telling players just to focus for one or two more minutes?
Will Nightingale? He’s one of the worst offenders for brain farts. Woodyard? Kalambayi? Somebody else I’ve missed out altogether?
The obvious one is Lee “Roy” Brown, who was tellingly on the bench** yesterday.
** – and a step in the right direction – we’re referring to the subs as the “bench” again on official social media.
It’s odd he’s sitting with splinters up his arse, even under a new manager giving everyone a clean slate.
Maybe he’ll be back for Tuesday against Charlton?
Your editor was at the Valley yesterday, by the way, and Johnnie Jackson reckoned they wasted too many chances.
Personally, I though they were a bit lacklustre, and that Lincoln deserved their win.
The upshot is, from what I saw the Addicks are beatable.
We’ll have to overcome our propensity for switching off, and if they hit form on Tuesday we’re fucked.
At the same time though, it’s a dead rubber for them, and we should at least have the motivation to get at least a point.
It’s notable that people are a little bit more positive from yesterday, despite the result.
True, it couldn’t have got any lower than it did after Cambridge, but I believe those who were there at both games comparing and contrasting.
And it’s important to remember that despite the points gap, and despite not winning in four months – there is still hope.
We’ve got six games left, although six cup finals is more accurate.
Obviously, we have to find a win from somewhere if we’re to be a L1 side again next season.
Our run-in might be better than others around us. Gillingham and Fleetwood helpfully play each other on Easter Monday, for starters.
I’m not going to suggest we’ll need to win half our remaining games to stay up, although that’s probably true.
You have to assume we’ll need to beat Fleetwood on the 23rd April at their place to stand a hope of staying up.
You definitely have to think that even we can beat Crewe on Good Friday.
Accrington on the last game of the season could be the crucial one, and if we still need a result to stay up that day – I reckon we’ll get it.
No, I don’t know why I think that either.
Aside from those three, it’s really a coin-toss from now on. We need to fulfil our side of the bargain for once, but if you’re going to end the winless run it’s a good time to do so.
There are more twists and turns yet, with the potential victory out of nowhere which stuns everyone.
And wouldn’t it be nice if that happened next Saturday…?