Thinking The Unthinkable
By Bristol Boy
I sat down after the game to think about the review & ratings and my mind soon turned to what we had left to play for.
After listening to Paul Trollope, very sensibly trying to focus his players minds off the JPT and the Millennium experience and on the job in hand in the League, you can decide whether that’s staying up or going up-I know what I think despite his positive spin…..and I‘ve seen Rovers twice now!!
I started to think of all the scenarios-Automatic-Play Offs-Who we might play and if we’re at home first in another two legged tie……..then I thought, what if…….what if we don’t make the play offs, unlikely surely, but not impossible.
What if we do reach the play offs and more heartbreak that would be far worst than last night as that outcome would mean another season in the Third Division…that would make it a ninth on the trot.
Could I still face long trips to Hartlepool & Carlisle-Chesterfield & Doncaster at least the latter has a decent ground at long last.
Would I bother to go to the Withdean ever again and why would I bother when I couldn’t truly see what formation we were playing………None of us even saw Jevons hit the post with that free kick! The players must have thought, no reaction, Christ, they’re hard to please!
Imagine if Rovers did actually win promotion……very unlikely, but look at Stockport’s recent run. With Swindon looking like contenders would there be more local interest, more derbies…….would we win one, for a change?
I would go as far as saying that this season is pivotal to the future of our club. Promotion and we’re in The Championship with over 10,000-possibly 12,000 ST Holders and, I’m almost convinced, a new EE.
Stay put and I think we’ll struggle to get 6,000 ST Holders as more and more fans grow evermore impatient and staying away, let’s be honest, easier, by the season as costs go up and televised football of far better quality becomes even more accessible and cheaper on a match by match basis.
There’s nothing like being there, but “being there’s” not a patch on what it was in these sanitised, sterile, albeit, safer days.
My own view is that second place is wide open and Scunthorpe, barring a massive injury crisis along the lines that we have experienced along with suspensions this season, should make their current lead count. All the other teams are dropping points left right and centre and can’t seem to become consistent. Scunthorpe are the only promotion team in the top six of the current form table (City are 7th) and Swansea & Oldham are actually in the bottom six!!
I’ll stick my neck on the line as far as the play offs go and say that I’m 90% certain that barring disasters, we’ll reach them. Automatic promotion means our big hitters, like Brooker, Murray, McCombe, McAllister & Showunmi coming to the party…….and coming to the party every week, not once a month. Coming together, not alone, would be dead handy as well, while GJ’s got some hair left.
Speaking of GJ, how would he handle the disappointment of ultinately failing on all fronts in a season which promised so much?
I'm ultra confident that SL would want him to stay and so would many, if not all of the fans unless we really missed out by falling apart over the run in.
Without spending much he's brought in plenty with two cup runs and the Cotterill transfer, for which much of the credit must go to our Academy Coaches & Scouts in any event.
So, with Scunthorpe starting to look nailed on for one spot, it’s a rat race for second between City, Forest & Yeovil. Oldham & Blackpool will make up the top six and I wouldn’t like to predict the finishing order.
Of course, one can’t discount Tranmere with Ronnie Moore at the helm and Swansea will be strong if their players recover from injury with two lethal finishers in Abbot & Trundle (Nearly said Costello!)
With thirteen games (minimum) left, possibly sixteen, Ashton Gate’s going to be no place for the feint hearted from now until May.
The views expressed in this 'Soapbox' section are those of the author of each article and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bristol City Supporters Trust>