Here’s our safc.com column for this week…
While Monday’s result was both deeply disappointing and very obviously not what we wanted or needed, it wasn’t the end of the world – or, more importantly, the end of the season.
The worst-case scenario is that we go to the play-offs, although that was achieved a few games ago and seems to have gone straight to the back of everyone’s mind.
Automatic promotion might be out of our hands, but it is still achievable. To make it achievable, we have to do everything we can to bring maximum points from the three games we have left. When I say “we” I don’t just mean the players, but include the fans, who have been doing their utmost to encourage those players since last August.
To collect those nine points will be difficult, of course it will, but it’s not beyond us. Our team has a far better chance of achieving that goal than they had of beating Chelsea and Man Utd away and drawing at the Etihad to facilitate Poyet’s Great Escape.
They have a better chance than they had of securing that point at Arsenal to complete Advocaat’s Great Escape. They have a better chance than they had of coming from behind twice to beat Chelsea then thumping Everton to go six games unbeaten and complete Allardyce’s Great Escape.
Hell, they even have a better chance than they did of beating City, Arsenal, and Leeds in 1973 – in short, we’ve achieved a lot of things that logic, common sense, and statistics dictated that we had no chance of achieving.
But achieve those things we did, and that was because the fans were part of the overall team. What happens in the stands can affect what happens on the pitch, and for an example of that you need look no further than last time out at home.
While our away following this season has been doubly impressive and influential because they’ve made up such a high proportion of the crowd - look no further than Peterborough for an example of that - the big-game atmosphere against Doncaster was something else.
We’ve all either experienced the Roker Roar or heard about it. Everything that’s been said about it is true, and when it comes to life in our “new” home, and the stadium gets rocking, there’s no better place to watch football and to play football.
From before the Donny kick-off, when the flags started waving and the noise started to build, right until the final whistle, the whole place was bouncing.
Yes, Peterborough was disappointing, and it was a completely natural reaction to feel down afterwards, but we’ve come too far together this season to stop now.
We’ve done fifty-five games together, so now is not the time to give up, but rather to shake of those post-Posh blues, stay together, and do what we can to make the next three the final three. To quote a rival chairperson - “Let’s be having you”.
Better still, Ha’way the Lads.