No more denials as reality bites
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 10 September 2010
It really hit me hard on Tuesday evening, at around 9.45pm when I cast a nervous glance at the Championship table. I've been in denial all season about the state of the nation that is NCFC.
It really hit me hard on Tuesday evening, at around 9.45pm when I cast a nervous glance at the Championship table.
I've been in denial all season about the state of the nation that is NCFC. Perhaps this denial goes all the back to before the win at Luton in 2007 where, if we had lost, we would have been in, or very near the bottom three of the Championship.
I steadfastly refused to believe how bad we were, and despite how bad we really were, we somehow snuck a victory that evening.
Simon Lappin, for that free kick alone, will remain one of my ever favourite City players.
“Bottom three, we're having a laugh”, I sang to myself as I pondered the cat-calls and wise-cracks I would get at work the following morning about the trap door to the third tier of English football creaking open and welcoming us in. “You're going down with the Admins” was another song I feared I might hear as our potential Championship status was being meekly surrendered despite the much worse financial plight of other teams around us.
Perhaps I'm one of those supporters who think that despite everything, somehow it will be alright on the night and at the last, we will magic a few wins out of nowhere that our sometimes attractive, but mostly ineffective football has deserved this season.
But therein lies the problem as attractive football doesn't win points, effective football does.
Our attractive yet ineffective football looked great at Coventry on the first day of the season.
Our attractive yet ineffective football, plus a great deal of goading from the Coventry supporters, almost drove my ten-year-old daughter try to have it out with some particularly mouthy youngsters from the Ricoh after we had lost despite playing them off the park on 9th August.
Dad was there to ensure that nothing untoward happened.
But only just.
Our attractive yet ineffective football highlighted our defensive frailties and attacking inadequacies as we looked good and still lost to teams that once they went ahead, rarely looked like losing the lead.
I've lost count of the games this season where I have thought the opposition were rubbish, but we've not won.
Coventry, Watford, and Southampton twice are just four matches where we should have had all three points and could now have been sitting pretty in mid-table.
And come the end of the season and our last three games what do we have to look forward to?
We've got the potential of being relegated at Portaloo Road.
That is something which I would find very difficult to take, and a game that my daughter would need to be restrained as we were goaded by the blue filth, having had the trapdoor pulled from beneath our feet.
If, one way or another City survive until two games to go, we play Reading the week after, in a game that may well secure their promotion back to the Premiership.
If the worst comes to the worst, and we are relegated I would prefer us to go down at Carrow Road than anywhere else, with 24,000 fans able to vent their frustration to the Board for the series of crass decisions that will have led us back to the third division of English Football.
And if we somehow negotiate the Reading game, there's survival Sunday - four years on from that disaster at Craven Cottage where our nine men (I've excluded two of the team as they didn't break sweat that day) lost by a tennis score to Fulham.
I don't want to have to go through the build-up, anxiety and pain of the week leading up to that game, but if we are to retain our Championship status, I may have to.