The match was, I’m told, forgettable. I write to you from a youth hostel in London so I’m afraid there’s no analysis, no report and nothing truly interesting from the game from me.
What I have deduced is that a couple of our promotion rivals are stumbling and whilst we’re not winning, we’re not losing either. Is a draw enough? Given that we’re a point closer to Mansfield, yes it is.
What is frustrating for some is that had we not lost to Crewe and had we beaten Morecambe today, we’d be in a prime position not for the play offs but for automatic promotion, However, should we lament what we could have had, or should we focus on what we do have?
We have a side that have not lost away in four matches. Morecambe might be ‘lowly’, but the only games they have lost in 2018 have been against Luton, Accrington and Mansfield. Okay, you could say that we aspire to be those clubs and should beat Morecambe, or you could say they’ve beat Wycombe and Exeter in the last five games, two sides we also consider ourselves level with. I’d rather have a point and a clean sheet than nothing at all.
Mansfield, Notts County, Luton and Coventry all play sides in the bottom four this weekend and so far, one of those have lost. Again, look at the positives, we didn’t lose the game and we’re still in touch with the top seven. Had we lost at Mansfield, the gap would be signifcantly wider right now. It’s easy to look at where we could be, perhaps our recent success has left us greedy.
Maybe we’re not League One quality right now, maybe we should be beating ‘teams like Morecambe’, but you have to define what ‘teams like Morecambe’ is. We said when we came up the standard in this league was better than we thought and yet we’re still top eight.
I tell you what though, next Friday really is do or die. We must win against Exeter to keep the season alive, keep those chasing us in their place and hopefully reel in those teams stumbling. Mansfield Town are in real danger of dropping out of the play off race and it wouldn’t be the first time a rival has dropped the ball and handed us a top seven finish. In 2005/06 we barely deserved seventh place, but Peterborough’s manager change ended up giving us it anyway. Maybe, just maybe we’ll stay in touch of the top seven not because we’re ready, but because Mansfield are not.
There’s a lot to play for between now and May and each game passed is a step closer to the end of the season. Each game sees another side concede their play off amibitions have faded for another year, but for all the moaning I expect to see tonight, we’re still fighting for promotion, we’re still right up there and I suspect we will be right until the death.
Today was a point earned. It might have been two dropped if you’re a pessimist, but when it comes to Danny and Nicky, I’ve learned to be an optimist. Why not, for one night only, try doing the same?
As I’m in London and have no pictures I could use, I’ve picked Lee Frecklington because, had his late effort gone in, we’d be top seven now. Right, off to Shepherds Bush.