Belief. That is what it all boils down to you know, pure and simple. All of the sides at our level are pretty similar, from Morecambe to Luton and back again. Sure, we prepare more meticulously than some, the odd team have slightly better players, but anyone can beat anyone. The key, is belief.
I interviewed a player for the programme the other week, I won’t say who exactly out of respect. Towards the end of the interview I asked about the play offs and got the ‘stock’ answer, quality in the squad, hard work, etc etc. Then, I asked him off the record and without missing a beat he said “if this isn’t going out then yeah, we’ll definitely make them. We believe we can hit the top three, to be honest”. There was no doubt in that man’s voice. He believed.
Over this weekend we saw two performances that showed our players believe they are going to win games. They’re not complacent, they don’t go at things half-cocked or without respect for the opponents, but they are full of belief. It rubs off too, usually a trip to Carlisle is a tough one, but I thought deep down we’d win. Danny and Nicky have instilled belief in us all. Even the Ipswich rumours prove to a degree how much we believe, generally the consensus is that they wouldn’t leave us. This is a job two divisions higher, a club twice as big with European honours and we believe they’ll stay with a two-time National League winner? Wow.
Anyway, that isn’t the point of today’s article, it just came to me in the night. No, today’s article is looking at the current play off contenders, who they still have to play and how I think they’ll finish the season. I’m going to start with the side we played on Saturday and work my way up from there.
Carlisle P41, 60pts
Swindon (A), Morecambe (A), Luton (H), Port Vale (A), Newport (H)
For Keith Curle’s side, the play offs are no more than mathematically possible. They could make them, with a few wins they might even finish fifth, but they won’t. That said, they were bang in form up until this weekend, unbeaten in eight and above us in the form table.
They don’t have a torrid run in, but it isn’t straightforward either. I can see between seven and nine points for them, a trip to Swindon might bring something, but the relatively short drive to Morecambe won’t be easy. we’ve seen first hand Jim Bentley’s side are a strong force at home and it isn’t as if Carlisle were full of attacking endeavour. Despite their wobble, Luton should end their play off hopes if they’ve not been ended before, leaving the last two games as exercises in futility.
I’d say it couldn’t happen to a nicer man but after listening to Keith Curle’s interview, he’s not one that riles me as much as Cooperman or Evans. He held his hands up, we were the better team and in truth, we ended their aspirations yesterday.