My Leader column was online again yesterday (But the ancient photo they use of me’s horrendous!) However, I had to edit it down as the original version was twice as long as it shuld have been: here’s the rest!
My appeal doesn’t limit itself to tomorrow. I hope we can get good crowds on Tuesday and next Saturday too. Part of my reasoning is that there’s no point making a big effort for one game and then putting the club back on the shelf. A club’s for life, not just for the weekend. I’m also looking at how the next week could pan out, and it could be pivotal to our season.
The next three games are absolutely massive. In fact, never mind the Crawley double-header or any of the other six-pointers we’ve played: I think the next week could go a long way to deciding our fate this season.
We’re in a six horse race for the five spots at the top of the table. Winning the league seems unlikely, although not impossible. Our first priority is to ensure we don’t end up being the one side which finishes six and misses out completely.
We find ourselves with three matches in a row at home, all against sides who are out of the running for promotion at best, staring relegation in the face at worst. None of them are easy games, but all are certainly winnable. Contrast this with what’s happening across the Blue Square Bet Premier at the same time. All five of our promotion rivals are playing three games in the same period, and all of them will, at some point, face at least one of the other contenders for a Football League spot. Indeed, Kidderminster play Luton, Crawley and Wimbledon this week! So the sides around us have got to drop some points over the next eight days. If we can make the most of our three matches, we will have either opened up a gap between us and sixth place or narrowed the gap to the top of the table. In an ideal world, we might have done both!
I’ve got a gut feeling that it’ll be the two sides in fifth and sixth that will suffer most this week. Kidderminster and Fleetwood have the toughest trio of games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, after playing them, they still haven’t overtaken the fifty-nine points we currently hold. As we also have a game in hand on both sides, you can see how beneficial a good haul of points would be over the next week. It would leave Fleetwood and Kidderminster trailing in our wake, fighting over the final play-off spot, and we could stop having to look over our shoulders.