Thursday, 27 December 2007

Match 12 - Southampton

It's Boxing Day and another Christmas is upon us. We've needed something to take our minds off the drop to bottom place in the table after last week's defeat at QPR (now the richest club in the country with £100 billion of Formula 1 motor racing money backing them). It's lifted their game and their league position above us and out of the bottom three as well. Perhaps Christmas will see a change in our fortunes too. In one respect it has, our highest home attendance of the season so far with over 6100. That's not far off capacity and I saw three pairs of empty seats directly in front of me as well. But that also meant the cold wind could hit me directly.

It didn't feel like a big crowd today. Southampton did bring quite a few and they only had a couple of chants to entertain us with. They did try the old chestnut about us 'going down' but that's boring. We had high hopes since we beat them 2-0 here during our home run last season.

The lack of action at times today meant the whole stadium descended into silence a few times - it was quite eerie really, especially for a ground that has been hailed as one of the noisiest in the league. Quite ironically one of the biggest cheers from home fans happened when a Southampton player mis-hit the ball into the crowd. The biggest cheer from the away supporters was reserved fro the kids penalty competition at half time, which was almost better entertainment than the rest of the match.

Another 1-1 draw at home - the 4th time in two months. One point is better than none however, and it does give us some hope for the weekend coming up. It does also leave us 2 points adrift at the bottom of the table, when a win would have seen us climb two places.

Probably the most desperate thing about the whole match is the continued lack of confidence shown by our players. There are every few occasions when they try to string together more than 2 passes - and sometimes that's beyond them. I'm sure they would benefit from a course of hypnotherapy. Or should the fans be given this luxury? Maybe it happened last season.

Did we really finish in tenth place? Are we really playing in the Coca Cola Championship or is it an alternative reality drummed into our heads by some clever (or boring) chanting by opposition fans a couple of seasons ago? Maybe we'll wake up soon and find that this season has been the fantasy and we can get ourselves back on track for a grandstand finish and march proudly into Cuckoo Farm in 2008 as a Championship club.

I can wish can't I?

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