Sunday, 16 March 2008

Match 19 - Cardiff City

There was a brighter atmosphere at Layer Road this afternoon. The pressure of fighting for our lives seems to have been removed from us in view of the dire position we find ourselves in. I know it's actually, mathematically, statistically possible that we can extricate ourselves from this mess, but realistically in the final analysis we won't. The simple reason is that everyone else in the drop-zone above us is also fighting like mad to keep their heads above water. Our best hope, if there is one, is that they will somehow contrive to drown each other while we swim quietly around them and away.

But first we really need three points against the Bluebirds that flew across from Wales chanting their Wembley song. (I wonder if it really upsets them that the Millennium Stadium has been relegated now that Wembley is back on the agenda.) Three points, while those around us are losing their heads elsewhere in the country are vital to our own slim chance of survival. Three points to bring us closer to Scunthorpe - I'll bet no-one ever thought we'd be thinking like this. I remember earlier in the season Nigel Adkins, the Scunthorpe manager, saying he wanted to 'do a Colchester' in the Championship this season. I bet he wishes he'd kept his mouth shut now. Ironically our last match of the season is against them.

Three points just now would be one of the most welcome gifts we could ever enjoy in this sorry second season of Championship fun. Even Sheffield Wednesday might get nervous if they thought they had just got three points nearer the bottom of the league again. Three points. That's all I'm asking for. Preferably in the same match.

Well, I think I've been wishing too much for those three points. They have arrived in an envelope from the cops up the road in the Metropolis. It's a shame I didn't see the amber and red lights in time. An even bigger shame I didn't spot the camera or the signs either. So, I have my three points and I do wish I'd kept my mouth shut and my eyes open.

As it happens the one point we salvaged from Cardiff was a bright spot on an otherwise dull day. It brought the losing run to an end. We had the joy of seeing Hasselbaink sent off and Dave Jones getting ratty with the local fans. We saw the first senior start of Medy Elito, and another rock solid performance in the back four - Matt Heath on loan from League One strugglers Leeds. Smile, the man says, be happy, things could be worse.

So what shall I wish for next?

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