Unhealthy Fixture Pile Up Causes Play Off Home Sickness
It’s been a few days of the Katy Perry syndrome for Bradford City.
A hot 2-0 performance against Oldham and a cold one against Chesterfield left many supporters deflated as they left VP last night.
It’s been well over two weeks since our Reading away fixture and only up until today has my tiredness and sadness evaporated, the pain was comparable to been bitten be an Alsatian on your paper round when you were 12 years old, but the fantastic memories of the FA Cup journey, the aid of Night Nurse and the potential play-off place initially brought back cheery smiles.
The succession of draws in recent weeks has made the month of April incredibly vital in the race for that final play-off spot and after the loss to Chesterfield last night it could have already scuppered any glimmer of light in the hunt for an exciting end of season push.
Without sounding like a child – the pressure and game time that has been forced upon the squad by The FA just isn’t fair. The scheduling for the Reading away fixture – MASSIVELY UNFAIR, it just goes how skewed the reasoning is when Liverpool and Blackburn are still yet to play their tie – itsutterly bonkers.
Let’s not make any mistakes here, Oldham and Chesterfield are a very strong teams. Chesterfield had their very own Spiderman in goal last night in the form of Tommy Lee, who unfortunately isn’t the Greek lothario who married Pamela Anderson after knowing her for 94 hours and are managed by Paul Cook who comes across as a Scouse Paul McKenna - somebody who would aggressively forgive you if you accidently spilt a pint on his shirt whilst in the pub.
Oldham were a team who looked apprehensive, set up for the draw and in the end got punished by some moments of skill -but even after the first half an hour on Saturday the team looked exhausted, a few days away in Portugal relaxing would only apply a small patch to the strain of early 2015. The mass of games that have been sprung upon the wary bodies of the squad in recent weeks has been crazy but the way every one of those lads has carried on without complaints has been remarkable and admirable.
As I approached the stadium last night I had a feeling it was going to be a bad evening after I saw a pigeon eat somebody’ssick from the night before, coupled with waking up in the middle of the night and hearing what I thought was a cat smacking into my bedroom window due to the ridiculously high winds.
Look, there’s nothing more I’d hope for then the final set of games to be won and that final play-off spot to be ours, but last night on a very heavy pitch, it was clear that the long tiring season has taken its toll, not only for the players but also for the fans who have given it everything supporting the team home & away. The 12,000 fans who attended last night were incredibly flat, just like the freak weather - waiting for a piece of magic to get them going…. And because that special moment never came the crowd remained silent, even the frustrating “game management” time wasting by Chesterfield didn’t kick up much of a fuss.
I really feel for a lot of the team at this current stage, Hanson is looking so frustrated up top and I’ve seen fans this morning criticise him for tracking back and trying to win the ball back when the legs of all the players were heavy (even the opposition’s), Billy Knott who has sat out a few weeks came back into the side and played a blinder but with another 2 games coming up over the Easter weekend it’s going to be incredibly tough for their bodies and minds to give it a 100% when running on empty.
On a brighter note, what we all know is that Phil Parkinson will ensure that the mentality is right and the team can give it a good go against Doncaster & Preston, if we get 2 results then terrific, it will give everybody a boost for the next couple of weeks, but, if nothing materialises then we most definitely shouldn’t get on their backs, boo and complain that none of them care because we all know it’s not true.
Who knows what might happen this weekend, we could be easting Crème Eggs with glee but it’s now time to embrace these final few games without an expectation, enjoy the final few games with the proud feeling of what has been achieved in what has probably been the best year of supporting Bradford City because by eck, we have been spoilt over this amazing 2014/2015 season.
Keep The Faith Without The Expectation.