I start this post with a rallying cry for the rest of the season, but especially for the next two games.
Hand on heart, when I saw the Arsenal and Man City games I feared the worse. Ultimately we lost both fixtures, which comes as no surprise, BUT we didn’t roll over and we gave a good account of ourselves. That for me is the key element. The team IS fighting for the manager. I have seen a lot of clubs in this situation before and it is around this time, with those sort of fixtures, that the players accept their fate. In both games I saw a team that still believes it can survive.
So how big are the next two fixtures? HUGE! Probably the most important games the club has played in the last few years, which in one way is a sign of where we are but we take it on the chin and we FIGHT.
We FIGHT as a club, and a group of supporters. (Obviously figuratively before I am accused of inciting violence!) That means we put aside our personal views of the manager or the players or the chairman and come together as one voice willing the team to put these two clubs to the sword.
Make no mistake, do not underestimate the opposition. I am still amazed QPR are where they are and on their day I believe they could surprise any club. Harry does possess some form of footballing magic and so I hope he misfires when he plays us. As for Reading, they are a good, hardworking, honest team. Like Villa, they are desperately fighting for survival and will be up for the game.
For me this is a club drawing a line in the sand and saying these are two winnable games for us so let’s make sure we go and fight for those points. If we sit back and think we are simply better than these clubs, as Southampton showed, we will be in for a very nasty surprise.
I have my thoughts on where we have gone wrong this season, and then there’s the drama of potentially losing Benteke, Weimann and Clark amongst others, but for the next two games that has to put to one side.
Psychologically, if we win these two games, then I think it is a great platform to work from. Relegation is like running away from a Lion. You don’t have to be the fastest, you don’t have to have the best running technique, you just need to make sure you can run faster than the three people beside you!