On Tuesday we proved we can handle the pressure of big crowds, and yesterday we proved we can beat Wrexham away. The former is likely to be more significant than the latter in the context of the season.
So, it’s been a week for dispelling hoodoos. So while we’re in the mood, let’s deal with a taboo – that is: we’re not that good and neither is Chris Wilder.
If you haven’t closed your browser at my blaspheming, let me explain. We’re not going to win the FA Cup, FA Trophy and remain unbeaten in the championship. We will lose and when we do we’ll be in uncharted waters.
In 2006/7 there was hysterical talk of an unbeaten season. We came up against a high-flying Wycombe in the FA Cup and two things happened. Firstly, we lost. And secondly we played well. We subsequently went into next game at Gravesend and Northfleet thinking we were a couple of lucky breaks from being promotion contenders for League 2, let alone the Conference. We lost to then too, then won one in three months.
Luton on Tuesday proved that although we hold a seven point lead, the gap in class is nothing like that. When we do lose they will be snapping away a la Dagenham. And if not them, then Stevenage or Cambridge. A healthy fear of defeat will guard against complacency.
I know it’s different this year; we’ve got Chris Wilder. In classic Wilderian; he’ll keep us ‘Bang At It’. But with another rumour surrounding him – this time that Rotherham are interested in his services – there is a possibility that he won’t finish the season with us.
We shouldn’t become over-reliant on him – moreover we needn’t be. Wilder’s impact has been fantastic, of course, but he couldn’t have done it without the work of Kelvin Thomas, the fans paying the money, the players putting in the graft. Should he go, then most of that machine will remain in place. What’s more, Wilder isn’t irreplaceable; if we do it right – like we did when Wilder was appointed – then the momentum can be maintained. It’s the club in its totality that’s successful, not just Wilder.
My point is that if we mythologise the team and it’s manager it will be a deep shock when reality bites. I’m just preparing myself; that’s all.