Contrasting views of our last minute capitulation against Luton last night. The normally objective, measured and authoritative Rage Online saw us deservedly go down with a whimper, whereas most other reports seem to suggest that the performance was pretty good with a nightmarish end. Like the extended DVD edition of Lord of the Rings.
Everyone’s reality is different. There are those who view this as clear evidence of The Collapse – the prophesy that says, post-Christmas, any good work will be undone leading to untold misery. Some think that we’ll slip out of the play-off positions, some see us being beaten at Wembley by Luton, others view this as a blip; a hard one to take, but a blip none-the-less.
Last year, we were galvanised by a common foe – the league administration itself. We recognised that it was us against the world and we were all the better for it. The flags came out, the team went from being average and ponderous to all conquering.
Well, this is where the season starts and that character needs to return; the title is a three-way race. We have a little head start and everyone is going to want to shoot us down. It is time to enjoy that pressure; I would rather be chasing the title as a non-league team than be in mid-table misery in any other division. It’s exciting; the prospect of success, the tightrope that we walk to get to it, the bubbling molten lava of failure. The balance beam of hope. By God this is where we want to be, in the mix, sucking in the pressure, taking the blows, getting up and going again. Christ, if Stevenage or York want to get this title, then they’ll have to break records to do it, we’ll make them sweat blood. We’re a better squad than we were last year and we have more to play with. It’s time to add some swash to our buckle. Let’s just get it on.
Where to now? I take a lead from Malcolm Boyden – and I don’t do that very much – on Saturday I’m going to put on my shirt and scarf, go to the ground and roar the bloody roof off.