Relegation a real possibility?

02 Apr 2014 07:57am, by YorkshireSquare

It’s only three and a half weeks ago I was stood in the Old Peacock supping a pint of 1919 Bitter after the Bolton debacle discussing if we realistically had enough points to stay up. It was concluded, on balance, that we probably did.

Whilst the performance we had just witnessed was a disgrace we were still picking up the odd point here and there back in February, wins against Huddersfield and Yeovil and points against Middlesbrough and QPR. The performances were far from pretty, or good for that matter but points were still trickling in and with Barnsley, Millwall and Yeovil floundering at the bottom surely we were safe.

The talk was on trying, as best we could, to look to next season. Was there much point in playing the loan players who wouldn’t be here next year if the play-offs were a long gone dream? Time to play some of the youngsters who at least may play with a bit of passion and spirit? Little did we realise that that Bolton game would be the start of a diabolical run of form. One win in in the last seven games, three points from a total of twenty one available. Defeats to Bolton, Reading, Burnley, Bournemouth, Charlton and most depressingly Doncaster. Relegation form in anyone’s book.

Last night’s victors Charlton are twenty first in the table, if we are in a relegation battle then they are the types of teams we need to be beating. We now find ourselves only 9 points behind them and they have two games in hand. Worst still is Barnsley, currently in twenty second. We find ourselves only 12 points behind the relegation places. We have 7 games left, a total possible 21 points, Barnsley have 8 games left, a total possible 24 points. Barnsley though have shown some spirit with back to back victories against Reading and Yeovil. The problem is I can’t see us winning another game, and we’ve got to play Barnsley, at Oakwell.

Leaving aside any potential points deduction for administration, I’m not even going to entertain that possibility in this post, our destiny is still in our hands. The team and manager though, seem totally bereft of ideas or spirit. It seems remarkable to think that we were fifth before Christmas. It is amazing that the same team that has rolled over recently beat Bolton and Charlton away from home earlier in the season. A few more wins is all that would be needed to ensure we were safe from the drop but I am left with no confidence that the team can achieve that.

Brian Brian McDermott’s post-game interviews do little to inspire me either. He seems to take little responsibility for the results or give few ideas about what he might do to turn things around. Yes, the take-over is unsettling but can it really explain the abject lack of performances on the pitch. Even through this situation McDermott has been backed, Butland and Wickham were signed. He has brought in a number of players and can’t really claim that the team isn’t his. It is his job, as a manger, to motivate the players through those times and get results on the pitch.

I’m sure with the recent recession many of us have worked under difficult situations. I’ve worked at companies going through redundancies, taken pay cuts, been through take-overs but you can’t let it affect you. Not to that degree, you just get your head down and get on with it. McDermott said last night "I've been in football 30-odd years and I've never experienced anything like this. Both on and off the pitch, it's just a joke when I think about it." And whilst McDermott can’t affect anything happening off the pitch the “joke” on the pitch is very much his responsibility and his to sort out.

McDermott won’t go, not unless he is pushed anyway and I can’t see that happening until the ownership situation is sorted out, whenever that would be. After last nights game he said "Someone's just said to me that people are saying I should resign. Well actually, if people know what's gone on here and what I've had to go through, then to make that suggestion ... They won't see me resigning, no way, absolutely no way." So if he isn’t going to step down then he needs to do the right thing and that’s his job. He needs to motivate the players though this tough time, have some ideas and get them working on the pitch. Because as much as we need a take-over, we need points, and we need them quick.

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