Writer: Tim Edge
Date:Thursday May 12 2011
OK, we`re experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. OK, we always seem to get ourselves into a decent position, then fall apart. OK, missing automatic promotion was a man-sized kick in the niagaras. OK, Dave Jones may be a manager for whom the word 'lugubrious` was invented. OK, many say it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive ('we`d be rubbish in The Premiership anyway` etc). OK, we can live with pundits sniggering and calling us the 'nearly men` of The Championship. OK, why don`t we all link arms and jump into the Taff? Is our situation really that bad?
The answer is, of course not, but unless we stop believing that we`re suddenly rubbish and are going nowhere that is exactly where we are going to go: nowhere. It was some bloke from Stratford who once wrote 'sweet are the uses of adversity` and Dave Jones must use the sting of recent disappointment to galvanise the mood around the team. There is nothing quite like being in a hole to foster some essential 'esprit de corps`. Reversing the usual psychology, the first message I would pin on the dressing room notice board is 'no-one thinks you are good enough to do this`. Let`s then see who steps up to the plate: Bellamy for sure, but he needs to persuade as many of his team mates as possible to mirror his commitment, drive and sheer determination. The second message would be 'ask yourself if you are doing enough` if needs be, reinforced with liberal use of an Evertonian size ten boot. How many Premiership teams would offer a contract to Jay Bothroyd on his recent form? None; and this needs to be pointed out to him. An arm around the shoulder of Chris Burke wouldn`t hurt either combined with instructions showing him how to find the byline. A quiet, steadying word with Dekel Keinan and Seji Olifinjana also wouldn`t do any harm.
Finally, not only should they do it for themselves and each other, they should do it for us; the old men with broken teeth for whom there might not be another opportunity; the hordes who travelled to Watford and Bristol City and sang their hearts out when the games were long lost; my mum in Carmarthen glued to her radio; the kids with gleaming eyes and a flicker of hope in their hearts, the Bluebirds fans in all parts of the world at all hours of the day and night. For the keepers of the flame, the fans, for us. They should do it for us.
There`s an old football phrase: 'eleven men, working together, can move mountains`. Let`s ensure that in the games that follow between now and the end of the season those eleven men clench their fists and get to work, with the passionate and positive support of us all ringing in their ears.
Date:Thursday May 12 2011
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