Date:Saturday September 16 2006
The old soak himself coined the "It`s a funny old game." phrase we all know and love which seems so wonderfully appropriate for our dear U`s at the moment.
I have to confess even my unshakable faith was rocked by our start to the season, "nil point" is all very amusing on EuroVision - but less so on league tables. It`s not as if we`d been playing badly either. We`d been genuinely unlucky and come up against some of the division`s top teams in West Brom and Birmingham - put we were still pointless - literally, not figuratively.
And then came the Derby County game.
We battered them! Everything Jamie Curteton touched turned to goals! At 4-1 up we were cruising but it wouldn`t be Col U without a bit of panic, would it? Yes, we switched off a bit to let them back in but a win`s a win, especially when it`s your first points of the season.
And then came Burnley, sitting high up in the table. The same Burnley that troubled Crystal Palace, one of the League`s most impressive teams this term, all combined with arguably our worst performance in the league this season. Back to earth with a bump, right?
Nope - smash and grab, 2-1 win and three more points, lovely-jubbly.
Defensive rigidity returned, the whole team worked their nu… socks off and we`re up to a heady 20th place in the table. Superb.
So what`s changed? Kevin McLeod`s arrived, obviously. Mr. Cowling has taken over at the helm too - who saw that coming? But the former hasn`t been on the pitch and the latter`s more focussed off it so that`s not it.
It`s that fickle old friend, confidence.
In my notes for the Derby game I was talking about match-winners or the apparent lack of them in the Layer Road squad. You know, the sort of player that makes the crowd buzz every time they get the ball. The player that makes defenders panic. A runner, a game breaker.
Then up pops Skippy Garcia. The turn of pace and direct run against Derby had them all in a fluster - and he got flattened for a penalty. And who got pole-axed for the penalty up at Turf Moor? Our own resident Aussie again.
George Williams, Doogy et al were all telling us "we can compete" at this level and we all believed it - mostly. But we all also had the nagging doubts. What if we can`t? What if we`re not good enough? What if, what if…
Now those nagging doubts have been banished. We can play well and win. We can go away and win. We can even not play at our best and still win. We can win. We can do it.
Alright, we`re not verging on the play-offs quite yet but winning breeds confidence and confidence breeds wins. It`s that tricky circle again.
With the loudest twelfth man in the Football League (official!) we can roar the lads on to more wins - or should that be more confidence? Either way, keep up the loud work! Up the U`s!
You can see more from Carbon Dioxide in the U's Matchday magazine - available at every home game for £3 for 84 pages
Date:Saturday September 16 2006
League 1 MOTM: January Nomination (Dunne) (Wednesday February 5 2014)
Safe Standing - Fans Must Act Now! (Monday January 20 2014)
2006 - U's March To The Top (Thursday February 7 2013)
2006 - Parky's Cup Heroes (Monday January 28 2013)
2007 - U's Visit Portman Road (Sunday January 20 2013)
2010 - Lambert's U's Return (Wednesday January 16 2013)
2011 - Late Drama From Gilly (Monday January 14 2013)
1999 - Introducing Lua Lua (Wednesday January 9 2013)
2000 - Lua Lua Steals Late Win (Tuesday January 8 2013)
2006 - Late Layer Road Drama (Wednesday January 2 2013)
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