New kids, new beginnings
I moved to a new office recently. Those in charge decided to have a bit of a reshuffle and us proles were the cards.
It was all a bit unsettling at first but I`ve soon settled back into the swing of things - it`s almost like a new lease of life, "change is as good as a rest" and all that.
I`m not delighted about it but it`s a situation I`ve found myself in and as a professional I`ve got to make the most of it. I`m certainly not going to resign over it…
Not entirely dissimilar to the U`s really. Despite all the upheaval and the rather tricky situation we find ourselves in with the new 'office` being built down the road (how good does that look in the 'fly-through` on the website?). The last thing we should do is resign ourselves to our 'fate` - as some rather dour fans have.
There`s no escaping it, bottom of the table is a pretty depressing place to be. It`s hard not to peer over the precipice with matches against the likes of Gillingham or maybe Rotherham and Darlington. All due respect to them but I think the prospect of games against Wolves, Southampton and neighbours Ipswich are more appealing.
The new kids in the Col U office had the initial 'bounce` effect of bringing everyone up, fans included and the result was a well-earned draw at high-flying Bristol City.
Despite the Hull chairman embarrassing himself with some shamelessly headline-grabbing comments, the postponement of the game against them was more of a blow to us than them.
Putting aside that the game was a "banker three points" for them, apparently, it was a chance to build on the good results against Charlton and Bristol and finally establish some sort of decent home form.
A long, mid-week trip to Barnsley was never going to be easy (even if the lads did have more time to get used to one another). Losing there wasn`t great but all is far from lost. We`ve still got a game in hand against some key rivals. Win that and suddenly we`re back in touch with the pack.
Whatever you`ve got planned for February 12th, cancel it. Preston at home is going to be HUGE. Forget Valentine`s Day - if you love your club you`ll be there. If your other half loves you, they`d understand.
So, how to improve our performances on the pitch? Geraint`s been pretty stoical and loyal to the troops so far. If a player has come in and done well, he`s kept his place: Luke Gutteridge is a good example. John White another.
His transfer aims have been long (long!) discussed on the message boards - we`ll talk about new signings when they arrive, not before.
But what about those in the team that aren`t quite cutting it at times? Do you drop them? Shuffle the pack again and again, in hope of unearthing a truffle?
How about the curse of the captain? Karl Duguid`s not even making the squad at the moment (insert your own transfer rumour here). Johnnie Jackson grew into the role at first but has been the victim of criticism from many recently too.
How would dropping a player affect them and the rest of the team for that matter? If you adopt an attitude of 'play badly and you`re out` what message does that send? It`d make the team afraid of making mistakes. 'No bad thing.` you might argue - but what we need at the moment is the team to take a few risks: try for that killer ball; make that lung-busting over-lapping run, even if you do drift out of position a little.
Something has to change, we need that dose of magic to spark a win that could pull the prop from under the avalanche of points that we need.
If you make an example of someone it makes the rest of the team worried. They`ll take the safe option, afraid of making the mistake that could see them on the bench for next week or month. A team afraid of making mistakes won`t help us.
Remember, today`s game will be the first Layer Road experience for the new signings. Let`s make it a good one. Shouting yourself silly to encourage the team will give them that lift before kick-off. Help them swing that hammer to set-off the avalanche. Up the U`s!
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