Can you feel it? The distant carol song, the nip in the air? It’s unmistakable, that feeling of inevitable and impending doom. It’s been brewing for a few weeks; we’re not scoring enough, winning with enough style, then came Chris Wilder’s ‘enjoy it’ rant. Now we have a penalty crisis.
I don’t blame Wilder for being bewildered by the temptation to press the panic button when things are going just too well. Quite justifiably we have a reputation for capitulation, not just the collapse three years ago, it’s been a long time since we had a whole season of success.
Those of us that remember the 95/96 promotion run, will recall that it came off the back of half a season of spectacular results. We were no better than ordinary in the early part of the year.
You have to go back to 84/85 to see a season, which consistently delivered good results from August to May. It’s no surprise that we can’t sit back, relax and watch the success.
But, so far, every apparent wobble – Mansfield, Kidderminster and Barrow – has been followed by confident victory. The latest, 1-0 versus Hayes and Yeading, was important because it chased the fear from the door. Let’s be honest, the players are performing against a tidal of doubt, not in their ability to play football, but also in our ability to hold our nerve.