Monsieur Salut writes: talk about killing two birds with one stone. Peter Lynn has put away – probably smashed – the crystal ball that kept telling him we’d stay up. But he hasn’t lost the faith in an broader sense. He was at Hull and will, I imagine be at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
So read on, enjoy Wrinkly Pete’s reflections – and then guess the score in SAFC vs Swansea. Anyone can enter and the first reader to predict the correct result will eventually get a prize. Usual prizes – a suitable mug or the Nick Barnes Matchbook mini-version, either producing a small donation to the Bradley Lowery appeal fund – – and usual rules …
Tigers Tamed – Perfect Performance, Ripping Result, Fabulous Fans.
Yes, I am chuffed. Not only was I there to see us chalk up a rare win but my decision to get to as many remaining games as possible, despite relegation seeming inevitable, was vindicated.
Although staged in this year’s city of culture, there was very little cultured football on display. However, what our players produced was exactly what was needed.
Others have written that with the pressure lifted post relegation we were able to play with a freedom that allowed us to win. I don’t buy into that.
Our results, despite some improved performances, meant that our morale was rock bottom. For those same players to find the mental strength to play their best with “nothing to play for” speaks volumes for their character.
For me, it is always a good indicator of a great team display to struggle to name a man of the match. While Pickford made three top quality saves, commanded his penalty area and distributed brilliantly, there were equally commendable displays all around our team. Indeed, perhaps more telling in a hugely disappointing season, it was difficult to name anyone who had a poor game.
Thus, I would class it as a Perfect Performance.
We are relegated, and despite Middlesbrough joining us last night, will probably finish bottom of the league.
Saturday’s result is, however, in my opinion, really important. Firstly, it demonstrates that the fight still exists within the squad and that players are responding to the manager.
Secondly, it shows a professional attitude to completing our fixtures with proper respect to the Premier League and our competitors. Thirdly, a win lifts everyone’s spirit, even if it is too late to save us from going down. Those of you that are kind enough to be reading this; contrast honestly how you feel today whatever you are doing with how you would feel if we had lost?
Finally, it means that the fans who travelled to witness this win will approach Saturday’s home game against Swansea, who will be roared on by 3,000 plus supporters treated to free tickets by their own team, with just a little more belief.
Thus, I would class it as a Ripping Result.
What can I say about our fans that hasn’t been said a thousand times before? At this very ground, on November 2 2013, I was privileged to be present when, with only nine men for the whole of the second half, our fans sang their hearts out for The Lads from the restart, non stop to the final whistle.
We lost the game, but only by the one goal that we trailed to at half time and, I like to think, the effort that the depleted team put in was aided by the fans support.
On Saturday, there was nothing but positivity from our fans. Some may have felt entitled to vent their anger for the outcome of this extremely poor season but they didn’t, choosing instead to roar our players forward and then mildly rib the Hull support with “Two nil to The Championship”.
Once again, it was a joy to be there.
Thus, I would class our Fans as Fabulous.
Here’s hoping that the same three elements I highlight above may pertain on Saturday.