Friday, 1 February 2013
Must do better.
I’ve often complained in this blog of the general air of gloom and despondency surrounding Lincoln City Football Club, you know the club we all look towards to lift us out of our own cares and troubles and give us a bit of escape come the weekend. For a while before Christmas things were definitely looking up, a settled side was put out, points were being gained, we even had a cup run to cheer us up.
Things started to go downhill when City were dumped out of the FA Trophy, a competition I felt the club should have had a real tilt at. Another knockout situation was still occupying the manager though, the FA Cup, traditional graveyard of our hopes. The Imps had made good, if stuttering progress and, if they could make it to the third round they could really hit a goldmine. As it turned out they eventually faced the delicious prospect of playing Liverpool at home in front of the TV cameras. That was not to be of course although City did appear on the box for the replay against Mansfield. It’s fair to say if my sofa had not been placed against a wall I would have spent much of that game behind it.
Back to the Trophy and the manager, and I offer no criticism here, played a, shall we say less than full strength team. Several influential players were on the cusp of a ban. Some needed a rest. Better teams than City have gone down the same route and with the same result so, as I say, no bad mouthing from me but from that point it was back to the bad old ways, an increase in interest from locals had led to some better gates only for those returning fans, and I did actually hear this from my seat in the Echo stand, to express the view that the football on offer and the results, were the reason they stopped going. Ironically, there was a spell when that was anything but the case with good, in places really good football, played in front of the dwindling home support and the team garnered much needed points.
So, out of both cup and trophy, City were comprehensively beaten by our old friends and foes Grimsby Town on Boxing Day, falling victim to that old albatross of giving a team a start and only when it was too late making a game of it, they did though, creditably, manage to come away from Blundell Park on New Years Day with a point. Mariner’s fans were graceful enough to say it was a terrific performance from the Imps but they have not really managed another since.
And so to this weeks headline from the Lincolnshire Echo “Cash Strapped City forced to cut their squad”. I’m still coming to terms with accepting defeat at home against the likes of Forest Green Rovers. I cannot believe, well as they are doing, that a full time squad of players cannot give a better account of themselves in front of their home supporters against the likes of Forest Green. I don’t believe the manager accepts that either or the players but of course players win or lose matches, not the manager and not the supporters, whatever some people might have us believe.
My worry is that the club as an entity is starting to accept our lowly situation and, as a fan that is completely unacceptable. At this rate cash strapped City will be forced to cut their squad again and again, then part time, then we really will have to accept teams that we regarded as minnows walking all over us and deservedly so if they are motivated better than us and put more effort in.
City have the chance to ram my words back down my throat this Saturday at Braintree Town. The trapdoor is uncomfortably close. Please do make me eat my words.