If a draw away from home can be deemed as ‘failure’ and two points dropped, then - once again – anyone disappointed about Saturday’s Walsall result should take a reality check.
Admittedly, the bar has been raised continuously this season – especially after blazing the trail with that ‘wordly’ eight-game 100 per cent start. But the 46-game long season is most definitely a marathon and not a sprint.
After all, no one wins promotion at least until the last few weeks of the campaign.
So, despite Wolves winning earlier in the day and Brentford coming back from a goal down to register yet another success, it was imperative that we matched both of our closest rivals.
However, such a circumstance looked like ‘Mission Impossible’ after Paul Downing had given the Saddlers a deserved lead and – with a bit of luck could and they would argue should have claimed their first triumph since late January.
But, then, Nathan Clarke – again playing a captain’s innings – steps up lets fly. And, don’t tell anyone he didn’t mean to score. Admittedly, the ball did take a wicked deflection off their goalscorer. Admittedly, with our skipper’s only other career goal coming recently at Port Vale, it was unlikely to happen so soon after. Buses sometimes arrive in twos – so this strike was even more satisfying.
Therefore, we should be grateful for a point. After all, I wonder what odds you could have got at the start of the campaign had we gone into this late March fixture and on the back of a narrow home Brentford defeat, but ending the day having now accumulated 75 points is still a massive achievement.
After all there are still 24 points to play for – although the likelihood of picking up maximum is unlikely. But, we’ve got an excellent opportunity to at least apply some pressure to the top two with back-to-back home games.
Let’s just hope the turnouts for these games are good and the fans get behind the team. I’m sure the support the fans give will certainly spur the players – as was evident in the excellent showing of more than 600 at Walsall on Saturday.
The last thing – though – the management will want is for the season to peter away as a play-off is at least more or less guaranteed.
Keep the faith,
Up the O’s.