I’m writing this on the coach home from Hemel Hempstead and we’re cold and wet – but we’re still here in our masses, writes Ian Guppy, chairman of the Rocks supporters’ club.
Easily 100-plus making the 200-mile round trip in the midst of Storm Aileen on a tuesday night is a fantastic testament to the loyalty and commitment of the fans we have.
We may have lost but this display showed what we can do. We showed signs of what we were at the start of the season.
A huge sense of realism has hit over the past few weeks. We’re now in a league where any mistake is punished and Tuesday night was proof.
Last season we’d have come away with a point but this is a much bigger step up than many perceived. The quality of player is higher and the clinical nature of how mistakes are punished is quite cruel in a way – and currently we’re being punished severely.
Some elements of the fan-base have been critical of Jack Pearce being in charge, but there is nothing he can do about some of the mistakes that have led to us conceding goals.
It’s similar for Frank De Boer at Palace. Just look at the result versus Burnley as the weekend. It wouldn’t have been an injustice if Palace had won 5-1 but resolute defending by Burnley and Palace’s failure to finish their chances cost him his job – but we don’t have that luxury at our level.
I firmly believe Jack would relinquish the reins if a suitable candidate came along, but who is there?
The fans’ forum brought some answers and most of the answers are quite plain and obvious too see. Most of what was said on Sunday was not a shock.
We are massively punching above our weight and I feel we were doing so last season, but am I complaining? 100 per cent no!
As fans we’ve been spoilt over that past ten years with numerous promotions, Amex finals and cup runs to keep us highly entertained and this is the first real time of ‘austerity’ we’ve experienced in a long long time. It’s how we react in the next month or so that is critical. We always knew this league would be hard and we always have known that financially and geographically we struggle to attract players at times – and this is one of those times.
This Saturday gives us time to forget about that league and focus on the FA Cup v Weston-super-Mare and let’s hope by 5pm Saturday we’re looking forward to the next-round draw. Come on you Rocks!!
by IAN GUPPY
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