Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
The challenge for anyone who writes a regular column in any publication is to try and avoid making yourself look too stupid, especially when talking about a football match that hasn’t happened yet. For the Mossley programme, I suggested that the game at Rylands was potentially a turning point in our season because the players and coaching staff will have learned a great deal from it and would be determined to “react” to last Saturday’s result. Sure enough, the Lilywhites left the IP Truck Parts Stadium with their 100% away record in the League destroyed thanks to a second-half surge from the Pesky Bulls.
After a run of nine matches without a victory, Tuesday night’s win was a much-needed boost for the whole club and came at just the right time, given that this afternoon’s visitors, Glossop North End, are just two points and two places ahead of Cables in the League Table.
I don’t know if it’s fair to call this match a “six-pointer”, given that it is still only November, but we can’t escape the fact that both Prescot and Glossop currently sit in the bottom five. For North End, that might be a slightly false position, given that they are the West Division’s current ‘draw specialists’, so are obviously competitive within the division. However, the fact is that Glossop have struggled in front of goal so far this season, finding the net just 11 times in their 16 matches to date. Only Market Drayton, who have hit the onion bag just five times so far this season, have scored fewer goals in the West Division.
Cables’ problem, up until now, has been defensive; last Saturday exacerbated an existing problem, which is that the Prescot goal has been breached 40 times already this season. However, Mossley arrived on Merseyside as one of the leading scorers in the division and only managed to beat Mitch Allen once, which offers hope for the direction of travel in which the club is headed.
Perhaps, if I could refer to Tuesday’s column again, the oil tanker is starting to turn? It certainly seems like the squad is finding an identity which the fans can tap into. According to the Mossleyweb website, “Prescot were a very average team at best, but, what they did have was desire and they had that in spades, and once they had got their noses in front it was always going to become a tough night for the out of sorts Lilywhites.”
There’s quite a bit in that quote I’d expect our players and staff to take issue with, but “having desire in spades” is what I want my team to have. I’m pretty sure that most supporters feel the same; most of us know enough about the game to accept a defeat when Cables come up against a team who are better on the day. What riles supporters is the perception – however incorrect it is – that their team “hasn’t put a shift in”. But when the opposition’s website is commenting about the “desire” shown by your team – win or lose – then, as a fan, you can take comfort that the players are as invested in the cause as you are.
That’s not a particularly sophisticated view of football, but then, we are playing in the eighth tier of the game. Tiki-taka is not going to take you where you want to go on its own when the calling points on the journey include Kendal and Widnes.
As fans, we have to practice what we preach by supporting the team throughout the match and giving them the recognition they’re due at its end. Whatever the outcome of an extremely tough match against Glossop North End, let’s stick together and continue the work which started on Tuesday.