Two absolutely huge games over the bank holiday weekend. If we want to give ourselves a fighting chance of survival, I fancy that we really need to win them both. When is the last time we won two league games back to back you ask?… August.
In fact, we didn’t lose a single league game in August. ‘The Bastards’ were Bastards, not bottlers, the atmosphere was triumphant, not toxic, and the clean sheets… well actually we still couldn’t keep a clean sheet. However, we did open the season’s first 4 games with a 10 point haul and 0 losses registered. As unlikely as it seems, we need to match that form else its League 2 tours for everyone.
51 points are usually enough to keep you safe. That’s 9 more points than we have at present; meaning we need to win 75% of our remaining league games. Considering we are tracking at a 26% win rate this season, the odds are not in our favour. Yet somehow, we all cling to hope. Hope that the scenes at the end of Saturday’s defeat to Accrington will give the players the kick up the arse they need to perform. The hope that scathing reviews from the manager and former players about the performance is enough to make the players pause for thought before walking out on Friday afternoon, and making sure they give it a real go. Hope that we don’t have to trudge to Shrewsbury away in a few weeks, already relegated with the sheepsh***ers bidding us farewell to League 1.
The last few performances have been absolutely dire. When I wrote ”Luck’s run out?” last month, I got some feedback that I was too negative after the team had put in some good displays against the better teams. Like I said then, and like I will say again, it’s not good enough only to show up against the good teams and then come away (predictably) empty-handed. When you play well, create chances and dominate games, the ball has to go in the back of the net at the end of it. This team has forgotten how to win- they need to remember FAST.
They need to show the fight and desire and passion they did all those months ago. They need to show, that despite the dire performances of the last two weeks they do actually care about staying in this division. Not many of these players have an affiliation to Walsall, not many of them have any true ties to this football club- but surely even they don’t want to just idly flitter away into League 2?
They showed us early in this season what they are capable of a squad. They went 10 of the opening 12 games picking up points, winding up opponents and opposition fans with their brutish behavior and belligerent style. We need it now more than ever.
The fans will back them – as we have all season. The scenes last week, though unsavoury, come from our own love of the club, our own willingness to succeed, and from our own desire to see players perform in a way that shows they ARE fit to wear the shirt.
We must finish the season as we started it.
We have said this for weeks it feels, but this really, truly is a MUST WIN game. Don’t let us down.