Cardiff Defeat Not the End of the World

By and large most fans seem to have avoided the hysterics of finally losing a game and falling out the playoffs. There will always be those who react to each and every result as if that result is indicative of the season as a whole, but on the most part fans are remaining somewhat grounded.

The true test will be the next few results. The next two games mainly because if we carry on in not winning (and if we fail to beat Barnsley on Saturday would we really deserve to be up there) then the faith will be lost by the fair-weather fans, and seeing as they all rushed out to buy those triple header tickets it may make or a strange atmosphere.

Cardiff are top for a reason. Let’s not forget they are a formidable opposition, so to lose to them was almost expected. And I say that because of the mixed reasons that we have been limping to last minute draws lately against weaker teams than Cardiff, and whatever they’re nickname is nowadays after all their image shifts. Additionally when I planned the remainder of our season in a previous blog I said we could afford two defeats and had that game down as a definite loss. So all is not lost.

However, the problem is the feeling of things could start snowballing. The feeling we could even make automatic was born out of that. A small movement that gradually builds a huge momentum before collapsing. That same momentum that carried us to being 10 games undefeated and people thinking we could go the rest of the season could easily move to the fact we haven’t won in 4 games now. It’s funny how one change in result goes and put a different light on the situation.

Make no mistake to be where we are and when is still a surprise to consider where we were in early February. So all is not lost. I always thought that if we could make it we’d sneak in on the last day and see where the playoffs took us. To have got up to 5th in early April was amazing to me.

We all cited the amazing form we were on as how we would beat the others to make it but remember that same run of form we went on could carry others in there, namely Bolton. Who at a similar time to us starting our run were flirting with relegation. Now they occupy what we could view as having been our spot. It’s theirs to lose now, and fate is no longer in our hands.

What’s perhaps the most risky part is that we conceded three goals, and the strikers are still remaining goalless. Tuesday’s game against Middlesbrough is huge now. Considering that palace and Brighton are away at teams in the lower reaches (though with this division as it is those games are potential pitfalls) and with Bolton and Leicester facing off versus each other (and those two being the main playoff rivals for us) if they were to draw that would help a lot. Middlesbrough have only won twice this calendar year, but the old feeling that of course the time they get it right will be against us. Mowbray has his back to a wall and is fighting for his job. This could cause us a problem. A draw wouldn’t be a complete disaster as at least it’s a momentum of points, but defeat could kill our morale. If we don’t Barnsley on Saturday regardless of the Boro result I think it could be extremely costly for our playoffs bid. The teams who struggled for form have started to turn it round slowly.

It will be a fascinating week regardless in our season and one that could sculpt it. Losing to Cardiff was almost to be expected, but we need to expunge it from our system and get back to winning ways, rather than the stunted draws that littered the last few weeks. The International Break as I worried would, has removed the wind from our sails a little, coupled with all the razzmatazz of Fawaz interviews and the exposes on Forest, things haven’t fired in the same way since that time.

Hopefully that feeling, and that momentum can be reignited.