TO say that I was disappointed after the Chesterfield match would be a gross understatement.
I have refrained from writing for many months to comment on the games and the players, but finally I have succumbed.
As the season has gone on I have found myself wondering if I have been attending the same game as some of the writers to this column.
One said that some supporters were wearing rose-tinted glasses. I would say they were wearing dark glasses.
The team seem unable to play as a unit at the moment; they forget that when they haven't got the ball they have to get it back to be able to play.
A certain central defender plays the offside trap by stopping and raising his arm in the air. As a schoolboy, I was taught to keep playing and play to the whistle.
For me, Andy Booth has been the player of the season. He lacks express pace but even with this lack of speed he is to be found running the width of the field trying to break play down.
His heading and lay-off play is second to none, and he can also be found defending in the 18-yard box. All in all a consummate pro.
I must ask, if we were determined to push for promotion, why, when the transfer window opened in January, did we not significantly strengthen the team?
The squad must be short of three, maybe more quality players in my opinion. Nowhere in the side have we genuine pace. You can drive a coach and four through the midfield and onward to the goal.
Over this season we have been fortunate that results around us have benefited us, so why, oh why, can we not take advantage of that situation?
Changes a worry
EVER since Jacko returned to Town I have never felt the need to criticise until now.
We were 1-0 up at half time against Chesterfield and cruising, but then Jacko's changes beggered belief.
I presume Holdsworth was injured, but to put Tom Clarke at right back was pure folly. Surely Mirfin is more adept in that position with Tom slotting in alongside his brother.
The following changes with Tom off for Ahmed, Worthington switched to right-back and then Brandon off for Boothy had most fans gasping with disbelief.
In the first half, Schofield and Brandon on the flanks had Chesterfield chasing shadows. We lost all width, punted the ball forward at every opportunity and totally lost our way.
Sorry Jacko, much as I admire what you have done for Town, decisions like this could end up costing us automatic promotion.
We need to win the last three and hope others slip up but I can't see it happening.
Forest in the play-off final ?
Playing like we did in the second half we may not even make the play-offs.
I, and I am sure many, many others, walked home from the Galpharm Stadium shaking a very sad head.
I was also puzzling my mind as to whether we possessed a coach and a manager prepared to make necessary changes during a game.
I, and those who sit around me, watched the ball go to our forwards in the air to be won invariably by a Chesterfield defender, not just once but continuously. Did no-one in the management team see what we saw, namely a repetitive tactic which was not working.
Surely, if a tactic is utilised for perhaps 30 or 40 minutes and consistently fails then it should be changed.
Last September we played football, i.e. with the ball on the ground and going to feet. Why have we changed?.
The Chesterfield players must also be grateful to our midfield and defence for their generosity in backing off and giving them room to play and pass the ball to one another.
Just one more comment. In the school yard we were told that when shooting, the knee should be over the ball, then it stays low.
But I sometimes wonder if our forwards train with the Giants, hence over the bar it goes. Dear me, what an opportunity missed to go second in the table.
Birkby Hall Road.
Make it happen
I HAVE regarded Town as a 45-minute side for most of my 25 year sentence.
Tuesday against Chesterfield was further evidence of this.
That's why we're in the old Third Division - we simply don't have the players to be consistent for enough of the time.
I have to say, the same applies to those around us who are also dropping points.
So with perhaps 3 x good 45 minute performances to come, I'm hopeful we can forget about Tuesday and push Town on to the next level.
I accept if we don't hit the play-offs in some sort of November-type form or fail to make them at all, then events may take care of themselves in terms of personnel.
But with the Premiership three coming down to the Championship, the revenues available by being among the second league next season with regular 20,000-plus gates, capacity away followings most weeks we've just got to find a way to stick behind the lads and make sure it happens - for everyones benefit.
The Lord's work
OUR father, who art a Terrier, hallowed be our turf.
Our time will come, our moaning will be done, at Swindon or in the play-offs.
Give us these last games a host of goals and stop those who contrive to score against us.
For ours is promotion, to the Championship and glory, for the sake of our sanity.
Note of optimism
I WAS lucky enough not to be there on Tuesday, so I'm going to try injecting a bit of optimism.
All right, we've thrown away the automatics now but just four points might still get us to the play-offs.
We're still capable of beating anyone over two legs.
In fact, the worse the opposition at the moment the more worried I am.
So ignoring the fact we're away at the bottom-placed club next, Championship football here we come and a new midfield in the summer.
WHINGE, whine, moan, blame the cat, blame the subs, blame Peter Jackson, blame Terry Yorath.
Come on Town fans, let's help pick our boys up from this setback.
I couldn't make it to the Chesterfield game but I was at Bournemouth and will be at the last three games shouting my heart out for the team, our team.
Short, short memories of some people make me smile.
We could have been playing in the Northern Counties East League less than three seasons ago.
The club has been transformed in that time and all people can ask of a management team in any walk of life is year-on-year improvement.
Jacko has delivered.
We are near the top of the table playing against the top sides in the League, and this will stand us in good stead if we do not go up automatically.
We can do it, I have the faith.
Get behind the lads now.