Brian Honour blogs on Pools fans' invasion of York, Tuesday’s crucial point against Accrington and his thoughts on the battle for survival.
Hello and welcome back to my latest Blog here on the Official Website.
It’s been a tense few days with the two games against York City and Accrington Stanley and it looks to me like this battle for survival could go down to the wire now.
I travelled to the York game as a fan which meant I could take advantage of the full matchday experience – going down there on the train and standing on the terrace behind the goal in among the Poolies.
If I am being honest, the support we took even amazed me. We were walking through the City centre after we got off the train and there were tourists taking pictures of cathedrals – then suddenly there’s a massive group of Poolies signing “Ronnie Moore’s blue and white army”! They must have been wondering what was going on!
The numbers we took to the game were phenomenal and I think it just shows once again the passion there is for the Football Club and how much everybody wants us to survive in the Football League this season.
I mean, even at home we’ve been getting crowds averaging 3,500 all season and in the last few weeks I think everyone has rallied round further and got behind the players as they continue the fight to stay above the bottom two.
In comparison to some other teams in this division our average gates are superb and really we should have been playing in front of much lower crowds given our position in the league for the majority of the season.
It was disappointing that we couldn’t get the result at York on Saturday and after the game there was a really flat feeling among the fans as we waited for the train home. It was a real shame because it would have been some party had we got the right result.
Then on Tuesday night at the final whistle it was quite a weird feeling, to be honest. At 7.45pm we’d been saying on Pools Player’s live commentary that we must win the game and that we expected to beat Accrington Stanley – but by the final whistle I think most people were relieved we’d got a point.
It could be a crucial point as well, in the grand scheme of things. We could look back at the end of the season if we’ve stayed up by a point and reflect on how important it was that we did get the draw on Tuesday.
Fair play to Ronnie for showing once again that he’s got a Plan B and he can change things when they’re not working. He recognised that the shape and personnel weren’t having the desired effect during the first half and he wasn’t scared to make the changes to get us back in the game.
How often do you hear it levelled at coaches or managers that they don’t know how to change things? Well, Ronnie showed again that he knows what he’s doing and he even had a Plan C tucked in his pocket when he put the three out-and-out strikers through the middle at the end as we went in search of goals.
I know people will say we should be beating Accrington but I thought we saw a team come to The Vic on Tuesday and play without fear or pressure and they looked a good side to me. In the next few games we’re coming up against side who could be fighting for points for different reasons and that brings its own challenges too.
I think after every game you’re studying the table and the remaining fixtures, trying to work out what we’ll need to ensure survival. The only guarantee is to go and win all three games we have left. You don’t know what’s round the corner obviously but my gut feeling is telling me that we’re going to go to Carlisle on the last day needing a result, be that a draw or a win.
Things can change very quickly of course and if we win on Saturday at Luton it would typify our season. People were saying we’d get four points from York and Accrington and we’ve ended up with one – if would sum our Club and season up if we then went away and got all three this weekend!
We’re more than capable of winning all our remaining games, without a doubt. It’s not long since Ronnie came desperately close to winning Manager of the Month and the defeat against Southend could really have been a win on another day so we just need to dust ourselves down and go again.
The beauty of the position right now is that we know if we do our part then we’re safe. And if you’d said to me in January that we would be in that situation with three games left then I think I would have given you a funny look!
We’ve come a long way to get in to this position and now we need to stay together and make sure we get across the finish line – and I’m confident we will.
Never Say Die.