This is it, this is what it all comes down to – the final eight games.
Forget the fast start, forget the inconsistency, this is now a mini season as we look to secure a place in the top six come the end of the 2020/21 campaign. And thank heavens this season has happened – we now have a renewed sense of purpose after many years of lower-mid-table mediocrity.
A club that looked to be in slow decline has started to reverse that trend – and whilst we’re in a much better position, it makes it even more imperative we get fully behind this team for the run-in.
There’s no doubt our place in the playoffs is precarious at this moment in time, it takes no expert to work that one out. But this international break is a game-changer.
Not only does it allow the players to recharge their batteries, provide the opportunity for Veljko Paunovic to tinker with the system and give absentees like Michael Morrison a chance to make a return, it also enables everyone in the camp to get themselves mentally prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
We know football is just as much of a mental game as it is physical – and whilst many fans question the bottle of this team – the final eight games (or 11, who knows?) will be the chance for the team to show if they have what it takes to mix it with the big boys at the top.
If they can, great. If they can’t, I guess it confirms a lot of fans’ current suspicions. But right now, we must live in the moment. No one knows what’s going to happen in the future with FFP and other hurdles – and that’s why we must make the most of this great opportunity.
So, after the international break, the boys will continue to receive my unconditional support. We don’t want to look back at this season and think: ‘what if I had been a bit more positive on social media after the X, Y and Z game?’
I said it after the Wycombe Wanderers match last month and I’ll say it again: social media makes a huge difference in the modern game. Let’s make the likes of Twitter and Instagram a healthy place to operate for them, it certainly wouldn’t do any harm on the pitch and may even pay dividends and push the players to give that bit extra when they feel they have nothing left in the tank.
Considering just one goal and one point can change everything at the business end of a Championship season, this could the key to success in such a tight playoff race.
Get to the playoffs, and it’s a lottery to see who can get to the Premier League. We know that all too well.
And trust me, I know it could be hard to stay positive, especially if we start to lose games, but I’m keeping the faith, like Harry is, until our season is mathematically over.