The irony wasn’t lost on me on opening day whilst shouts of “Part-Time Leeds Fans” echoed out from the Kop against Huddersfield.
For i’d wondered myself in pre-season what sort of effect a bad start to the season might have on Notts’ own crowds, whether a couple of defeats might see people drift back across the river to the City Ground, or just avoid the place altogether. Already though signs don’t look good. This Saturday’s game should offer the biggest indication of that yet.
Calls continue to be made for the head of Craig Short on the back of two ugly league defeats and an apparently easily forgotten away win in the League Cup. Has some supporter’s blind optimism at the time of his appointment started to vanish, replaced by the harsh reality that appointing Craig was a massive risk?
At the same time, Ben Burgess has seemingly been made the scapegoat for the side’s current form. My guess is that it’s easier to pick apart the new boy rather than look at some of the squad’s more holy grails that have played just as badly thus far.
Now is not the time to turn on the players who have ran their bodies into the ground week after week for us in recent months. Last season the Meadow Lane support was acknowledged all over the footballing fraternity for how much we got behind our players, but now things have hit the skids slightly people are happy to turn their backs?
To put in bluntly…wake up. We’re only two games down in a 46-game season, and only six points off the top spot. Most recently, 14 points seemed like a doddle to us! Craig Short has walked into a squad with an incredible team spirit, i wouldn’t have thought it too out of the question to think he may struggle to fit in himself at first?
This weekend though, realistically, a handsome win could lift Notts as high as mid-table if other results go our way! Ever the optimist eh?
Dagenham & Redbridge are the visitors, and similarly they started their season in defeat to a much fancied side in Sheffield Wednesday. Daggers (rather unfairly) are seen as red hot favourites to go straight back down, so why shouldn’t we see this is an opportunity to make a statement? After all, they’re a side we netted six times against last season!
Saturday offers a fantastic opportunity for the side to pick themselves up and finally show League One that Notts County Football Club mean business. This is not a time for cheering when players are hauled off-field, and it’s certainly not a time for walking out of the ground on with 20 minutes of football still to play as they were against Huddersfield.
The players are in a bad place right now and as supporters it’s our job to help pick them up off the ground and show them how much we’re behind them. Or would people rather see the club struggle just so they can be vindicated in their skepticism of Craig Short?
Let’s bring the good times back, as supporters we can put that belief back into the team on Saturday.
Let’s see Hughesy nod home a free-kick, have Ben Davies bury a set-piece in the top corner, get behind Westy when he picks up the ball on the wings, be accepting if the manager makes a switch. Let’s just put ourselves back in the picture and stop being the sulky laughing stock of the Football League that we’re quickly becoming!