Brentford host Blackburn Rovers today in a game that sees both teams locked on 43 points in the Championship table and somewhat closer to the relegation zone than they would probably prefer. That said, a gap of 7(seven) points and superior goal difference is surely too much to be immediately concerned about . Yet regardless, getting back to winning ways is going to be hugely important – as much for calming any jitters as reuniting the fans.
Blindingly obvious? Perhaps. I’m no football guru or have anymore insight than the man or woman standing next to me on the terrace. But, I am a fan. And like many of us was just so disappointed by what happened last Saturday.
Forget the poor run we’d had going into the game. That counted for nothing in a one-off derby clash with our most bitter of rivals. We had the chance to walk into Loftus Road and secure the double after our early season victory under Lee Carsley at Griffin Park in October. The subsequent performance from Dean Smith, from the players and, if we’re being honest, from some of our ‘fans’ – whose anger towards each other in certain quarters wasn’t pretty and bordered on bullying or abuse– left a somewhat bitter taste on what should have been a day to remember.
Much like our work colleagues and families, we’re bound together through circumstance and should surely have been pulling together for our common goal. That of beating QPR. They weren’t great yet still strolled to a 3-0 victory. And that hurt. A lot.
But, to coin that most over used and nonsensical of phrases from this season – We go again. Nico was quick off the mark with this one last night although, for once, it seemed meant in a much more positive sense than the usual accompaniment to post match soul searching after a defeat.
As demonstrated by the player’s meeting that Alan McCormack spoke about at length in Thursday’s press conference, there seems to be an acknowledgement amongst the squad that Saturday was, what we’ll politely call, a low point. For Captain Jake Bidwell to call his troops together, outside of the watchful eye of management, speaks volumes. Although hopefully in a positive sense, long term.
Certainly, I’m going into today’s encounter with Blackburn full of confidence. The players have held up their hands, we’ve signed a loan striker in Leandro Rodriguez from Everton whilst Matthew Benham has bounced back to Twitter this week (following a lot of very unfair flak) with the return of the cryptic clue. Hey, we could even see Scott Hogan make a very welcome return to the bench after another 75 minutes for the development squad on Monday.
Let’s not underplay how much of a boost this will be. Goalscoring has been an area of concern in recent weeks and so to have one, potentially two alternates can only be a good thing. Whilst goals have been somewhat of a rare commodity in recent weeks is that trickle about to become a flood ?
Who knows? Whoever starts could have the weight of expectation on their shoulders but then again will be following somewhat of a low. Whilst we’d all love a morale boosting deluge of goals, I’d still settle for a metaphorical puddle rather than the aforementioned flood if it meant breaking that drought of victories.
Here’s to Brentford getting three points and, perhaps, a Leandro da Win-ci? .