The Dentists Diary – 405th

Another close one, another disappointment; but a level of effort and sprit that, had it been sustained throughout the season, would have seen us a lot further up the League. But most of all, with the pressure off in the league now and little to play for, it was a performance that afforded us a bit of hope!

It was a much better showing and a good game to watch, exciting at times and tense at others with bags of effort and pride, but we should have won shouldn’t we? When you watched a disjointed, out of sorts, mistake ridden Leeds scramble and battle for a win at Salford on Friday you realised that in the end no-one is good every week, but when you’re not, that’s what good teams do AND therefore it follows that at present, we are far from a good team!!!!

I was quite relaxed and enjoyed our game (a demeanour assisted no doubt by the loss by Bradford last weekend and the end of their Court case fiasco) but it was certainly tense at the end and overall for those there and watching at home on TV, pretty good entertainment. In fact had we been sitting at around 6th in the league and going reasonably well we would, (having lost both halves and playing arguably the best attacking team in the league), have taken that point without concern! Of course we’re not in that position and grumbling is the new hobby of most FC fans, so it was all doom, gloom and ‘the ‘bloody referee’ again at the end!

The moaners do have a point of course because with a 14 point lead these are the games in which you have to shut out the opposition and press on to hammer home the advantage. But we seemed to fade and our blunted attack doesn’t do the ‘hammering it home’ stuff does it? So, I guess for me If it proved one thing, it was that with such a shortage of class halves around, the fact that Adam Pearson shelled out around £120,000 for Sneyd does at least guarantee that, whatever we do with him and however he goes for us, at the current time we have signed the best young half back around! We really can’t ask more than that. The challenge for our Coach next season is to get that same impact out of him that Cas. have got so successfully this year.

It was at times a stirring defensive display and we drove out of our own half well. Ellis led from the front and set the example all night which meant that a lot of our team stuck together and just followed his lead. However things went wrong again at critical times, and although there may be a lot wrong with our coaching, a couple of those incidents just show that whatever you drill into them beforehand on the training pitch, you can do nothing about ‘brain farts’ when they get out there in a game.

When Thompson came on he made a tackle and then walked back to the line with his back to the play, the acting half spotted this and ran at him, Jordan couldn’t recover, was completely wrong footed and they scored their only first half points. Then there was Tom Lineham jumping out of the line in those critical last few minutes! Fine margins but critical errors and when we play with such pride and intensity we need to break the mould of just falling short, because at present losing these tight games has become part and parcel of the team’s mentality. The only way to beat that is to win a couple of tight games. For me too, I’m still disappointed with Sa (although perhaps he’s not up to full fitness yet), Whiting failed to inspire me much again and Tom Lineham is still struggling defensively. However Westerman was great and has been the stand out player this season.

CasHome1
No problem with that tackling technique then?

For me I guess when I sit back and analyse the game the turning point came when Rankin was injured because he was running what attacking thrust we had, Abdull too was coming of age and had a great game before he was savagely cut down. But we were certainly comfortable till the last quarter. Once Rankin had gone (with an injury that will probably end his season) we had to defend even more deeply but held out at first until our ability to take pressure off ourselves with some attacking respite saw the Cas. forwards get on top, Sneyd did his stuff and our enforced lack of a kicker, told. We ran out of the few attacking ideas we had and Heramaia’s inability to get that kick away, just emphasised our problems. Clarke and Sneyd were the saviours of Cas and how they will get on without them next season was certainly a worry for a couple of their fans I spoke to as they made their way to their Coaches after the game. Sneyd is without doubt an inspired signing for us and almost single-handedly got them back into it, you only get what you pay for, but he will make things happen next year and when you got over the fact that on Thursday he was the adversary, it’s an exciting prospect.

CasHome2
Mark Sneyd will make all the difference.

With Marc and Leon on board next year I think we will see Abdull and particularly Rankin developing in their shadow, because for me both look good prospects. Rankin still gets confused and finds himself in the wrong places at the wrong times, but it’s coming, while Abdull commands things so well, has a kick like a siege gun and for one so young he runs some tremendous lines. He got through what looked to be a shocking injury reasonably unscathed, but he’s only 17 so we shouldn’t expect too much too soon.

The thing is of course was once again we made few chances because those two are still learning, but we did at least get over the whitewash three times. The season holds nothing to play for but pride, however it was an enjoyable game to watch and it was also great to hear the fans getting behind the team when they needed it, but we just ain’t smart enough at those critical times are we? That, when you’re not playing well, marks out the good teams from the rest.

CasHome3
Pretty damning evidence for me!! That’s Abdull’s head under his knee!

For me the referee got stuff right and some stuff wrong but was reasonably fair until that last incident which is shown above and that cost us the game. That was a foul without doubt and the referee was told, in his ear, and put the tackle on report but quite rightly refused to give a penalty. He can’t change his mind, but that needs to change because in those situations, in such close encounters, he should be able to review the incident or ask the video referee to do it. However some things never change and the touch judge just stood there like a ‘Dick’, about 6 yards from the incident and as usual said nothing! No wonder people are walking away from our game.

CasHome4
Rankin; torn meniscus

So it was a good showing and a point gained through guts and determination. Rankins injury was a blow and that’s probably his season done, he tweeted on Friday, “Well news I expected to hear. Torn meniscus that needs repairing, surgery is the next step. #teamrehab”. However that apart, most fans, once they got over the disappointment of a point lost will agree I believe, that with our obvious limitations, that effort and pride is all we can ask for. We shouldn’t give up a 14 point lead like that, but Cas are a special team this year and Sneyd, a very special player.

So to the week past, and the main talking point has I guess to be our owner and his latest ‘state of the nation’ interview on Wednesday with formed his latest clarion call to the fans. James Clark interviewed Adam that morning in the warm sunshine on the roof of the new centre of Adam Pearson business empire, Wykeland House in Nelson Street. It was quite a ‘Tour De Force’ this time around, but he certainly didn’t please everyone with his claims that, whatever happens now, the Coach was staying. I speak to our owner quite regularly and have been banging on about the fact that Radford was here for the duration for ages and he repeated that both in the interview and his programme notes. However with the new format next season I can see any unsuccessful coaches in general soon coming under threat if their team’s ain’t winning! I do actually agree with the general consensus out there, because there is little doubt that Hull FC are in a pretty bad place at present, but I’ll take the fact our Coach is staying as read from now on and try my best to get behind the team and put my trust in Adam’s judgement, simply because by and large we have liitle option.

CasHome5

Our owner said in his interview, that he is personally here for ‘life’, and then qualified that rather sweeping statement by adding that the current state of the game means that people ain’t exactly queuing up to buy Rugby League Clubs. If I had a comment, I just wish he’s stop blaming all the woes of the current team on the previous regime, because I certainly don’t blame everything on Peter Gentle. Things under him were certainly not all roses and although I loved my weekend, the feeling I had in the hours and days straight after Wembley was truly depressing, in fact a season of flat lining this time around has been dire but certainly hasn’t spiked my depression like that game and the one at Huddersfield did last season. But Gentle did OK, he had his problems, some were apparent then, some have come out since, but I doubt had he stayed that things could have been any worse, in fact probably the contrary. However on the other hand, what is not in doubt is that Adam certainly was badly advised by Shaun McCrae and the signing of players like Crookes, Arundel, McDonnell and to a certain extent Miller on massive salaries, is a legacy that will come back to bite us big style for some time yet.

I’m still thankful for Pearson’s continued support and I believe we all have to get behind him because quite frankly as fans he’s all we’ve got!! He said that (despite all the money coming through the gate, a decent deal at the Stadium and all the TV money the Club has received) he has put in an amount of well over 7 figures of his own money in the last three years. He also interestingly said that providing season tickets hold up at a reasonable level, we should, with the additional TV money available next year, break even. That’s a good place to be in for all of us who want a team to support for years to come. The problem will be, with the new structure, our ability to stay in the top division in future. Financial stability is great but of course we want more than that and without success on the field, everything else is ‘nice’ to have, but pretty academic.

On the tenure on Lee Radford it appears to be ‘not negotiable’. It was put to me that Rovers have been scouring the world for the last three month (and well before Sandercock went), to see what was available, but they found the answer to that was ‘very little’ and I’m told they are to settle with Chris Chester, so expect him to be given a contract shortly. I know many of you reading this favour a change, but I wonder who you would pick to replace Lee, we could all come up with names of established Coaches at other Clubs at both sides of the world, but none of them would come, why should they and indeed, would you? That leaves Australian assistants coming to ‘cut their teeth’ and the ‘usual suspects’ and in the end, when you put the emotions apart, would you really want them? It’s certainly divided opinion and if for some reason you haven’t watched the interview, it’s certainly worth a look, (it’s on the club site), as are his programme notes which, after no programme was forthcoming at the game because the delivery van broke down on the motorway and didn’t arrive till 9-30, were put out on the Club site on Friday. I believe the Club will be giving them away from their shops this week.

In that same interview it was interesting to hear that having been on and then off, two referee’s was back on the agenda, however I still wonder myself exactly where they will come from and what quality they will bring to the officiating, in a season that is structured to ensure that every game from the first week of the season is critical and where refereeing mistakes could really sting you.

The big announcement on that changing state of the game from 2015 was trumpeted by Blake Solly and Co at the RL last Thursday and I have to say that although I’m still not convinced it’s the way forward; at least it offers excitement and meaningful matches from game one. I have never been a fan of something that, (whatever the young guns amongst the supporter base of the game are saying), is for many fans too complicated and just another gimmick! When you look at it in depth it will make every game matter, I’ll grant you that and will give a better and more level playing field for most Clubs (well those outside the top 8 anyway) but it’s that ‘having to look at it in depth’ stuff that could well be its downfall.

Personally I guess I have to say that I’m warming to the new structure, but I’ve spent hours on it and anyway I have to accept it; well I do if I am to continue my support for the FC as I will be doing next season. However I definitely don’t like the new challenge cup format, it should be an open draw with all the top teams joining the smaller clubs in the same round, That should be sacrosanct because they are now taking away the small clubs dreams of that big game against the ‘Big boys’, with all the monitory reward it brings. I think that is totally wrong!!

I am also concerned that the dreadful Magic weekend remains. Now however with ‘Every game being meaningful’ the 2 (or indeed 3 points) it brings become much more significant but there is no talk at all of changing the fixture format. Wigan, Saints and Leeds have over the years wheedled their way out of Derby’s, while us lot Rovers, Wakey and Cas continue to have to play them. When are the fixtures to be arranged with some attempt at fairness? Some match up’s are simply much more demanding both mentally and physically than others, and some sides have had more than their fair share of soft opponents in the past. It’s time for a proper draw or a seeded arrangement based on the last seasons finishing positions. The current situation is still for me a real injustice.

Those two issues apart I guess we, the initiated, have to bite the bullet and get on with it. In the short term there is money for Clubs from the TV income right down to the bottom of the senior divisions, but in the longer term I do worry what will happen to some of the smaller Clubs who are getting this gravy, if the TV deal collapses at the end of its current run. One change though is a definite worry for any team that over-stretches financially, because the maximum penalty for clubs going into administration will be doubled to 12 points from next season.

Strangely enough the new points system muted for Super league where you will get 3 for a win 2 for a draw and 1 if you keep within 12 points of the victors does appeal to me because it could see teams who are well behind not throwing in the towel. It would have certainly rewarded our efforts for keeping in games this season, plus I think we should go with two referees too. But then again I now, after studying the thing, have a bit of an idea of what they are trying to do, but what about the uninitiated!

How do you think your average non committed sports fan is going to react when this see this new structure? People sometimes forget that you can’t just market Rugby League to die hard supporters and that to truly become successful, it needs to attract fair weather, none committed, only here for the beer, ‘just looking for a decent contest on TV’ types. They don’t care about the politics or rivalries but just want to be able to tune in or turn up and be entertained. Apathy and discontent with the new ideas is creeping into the hearts and minds of converted supporters so where do Magic Weekends, Summer Bash’s, Super Eights, convoluted points systems and Qualifiers leave the casual watcher? Never mind them then having to grasp just how the splits and fixtures work. Someone said of the latter this week “Just trying to explain the off-side rule to a casual football supporter, sees them ‘glaze over’ in seconds” so what chance has this lot got?

Yet snaring that uninitiated audience is probably the best chance we have of saving the game as we know it, for future generations. Will this scheme do that? Well I fear its complicity dictates it might not! Closer to home it’s a big risk too, because with falling gates and big TV money rewards, there are no guarantees built in to ensure that Championship clubs won’t over spend in an effort to try and move up. It’s likely too that mid table and lower table Super League clubs will start making short term decisions based on avoiding the qualifiers and then a relegation that would see them drop out of the top tier of competition, with all its big money benefits. We’ll have journeymen signings and ‘aging has beens’ quickly transferred back into the competition, after a period where by and large they have been replaced by young up and coming talent moving through the ranks.

For me the top 8 will get richer and everyone else with be boosted up or ‘dumbed down’, to offer a more balanced financial panacea below them. It might work, but it would have a better chance of succeeding if in the first place we had addressed the real problems, like refereeing standards, game times, poor commentators on Sky, rule interpretations and bemusing disciplinary decisions. Those are the things that are really driving the fans away from the game and that, plus the fact that amongst the older fans there will be collateral damage linked to this new system being one change too many, is still for me the biggest concern.

It’s a change that is worrying some Clubs too although they would never openly tell you, but some out there are still very nervous about the future. Several came close to a break away from the RL in the last closed season and although they now gloss over all that, the stench of revolution still lingers in the air. Many Clubs are just treading water until the time comes when they are forced to make some very tough and rebellious decisions.

But having said all that, perhaps those of us who will still be at the KC next season had better try and understand things a bit more and try at least to embrace the idea. On the practical side of things there is certainly still a lot of concern amongst the owners of some Clubs (like us) who feel they might just be around the 6th position downwards, when they consider how they will sell season tickets for what will be an unknown fixture list of 7 games after round 23. We won’t be able to plan much either, because we won’t know on which weekends in August and September we will be at home, because the fixtures will depend on where you finish after 23 rounds!

Clubs have been encouraged to mount an awareness campaign and so on 31st July we have the first public meeting for fans of both Clubs since the one with the Hull KR Supporters Group on Wednesday 5th June 1996 when we all went into the lion’s den to discuss our tactics to repel the RL’s ideas of a merger between the two Clubs at the onset of Super League. Things have moved on since then, (and not I have to say always in the best direction), and so we face another renaissance designed to increase, this time, the jeopardy element and thus apparently the excitement of the competition.

It is one of several such meetings planned across the game ahead of the launch of the new look competition, and will include a panel made up of owners Adam Pearson and Neil Hudgell who will be on the top table to discuss various aspects of the new competition structure, as well as other topics. Plus, there will be Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis and Hull KR star Travis Burns up there too, as we see, off the field at least, the two Clubs working more closely together for the good of the game in the City. Super League’s General Manager, Mark Foster, will also join the panellists to discuss the vision behind the new look to Super League from 2015’ and the event will take place at Middleton Hall, University of Hull, at 7:30pm. It’s certainly a chance for fans to outline their concerns and learn the way things will work and with tickets priced at just £2 per person and proceeds going towards the Steve Prescott Foundation, it’s a great opportunity to try and get our heads round what will be a massive renaissance in the game as we know it. Get there if you can.

I was talking to a pal at the gym who said that he wouldn’t be renewing his pass, not because of the team’s demise as he had seen that stuff plenty of times before, but rather because of, as he put it, “The latest gimmick being introduced by the RL’ I see his point on the gimmick front, but after scant consultation with us lot the paying customers it was ‘steam rollered’ in and if you want to support your Club and watch live rugby next year, you have to go along with it. It will see some supporters walk; with that figure in West Hull at least I’m sure, scewed by the issues of a final straw scenario concerning Hull FC, their Coach and our debatable prospects for the new season.

However as a fan who at Morrison’s won’t stand in the same queue as someone in a Rovers shirt, a social evening in the company of Dobbins isn’t quite my idea of a convivial mid-summer past-time!! I’ll be going along to see ‘what’s what’ and hear what is to be said. However if you can’t go or stomach the company, I’ll no doubt be reporting back in here, but do try to make it and see what’s happening.

So as Adam confirmed it last week, it’s now safe to assume that we have a centre coming in along with a second row forward with Frank Pritchard in the frame for the latter with a lot of fans! I see that the NZ papers are claiming that a deal for centre Dane Nielsen came close to him signing to move to us next season, only for it to fall through at the last minute. As for Pritchard, well he’d be massive! I got an interesting Whiff about the Dobbins last week (besides the fact Chezzie is here to stay), because friends and family of Josh Hodgson confirmed that he is certainly off to Australia and indeed is being paid so much he can afford to buy out his own contract at Rovers!!

In the Whiffs Department I got well and truly fed up of people telling me that Crooks was off somewhere, quickly followed by Lineham, so I grasped the nettle last week and asked the owner who told me that both will be here next season and are going nowhere. I heard from other sources at the Club that Crooks had harboured some hopes of an Aussie contract but nothing had been forthcoming and he was meeting the Club with his agent about a future contract this week. Scott Taylor will likely be signed and announced soon, but it will be for 2016 as Wigan won’t release him and finally in the whiffs section this week I just thought I would mention that its said in hushed tones by many at the Club, that perhaps Callum Lancaster would get more first team starts, if he turned up for training on time!

You know it really gets me sometimes, we are really doing it tough and most fans are digging in, hanging in there and trying to hold the line, but one or two seem to delight in our plight and are shooting down anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their knee jerking and shroud waiving. I got some real abuse last week with my rant about banners, but never learning I want this week to mention a few folks who came out this week and openly said they wanted us to lose on Thursday in front of the TV cameras, because they thought it would brings things as far as our Coach is concerned, to a head. To that all I’ll say is this….we all support our Club in different ways and have different views but for me personally I never want Hull FC to lose…ever! I might expect them to, or even anticipate that there is no other likely outcome as I did at Wigan, but I never want them to lose! Perhaps I’m getting decrepit and just a funny, old bugger really!

However We are certainly in a bad place, of that there is no doubt at all and despite the news from the Bulls and the fact that we can’t now go down, some folks want a change of playing personnel while most it seems want a change of Coach, and that’s fair enough; its every fans prerogative to have an opinion, including mine. However I have still to admit that in my heart of hearts I was really relieved when Bradford called of their plans to go to the high court.

Now, I don’t like Kevin Sinfield (or indeed McGuire or Hardaker or Peacock or Ryan Bailey) few fans outside Leeds do! However there was a lot of misplaced hot air about concerning his head butt last week against Castleford and indeed the penalty he received from the disciplinary panel! However standing back from it all I guess when you get over the fact that it was ‘Sir Kev’ who apparently can do no wrong, then given the grade of the offense, 2 matches was probably the only outcome possible. It should have been a whole lot more, of course it should, but I guess to the impartial observer if he had been given the maximum of 3, what is the point of an early plea and a good record (if it doesn’t reduce the punishment). I therefore guess the only argument is around the grading of the offence of a head butt which many would argue should be a deal higher.

Some armchair warriors were even taking to their key-boards and comparing the severity of a quick ‘nut’, (a once well appreciated move when executed by Knocker Norton), to a spear tackle, but I think we should all get real here because if nothing else a spear tackle can kill you! I still wondered though in my innermost thoughts if the two game ban was more to do with it being Leeds and the upcoming Cup Semi final, but that’s just suspicious old me.

The feeling in the Leeds camp is that Sinfield acted as he did because he believed he was about to be butted, which is if you watched the game is bollocks! Neither Sinfield nor his coach would comment, but Hetherington said: “Unfortunately this is another example of the pattern of inconsistency displayed by the Review Panel of the RFL. I can fully appreciate the growing chorus of discontent throughout the game with the performance of the RFL in these matters.” Well Gary that’ll teach you to get into bed with ‘em wont it!!! I wonder if the darling of the RL will get a fine for that outburst, like both Hudge and Adam have of late….I somehow doubt it myself, don’t you?

In Codgers Corner of late I have responded to reader’s requests to feature various game so perhaps now it’s time to go back to the 70’s and have a look at an ordinary match the type of which made up most seasons back then. This week I want to look back at one that I intended to include in great detail in my first attempt at writing a book before I ran out of space. It was a time when undoubtedly things were tough and when wins were at a premier and victories over the old enemy even harder to come by. Back in 1973 Clive Sullivan was our Coach and the emergence of Hull City as a force in the Second Division and other economic factors, meant that gates were low, cash was tight and Hull FC were floundering. It was in addition a season that started with us losing 8 of our first 10 games.

By April of that year we had entered a little purple patch though, having recorded a fine win over Dewsbury and had a one point loss at home to Castleford and a one point win against Huddersfield away. There followed a heavy defeat at Dewsbury at Crown Flatt, which was always a tough place to go, before we faced the old enemy at the Boulevard on Good Friday April 20th 1973. The Dobbins were up for promotion and it was to be the last time we would meet them for 18 months. I remember well that the ‘Fair Weather’ Rovers fans were there in force with a bunch of them giving us a deal of stick as we all made our way out down Airlie Street to the turnstiles.

We had been struggling with injuries and had just signed Colin Cooper from Rovers to shore up our playing roster. He started on the bench that day against his old team mates. They had just signed Jim Neale from us, and featured a young Roger Millward at 6. As the teams ran out, Rovers, who were then coached by Arthur Bunting, had a real spring in their steps, whilst the FC lads had more of a dire resolute look about them.

We kicked off and Millington fielded the ball only to be met with a gang tackle by Robson, Harrison and Wardell, which set the tone for the afternoon. After just 8 minutes an obstruction by Neale raised a big laugh from the Threepennies and it led to Boxall opening the scoring with a penalty. Then after 23 minutes we saw what even we had to agree was a great try by the other lot, as Moore set off down the touchline from his own 25. He beat our full back Huxley and then raced on to just beat Clive Sullivan to the line to open the visitors account. After another penalty by Boxall reduced the areas, a crunching and suspiciously high tackle on Portz by Rover’s Windmill saw our centre carried from the field which was all too much for a couple of guys on the Threepenny stand, who climbed the fence and set off towards the big Rovers prop. Luckily the linesman grabbed one of them and as the police dispatched them back over the fence; the two got a big cheer from the rest of use stood huddled on the famous old terracing.

Having made the substitution, which saw Cooper enter the fray, Boxall got another penalty, before in the last 8 or so minutes before half time, Rovers surged forward and only last ditch tackles from Huxley and Davidson kept them out. Then Lowe found a gap and Kirkpatrick scored in the corner, and although Boxall reduced the areas with another penalty, there was time for Millward to refuse an easy penalty kick to tap the ball, scoot into our line and send Lowe in at the corner. As the half time whistle went we were losing 13-6 and things looked pretty bleak.

The second half started with Hull exerting all the pressure and Rovers trying some ‘fancy Dan’ stuff that thankfully wasn’t working, as slowly we started to claw our way back into the game. Wardell and Len Casey at the back of our scrum were working really hard, and after one particular tackle by the latter, Holdstock lost it completely and had to be restrained by his own team mates as he traded punches with ‘Cast Iron’ Casey.

Next, up popped Terry Devonshire to drop a goal (2 points back then) and as the visitors continued to back chat to referee Lawrenson, Boxall kicked another penalty. Shortly after the restart the Rovers winger Rooms lost possession and Sullivan almost got his nose through the line on the left before the ball was moved right across the field for Alf Macklin to hit winger Longstaff with a great one handed ’Fend’ and dive in at the corner.

After what had gone before at 13-13 we’d all have certainly settled for a draw, but more excitement was to come. As the ball moved across the field Keith Tindall was tackled about 30 yards out. From the play the ball Kenny Foulkes flipped a pass to Colin Cooper standing deep, and the ex Rovers hero became the villain, as he gently stroked the ball between the posts for a drop goal.

The Red and white fans who had been gloating all the game started to ’Sneak out’, we received two more penalties for back chatting before it all got two much for Phil Lowe who tripped Davidson for Boxall to record another two points. There was no time to restart the game as Referee Lawrenson blew his whistle with the old green score board at the Gordon Street end recording a famous 17-13 victory. That score remained on the scoreboard as we left the ground and it was still there when we returned for the next game against Barrow…………. on the 25th August at the start of the following season!!

Colin Cooper was the hero of the hour being ‘chaired’ from the pitch by our fans whilst there were few Rovers fans left in the ground to applaud their players as the whistle went!

After the Rovers game there were just two away games left for us in that campaign and they were both big losses, 52-0 at Wakey and 51-18 at Bradford. That was the last straw for our Directors and by the next season there was a change of Coach as David Doyle Davidson took over. However it did not matter because although Bunting and the Rovers lads had got promoted, we had the bragging rights and then as now for the FC Faithful, that was all we needed to get us through the summer. Great memories!

So there we are, another week gone by just 5 games left and Saints arriving at the KC on Friday. With a growing injury list depleted halves and a worrying record this season, it doesn’t get any easier does it? However I believe that they have a few injuries too and are in fact themselves short of half backs. I Just hope we can back up last Thursday with another gutsy performance and if we can, who knows? I got some flack about the last Diary this week but a deal of support too, which I guess is a mix that is par for the course when times are as they are. When your winning everyone is OK, when you’re not everyone has an opinion and that’s a healthy place to be I think! So as always, thanks to all those who got in touch, sent pictures and had a go at me! That’s really what in the end this Diary is about; hoping that the thoughts of a very average fan promote a bit of discussion. All this rubbish will be back next week and big thanks to Joe at black and whites for helping me out! So, Radford stays, two signings are close and a clear out at the end of the season is pedicted!

Adam has spoken….long live the King!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf