It's taken me all week to be able to write this, such was the fall from my pre-match buzz to the defeat and final whistle. If this were the egg-shaped ball this would've been a huge game, but the return of proper football brought us a relegation six-pointer that we duly lost. Granted Wigan had been in good form pre-lockdown and a win yesterday gave them another 3pts and vaulted them up the table to what looks like approaching safety. (That could've been us!)
Town, on the other hand, were decidedly abject. The additional substitutions breaking up any flow the terriers might have. There was a total lack of urgency or realisation that this was a crunch game 3 points last week would've pulled us away from the pack and put us in a good mindset and footing for the remaining games.
Alas, it was not to be, a week later and with all the teams around us picking up wins we find ourselves back in the relegation places and fighting for survival.
The fight starts at Forest, where we hope that Town's spirit and our habit of being able to take a game to upper table opposition whilst capitulating against the strugglers return and we pick up points 1 at a minimum and three if we can.
It won't be easy but lockdown football has delivered some rather unexpected results so we can but hope. Forest are in form play nice football and will pose a threat through ex-terrier Joe Lolley for sure. Players who played and trained with him should know his strengths and weaknesses well so we hope Hoggy has his number.
We've only a couple of hours before we find out so my crystal ball is going away.
Line up wise all we know is there will be no Danny Simpson after midweek revelations and social media posts from the player himself revealed what on the surface seems some shocking behaviour from the club around his contract extension. While we've no idea what really went on pulling a contract an hour before a game seems poor form at best. Grabara's return to his parent club is little surprise given his recovery and the return of Lossl.
The rest of the squad and loanees all remain and our survival in the championship may require a Colin Quaner scoring spree to become reality. While that might not happen, we can only hope at this point that the Wigan game was the rocket needed to light a fire under the team to ensure survival.
It's still in our hands and we believe there are at least 3 worse teams than us, but that won't matter if we have fewer points. Former Town Manager returning to manage Middlesboro' and gaining points already proves this.
It's crunch time boys and girls, but remember the last great escape and points against Manchester City and Chelsea, we can do this, I really really hope we do.
Fingers crossed terriers.