Will BILL THE BIRO never learn?

I’ve supported Pools for 49 years, starting during that infamous run of applications for re-election. So I know a bit about managing expectations, about Pools letting you down, and especially about disappointment. Yet despite all that, last weekend I went to Wycombe fully expecting Pools to take all three points from the bottom club. Another 5 - nil disappointment ensued.

I’ve no reason to think that I was the only Poolie there who was expecting a win, or that we are the most frequently disappointed fans in the world. So how come there’s so much self-delusion in being a Poolie?

With hindsight it’s plain to see what happened. Pools had thumped Notts County the week before, avenging an early-season humiliation, and getting their high-profile manager sacked into the bargain. Then the next match was to be against the bottom club. So with Pools on the up, and an easy match coming up, it was going to be a banker away win, wasn’t it! "I’m sure Neale Cooper will have told them beforehand that the “easy” games are always potential banana skins"

So, we Poolies were generally fooled into believing the team only had to turn up and collect the points. Unfortunately players, whether consciously or unconsciously tend to think the same way. I’m sure Neale Cooper will have told them beforehand that the “easy” games are always potential banana skins, so they shouldn’t be complacent or underestimate the opposition.

But from the opposition’s point of view they probably saw that we would be likely to underestimate them, not realising how their four new loan players might both improve the team and fire up the crowd.

Nevertheless Pools went out at Adams Park and were almost to a man hopeless, including two of the subs who were supposed to improve things. So they got tonked, were suitably dealt with by the manager.

But a few days later, the dust had settled, and the message coming out of Pools was "that's all behind us." Pools then duly picked up all the points at mid-table Bury.

And now I'm all hyped up again, thinking of the playoffs.

Will I never learn?