What a Difference a Month Makes


Well, well, well. Who would have thought that we’d see such a turn round in the month of March. 

The month began depressingly familiar with defeats against Dagenham and Redbridge and Burton but what happened next is straight out of 'Roy of the Rovers'. Four wins, three clean sheets and The Great Escape is on. Even the club have got into the spirit of things by playing the theme from 'The Great Escape' over the tannoy.

Its often suggested that managers have a limited role to play in the fortunes of a side (unless you’re the England manager) but in our case it’s the most important factor behind the revival. He’s kicked butts where necessary and made good use of the loan system. The defence is the tightest its been for a long time and we pose a threat going forward. Jonathan Franks had adapted well to his new role and is certainly keeping defences on his toes with his speed. Shortly after the start of the second half against Cambridge, Franks left their centre half for cold and expected a goal which, unfortunately, didn’t come.

Obviously, most Poolies were sorry to see Ryan Bird go back to Cambridge but I can see why they recalled him. Looking at the table, a string of defeats could well see Cambridge dragged into the dog fight and they only looked after the own interests - which I hope Pools would do in similar circumstances. Still, once we get Scott Fenwick back from injury that will give us further options. It only goes to show the mistakes that were made with managerial appointments before Ronnie Moore. If only...

What of the fixtures for April? The game against Newport is difficult to call and I would be hopeful of a point. Southend is going to be a more difficult game all round. However, we always seem to get something out of them at The Vic but end up with nothing at Roots Hall. That leaves us two games where wins are on the cards - Accrington and York City - and these are followed by Luton (which we’ll probably lose), Exeter and Carlisle. The problem with Exeter is that we never seem to have any difficulty winning down there but mess things up at The Vic. The one against Carlisle is one I can’t even think about. Let’s hope its all settled before we go there. "The defence is the tightest its been for a long time and we pose a threat going forward. "

It also looks like IOR have linked into the fan base by offering reduced prices. When I arrived for the Cambridge game there was actually a long queue at the turnstiles for the Mill House seats. A gate of 5009 certainly did us credit and the place was certainly bouncing.

It would certainly be a nightmare going into the Conference. Looking at the eleven games for 28th March, all had lower gates than Pools and four failed to reach the thousand mark. Obviously, Bristol Rovers were playing away so that would bring down the aggregate total.

Looking elsewhere, I see the FA are still prattling on about the World Cup, possibly looking to stage the 2026 tournament. Like I said, forget about it. I see the next two World Cups being chaotic mainly because of the political situations relative to Russia and the Middle East. I was reading a piece the other day which suggested that Sepp Blatter’s name stinks in Brazil. Their government spent millions in staging the World Cup yet FIFA walked away with all the profits. As the FA pointed out, any bid would have to have the support of the British government but in this case I would suggest that the government support the bid but insist that FIFA underwrite the police and security costs. That would settle things once and for all. Anyway, I can’t see it going to Europe anyway. Australia and the States are better bets.

Anyway, everything’s in the balance. Keep the faith. Let’s hope that we’re safe by the Exeter game and have a real celebration at The Vic. Its been a hard season and even the most optimistic Poolie wouldn’t have dare dream that we’d still be in there fighting as April dawned.