Today we hear from Andrew Mathewson – STAR Board member
Wouldn’t last Saturday have been a great day to have gone to the match? The early start for a trip to South Yorkshire, lunch on the way, a pint in a plastic beaker at the New York Stadium, watching football in the sunshine, cheering the goal and roaring for the win, the contented trip home after three important points. The whole away day experience!
We’ve all missed going to the match but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. The Prime Minister announced last week that, subject to trials, up 10,000 fans or 25% of a ground’s capacity could attend matches from 17 May. That opening up will not be in time for the regular season – our last game is against Huddersfield on 8 May. But might some of us be able to cheer the team on in the play-offs?
In the last three seasons we were glad of points at this stage of the season to help keep us up. It’s great to be celebrating three points this season because that keeps us in the play-off places. With 13 games to go a place in the play-offs, at least, is our goal. But they’ll be a tough set of games.
It seems to me that the top four teams are opening up a bit of a gap. We may be able to catch them. But even so there’s now a competition for fifth and six places, a sort of mini-league of eight or so teams trying to get those places, and at the moment we’re leading that race. We can do it. And if we can get there we needn’t fear anyone. This team, especially with players coming back from injury, can beat anyone in the league.
A win against Blackburn would be a huge step. Rovers always remind me of how fortunes change. My wife’s father’s family live in Blackburn and the first time I saw them was the first game of their (unsuccessful) Premier League title defence season – running out at Ewood Park to the strains of Queen’s “We are the Champions.” The game was against the fake hoops and sadly ended in a fairly turgid 0-0 draw I recall.
No-one knows which teams we’ll be facing next season, in which division. But whether we’re at Ewood Park or Goodison Park I think we can look forward to backing the boys and making some noise at last again.
Come on URRRZ!