The world is watching. A huge weekend for…
It’s all very well playing a reserve side in the Premier League before an FA Cup Final, but that assumes that your squad can simply decide to start playing well in a big game. If that was true, Liverpool would not be in the position they find themselves in currently.
For Kenny, there is a huge difference between finishing ninth in the League and winning the one trophy that no-one particularly cares about and winning a domestic double. In fact, one might help him hold onto his job, whilst the other would hopefully (and I genuinely believe it would be for the best for the club) see the manager move upstairs and let someone else take over.
How vital their point at Bramhall Lane last week might prove to be. Although they were 2-0 up, a draw at the second-placed side will be taken, especially as it places the club ahead of Notts County on goal difference with a home game against Bury to come.
It might not seem particularly inspiring to talk about a side that might just creep into the playoffs, but this is Stevenage’s first season in League One, and it comes after their first season in League Two. If Stevenage could do the unthinkable and win the playoffs, they would achieve a run from non-league football in 2010 to Championship football in 2012. And that would be, quite frankly, ridiculous.
Panicky times at Edgar Street remain, but the Bulls have given themselves the possibility of completing the miracle. With Barnet beating AFC Wimbledon last weekend, Hereford knew that they needed to win both of their remaining games to have a chance of survival. The club promptly took the lead at high-flying Crawley, and went on to win the game 3-0, the sort of results that infuriated fans as to quite why they couldn’t have played in such a way all season.
Unfortunately for Hereford, they face another side gunning for automatic promotion on Saturday, when Torquay come to Edgar Street. Is part two of the Great Escape ready to take place, or will Hereford United be playing non-league football come August?
The other player in the League Two promotion race are Crawley. After a fabulous start to the season, after which they were made odds on for promotion, the club slightly strangely agreed to sell strikers Matt Tubbs and Tyrone Barnett, leaving them criminally short up front. The fallout from this was that manager Steve Evans decided to leave for pastured new, and suddenly Crawley’s bid for consecutive promotions a la Stevenage has hit the rails.
The 0-3 home defeat to Hereford was poor, but the club received a massive lifeline when Torquay conceded to Crewe late on, meaning they stay in third on goal difference. A rather large game at Accrington awaits.
It’s massive, and you couldn’t have written it much better. With Charlton already promoted, both Sheffield clubs have the opportunity to snatch the final automatic promotion spot, forcing their bitterest rivals into the uncertainty of the playoffs.
Until two weeks ago Sheffield United would have been the shoe-in, but since then their top scorer has been jailed and they have taken one point from two games, a late-earned point at home to Stevenage. Wednesday now have a one point lead and face Wycombe at Hillsborough.
It looks like Wednesday’s time in the wilderness may be over, and Milan Mandaric’s decision to remove Gary Megson looks better all the time.