Monday, December 03, 2007

I see pride...

Blackburn Rovers 3 - 1 Newcastle Utd

There's a scene in the film 'Cool Runnings', in which the downtrodden member of the Jamaican bobsleigh team stands in front of a mirror psyching himself up by repeating the mantra "I see pride, I see passion, I see a bad-ass mother who don't take no crap off of nobody!". As people who've seen the film will know, they go on to have a small amount of success before the whole thing comes crashing down around their ears, but having earned the respect of the bobsleigh world in the process.

Considering Saturday's performance, the analogy seems pretty apt. For once, we saw pride in the shirt, and passion on the pitch, from a team of players who all too recently have looked like they couldn't be arsed. Partly in reaction to that, and I suspect partly in reaction to some pretty pathetic "support" at home (as highlighted by Joey Barton) the travelling support really got behind the team, and it really made a difference. We looked a decent side who, despite being in a slump, look like they are doing their all to get out of that and turn things around.

Yes, the wheels may still fall off at times (although in truth there was little that could be done about any of the three goals we conceded to an equally committed Blackburn team), and we still contrive to shoot ourselves in the foot - Rozehnal's refusal to hoof the ball in to Row Z when pinned in his own corner, and consequently giving away the ball in a dangerous position springs to mind - but we're definitely going in the right direction.

Despite losing both Faye and Carr to injuries during the match, we still kept at Blackburn and David Bentley's two goals (one a cracking free kick, the other a fizzing drive) were both strikes of quality, whilst Tugay's last minute finish came when we were pressing forward searching for an equaliser. Had we taken any of the chances that fell our way earlier in the game we could well have come away with at least a point, but the fact remains that if we can produce that level of performance and commitment both home and away over the coming weeks (and I'm talking as much about fans as I am the team) then we'll be upwardly mobile very quickly.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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