MY POSH DAY: By Coven­try fan John Baker

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Et Sport -

You can’t choose where you’re born, and for me it was Wals­grave Hos­pi­tal in Coven­try, en­ter­ing the world scream­ing at the night­mare foot­ball team which fate had cho­sen for me.

Coven­try have not fin­ished in the top six in any divi­sion since 1967. Other than 1987 and bar­ring the odd win of note it’s been a slow and thor­oughly medi­ocre jour­ney into ob­scu­rity.

But it took last week’s soap opera against Hull, when ex­chair­man Ken Dulieu made an ap­pear­ance on our bench as pop­u­lar as Jeremy Clark­son pop­ping up at a Uni­son meet­ing, for the out­side world to sit up and take no­tice.

The Ri­coh crowds are slowly di­min­ish­ing - if it gets much lower they’ll start hold­ing gigs for The Risk - and the ru­mour is that the up­com­ing FA Cup game will see a boy­cott.

I don’t think so, Sky Blues fans are the most loyal and


long-suf­fer­ing of any in the league, and they’ll just sol­dier on.

Con­trast their plight with that of my sec­ond team, the Posh. Sta­ble fi­nan­cial man­age­ment, great sign­ings, mo­men­tum and the own­er­ship of their ground, are things City fans can only dream of.

In re­cent years Cov have held the up­per hand. I was there at the last match be­tween the two last March when Jon Stead smashed in the win­ner. We were top 10, Posh were fod­der. How times have changed.

We go to the match know­ing that we are un­likely to get a goal, much less a win. The best we can hope for is a lucky break and that Posh mis­fire so we can grind out a re­sult.

My wife and mum, also Coven­try fans, ac­com­pany me. We’re not in the mood for pre­match drink­ing. Hope is our


drug for the day.

We are with the Posh fans in the North Stand, who are sym­pa­thetic and po­lite.

As any fans fa­mil­iar with iden­tikit plas­tic sta­di­ums will tell you, a proper ground like Lon­don Road is al­ways a de­light.

We sit on our wooden seats with a ner­vous feel­ing in our stom­achs.

Ex-posh megas­tar Clive Platt is prov­ing to be a fairly ad­e­quate unit up front, Gard­ner is fer­ret­ing around with lit­tle or no pur­pose, while the de­fence is hold­ing up well.

It’s a bit of a shocker with few chances for ei­ther side, and the Posh sup­port seems re­strained. But the feel­ing per­sists that their side hold the aces.

We hear that only three coachloads of fans have come from the Mid­lands. The oblig­a­tory Sisu Out ban­ner is un­furled. The Sky Blues songs


sound pained.

The Posh crowd know they had to hang on at the end, but it’s scores that mat­ter not luck, and in Tay­lor they had some­thing that Coven­try lacked - con­fi­dence.

This game will be re­mem­bered for Posh’s first clean sheet but lit­tle else. When goalfests are so com­mon a damp squib like this will be swept un­der the car­pet once the anal­y­sis of Posh’s sea­son is put to­gether.

The buzz around Lon­don Road is ex­cit­ing. There are surely three worse sides than Posh this sea­son, and start­ing a match know­ing you will score in it is a boost.

For city, rel­e­ga­tion seems in­evitable.

On an­other day Coven­try could have nicked it. On a dif­fer­ent an­other day, with a fit Mc­cann and the ex­cep­tional Tay­lor start­ing, Posh could have oblit­er­ated them.

Eight points from safety,


Jutkiewicz will lead the ex­o­dus in Jan­uary. Young lads will come in and try to fill a gap for which they are ille­quipped.

The web­sites still hold op­ti­mism. We were un­lucky, the fight will go on, bring on Bris- tol City.

But we shuf­fled out of the ground into the cold dark­ness won­der­ing when the Sky Blues will next be in town.

Coven­try is known for its re­silience, and we are go­ing to need it now more than ever.

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