MY POSH DAY: By Coventry fan John Baker
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
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.