Dundalk 1-0 St. Pats
Have you ever seen Face/Off? The action movie where John Travolta swaps faces with Nicolas Cage and pretends to be Nicolas Cage? Then Nicolas Cage steals John Travolta’s face and pretends to be Travolta?
They also somehow sound like each other too? Nicolas Cage dressed like a Priest and has a dodgy haircut? John Travolta is creepy? You know the one.
There is a section of the movie that takes place in a prison where for some reason all of the inmates have to wear gravity boots which, when powered up, keep their feet firmly stuck to the floor.
Can you think of any set of fans who might need something like this to keep their feet on the ground?
There is no denying where we are in the league. As much as I want to ignore it, Dundalk are 2nd with a game in hand and host the league leaders in our next match.
Maybe I should explain why I’m so hesitant to look at the table. Stephen O’Donnell said after the game against Pats that he was a performance orientated coach rather than a results based one. He thought we should have played better on the night and while he was glad to get the points, there were things that could be worked on.
That is the kind of mindset we need as fans in this first season since rebirth. Everything is positive, everything is trending upwards. There may be the odd contract stumbling block on the horizon but that in itself is indicative of how far we’ve come in such a short space of time.
To me, this season is all about performance. More specifically, it’s about progression. Are we improving? Are we getting back to what we were? Is the groundwork being laid to build on next season? I think the answer to those questions is emphatically yes.
The consensus was that Derry and ‘the Others’ would be the top two and then underneath them there would be three or four teams that would be battling for the European spots for next season. We have at the moment wedged ourselves between the leaders and Derry and can make a massive statement with a win in our next home match.
So let’s enjoy this. Let’s enjoy where we are, let’s not ignore how well this team who were put together over a fortnight in the wintertime.
But we also need the gravity boots to kick in from time to time. We need to take a step back, take stock, admire where we are but also keep the bigger picture in mind.
I know it sounds like I’m just trying to keep my excitement in check. I am.
To me, this season has already been a massive success. We have a squad that can be built on, we have a coaching team who are delivering and we have owners and team behind the scenes who are working as hard as they can to bring success back to Oriel.
If we get into a proper title challenge then let’s give it everything and enjoy every minute of it. If the squad loses steam in the second half of the season let’s give it everything and enjoy every minute of it. Let’s not lose sight of how great it is to be happy going to Oriel on a Friday.
The worry is that the collective expectation will grow and weigh down the positivity. There have been many pointing out the similarities to Stephen Kenny’s first season in Oriel, I’m one of the ones pointing it out, but that in itself creates an expectation.
Maybe it sounds like I’m being negative but that patience that we were all asking for at the start of the season is still needed now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves (he says knowing full well this squad is already good enough to challenge for the title and is desperately trying to KEEP IT DOWN!).
Patience. Context. Gravity boots.