Home sweet home

Monday 22 April 2002

Tomorrow night should be a cracker at the Cottage. Fulham v Bolton, both teams now virtually safe from the threat of relegation, and with us still having something to play for as we attempt to secure an Intertoto Cup slot.

On top of that, tomorrow is our chance to show Jean Tigana that he has our full and total support after cheap rumours in the weekend's media attempted to unsettle our leader and the troops.

Both before and after the Chelsea game I spoke of it being time to 'pull together and close ranks' as outside sources attempted to test our resolve. We've come through, Saturday's win at Leeds made sure of that. Now it's time to stare in the faces of those who would like to see us fail and show them that we shall not be moved.

"Tig-an-as Black and White army" will be ringing around the Stadium in total defiance. Fantastic!

Tomorrow is also our last ever night game at our beloved Craven Cottage. The home we've grown to love over so many years.

It'll be an emotional occasion, but not perhaps quite as emotional as Saturday's encounter against already relegated Leicester City, managed now of course by the one and only Micky Adams.

How fitting that our last ever game at the Cottage will feature the man who started the revival. He'll get a hero's welcome and he deserves it.

It'll be hard saying goodbye on Saturday. They'll be tears for sure. Many of us have memories going back to our childhood that will include parents and grandparents. My first ever memory of The Cottage is walking down Finlay Street, Dad holding one hand, Grandfather the other and being totally smitten the moment is saw the scene in the image above. It was love at first sight.

There is something that could soften the blow a little as we say our farewells. Many people have written in over the last few days saying that they'd love to see Chris Coleman make his return against Leicester on Saturday.

I don't know how feasible that is. Whilst Chris is obviously well and truly on the road to recovery, whether or not he's ready for a test in the Premiership is up to the experts. But wouldn't it be nice. Wouldn't that be a proper way to say goodbye to our second home...