When you want to end the season on a high, there’s nothing worse than losing to your local rivals. We packed out the stand behind the goal at Griffin Park on Saturday, so I do feel for those fans who saw the ball fly into that net twice in the opening seven minutes. It’s not good enough, and it shows how if you’re not switched on from the first whistle you can get punished in this league, and then the game’s out of your hands. It was a derby so the players would have been focused and up for it. I thought that now we were safe from relegation the shackles would come off and the players could enjoy themselves, and be confident and go out and try and win the game. But that result will have left a bad taste in the manager and the staff’s mouths. The manager set the team up to be solid with just one up top, but if you concede two soft goals inside seven minutes then it all goes out the window.
Having lost to Brentford, the players need to correct that, and they’ve got to put in a performance against Bolton on Saturday. You always remember your last fixture so it would be good to get a home win. Hopefully we can send the fans home happy. They’re not going to be over the moon even if we win 3-0 or 4-0, because of the season we’ve had. But we need to try and finish on a good note for ourselves for personal pride.
Looking back at this season, to be honest, it’s been difficult. We’ve been fairly inconsistent and not really had that form that you need to get promoted, and not had enough clean sheets to get anywhere near that either. The thing is, we’ve scored so many goals, only a few teams have bettered us in that department, but it’s just disappointing that we haven’t finished higher in the table. Home form will be key for us next season I think. I want us to make Craven Cottage a fortress like it used to be. That kept us in the Premier League for over a decade.
Leicester’s success is obviously fresh in the mind, and that just shows what you can do with organisation and team spirit. It’s unbelievable what they’ve done this year. They’ve been so solid all throughout the team. I’d like to see us get a player like N’Golo Kante who’s constantly getting up and down the pitch with pace. What they’ve done just gives everyone else a bit of hope, it’s been fantastic. But the way they’ve won the title is similar to how the teams at the top of the Championship have gone about their season. Sides like Middlesbrough, Burnley, Brighton, they’ve set up to be hard to beat and solid at the back. Nobody has blown teams away like Bournemouth and Watford did last season.
It’ll be getting to the point where we have to vote for our Player of the Season soon, and it’s got to go to one of the two boys up top, for me. It’s a tough one but I’d probably have to give it to Ross McCormack as he’s comfortably our top scorer. Scotty Parker gives his all whenever he’s played, but I think it’s got to be McCormack as you do worry where we’d be if it wasn’t for his, and Moussa Dembélé’s, goals.
And in terms of my favourite goal of the campaign, the one that stands out most for me is when we were 2-0 down at home to Reading, Ross gets the ball on the edge of area, flicks it up and swivels, then smashes it in. I wouldn’t say it was the best goal we’ve scored, but it was probably one of the most important. We were struggling at that point and that set us on our way to a brilliant 4-2 win. Ross has scored loads of lovely free-kicks, Tom Cairney’s had a couple of fantastic strikes, but that’s the one that sticks out for me.