The Tony Gale Column

Wednesday 24 April 2019 14:30

It would be easy for heads to drop after relegation was confirmed, but the lads have certainly played with pride in the last two matches. They’re getting the best out of each other. Bournemouth was not an easy fixture, they’re a difficult team who have had a lot of good results at home. They’re very capable of building up a head of steam and blowing teams away. That was a really good result on Saturday, as was the Everton one which was fully deserved. They’ve gone and beaten Manchester United 4-0 since, which shows you just how impressive our win was.

The travelling faithful down on the south coast seemed to enjoy themselves over the Bank Holiday, and they really deserve that. As far as away days go, there can’t have been many better than that one in Bournemouth – great weather, brilliant atmosphere, and a win! I’m happy for the supporters, because they have been great. They haven’t really moaned about relegation, they’ve just got on with it and made the best of the situation.

I get the impression that all the players want Scott Parker to do well, to help him get the job, so it’s pleasing that he has got those results. It would have been really difficult if he’d lost those two fixtures and it had been seven on the spin. But having won those, maybe he’s proved he can get these boys together as one. As Scott has often said, he’s been planning away – pre-season and things like that – even if he’s not there, so that the preparation is done and the Club is in a good position come the summer. He’s putting Fulham first which is great to see and will stand us in good stead.

Cardiff are up next at the Cottage, and even though they have more riding on the game, it’s one we’re going to be desperate to win. There is a good chance we’ll be playing them next season, so psychologically you want to be beating these teams. If they are in the Championship with us, you don’t want them to have done the double over us this year. We want to go and win the game on Saturday to keep the run going. Go and get a result, go and prove – like you have in the last couple of games – that you really want to win, and that you want to win for the Manager.

Depending how Brighton get on, we could effectively relegate Cardiff on Saturday, but I don’t think the players will be reading too much into that – all they’ll be caring about is the three points. Whoever you’re playing, it’s always about the three points. But with this one, we’ll want to put down a marker on Cardiff because you do remember what’s gone on the previous season, without a doubt.

They’ve had a better season than us, and that reflects in the points tally. I think we are better individually than Cardiff and we play better football, but they’ve shown so much resilience and fight in their play this season that they’re still in with a shout of staying up with three games to go. You know full well that Neil Warnock will have his team fired up. They’ll want to push Brighton all the way to the final day, so we have to be ready for that come Saturday.

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