Well Done 'Well

Last updated : 16 April 2004 By Cub Reporter

But, thankfully, I have been proved wrong. I hold my hands up to say that our manager and players have performed superbly well this season and surpassed all of my wild expectations. Whilst the SPL have attempted to construct the 'top six' as an exciting prize to be won, there is no denying that finishing in the top half of the table is a tremendous achievement for a club our size. Indeed, since the Premier League started in 1975, this is only our fifth top half finish. And when you consider the resources Terry Butcher has had at his disposable to do this, it becomes even more remarkable.

Time to take a bow
So what has been the difference between this season and last? There are several possibilities, including the absence of individual stars like Faddy and Pearo. But, if I had to pinpoint something, it would have to be the defence. We have let in a miserly 37 goals and a lot of that has to go down to Craigan and Marshall. Everyone knows Craigan has been excellent but I think Gordon also deserves some recognition. Yes, he has made some mistakes but he has also made some brilliant points winning saves and, more importantly, his experience has managed to calm down the rest of the defence. It is hard to quantify how many goals he has saved us by coming to take crosses which previous goalies would have watched float across our six yard line. How much impact did he have on David Partridge, who changed from being psychopatic maniac to a reliable defender this year? Perhaps age is catching up with Marshall, as can be seen from his mistakes, but there is no denying that he has played a vital role in this campaign.

The other person who deserves to be singled out must be the manager himself, Terry Butcher. He has coached the team to eleven wins so far and he has continued to protect and develop our young talent. His signings until last season were questionable but there is little doubt that the likes of Craigan, Burns, Marshall and McDonald have strengthened our side. And while Dair and O'Donnell may not have totally convinced the doubters yet, they certainly are not in the 'shocker' category either.

So, all in all, well done team, it's been a great year. Let's get three points on Sunday and start putting pressure on those above us now we don't have to worry so much about looking down!