Kevin Gallacher column: Case of ‘what if’ for Rovers
DO we go into the final game of the season with a better team than what we started the season with? I’d say definitely yes.
But should we be going into the final game of the season already in the play-offs? I’d say yes and no.
Last season I expected us to finish in the play-offs as a minimum. Of course that didn’t happen and we nearly got relegated.
Gary Bowyer has had to deal with the fallout from that and there has been a lot of change around the football club.
Gary has brought stability to the team and more promise to the team and the fans are happy with that.
But it would have been nice to have kicked on and got into that top six.
Yes we are unbeaten in 11 games but we have dropped too many points against teams we should have beaten.
And it’s those games that we are probably going to look back on and rue the fact that we have missed out on the possibility of promotion.
The most recent one was the stalemate at home to Yeovil but there were other matches before that when we’ve taken the lead only to fall apart.
So we really should be going into Saturday’s game against Wigan level on points or better off than the three teams above us.
We’re not and that’s why, for me, this season could well be a case of ‘what if’?
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be positive.
You only have to look at the team Gary has assembled to see that.
I think the introduction of Rudy Gestede has been good and, while, for me, there is still a question mark over whether he and Jordan Rhodes can do it together, he is really coming into his own.
Craig Conway has been a breath of fresh air and getting Tom Cairney has been phenomenal, he has been my stand-out player.
We had to sell our captain Scott Dann but to be fair you can’t take anything away from Matt Kilgallon, I think he’s filled in that role very well.
I think the signing of Michael Keane has also helped, so there have been plenty of plusses.
But will there have been enough of them to get us into the play-offs? It looks unlikely.
But whatever happens we should still want to end on a high by beating Wigan.
If we do that, and do that comfortably, then the lads can go back into the dressing room and see if results elsewhere have gone their way.
There is no pressure on them and there hasn’t been since that Yeovil game.
They have just got to go out there and win.
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