A wry smile crossed my face at around 15:57 as the PA system at Ewood Park blasted out ‘Panic’ the anthemic 1987 hit from The Smiths. Its lyrics a prophetic warning of widespread unrest along with a call to arms to fight back and express despondency.
Fast forward an hour and Rovers failed to ease the fears of the fanbase, at the end of another tumultuous week, in the club’s recent history. Panic? You’d be foolish not to be at least a little concerned. HMRC winding up orders, Indian court decisions, frostiness in a Tomasson pre match press conference, no further signings, the week that was a microcosm of the rollercoaster of emotions the fans are going through, though today’s result left myself with little doubt.
Rumbled as potential playoff hopefuls the target of around 51 points and Championship survival is now the clear goal.
As to the game itself, file it under instantly forgettable. Two lower league Championship teams who lacked quality and chances in a game most I am sure found tedious. Rovers laboured to just four attempts on goal despite large chunks of the ball, slow and ponderous with too many looking to play back or sideways causing an efficient Huddersfield Town few problems. The Rovers strike itself coming from a mistake from Jonathan Hogg in midfield for The Terriers who had his pocket picked by Adam Wharton who kept composed to slot past the keeper.
Rovers’ frailties from set pieces reared their ugly head just a quarter of an hour later. The enigmatic ex-Rover Sorba Thomas (who had a fine afternoon) with the corner, the veteran centre half Helik with the arched header into the far post, Set Piece Defending 101.
The biggest chances from that point forward both came from Tronstad mistakes and Huddersfield counterattacks either side of the break, fortunately for the home supporters the finishing from the boys in illuminous green was as poor. As for us we huffed and puffed in the last ten minutes but a lack of urgency, creativity and alarmingly quality resulted in an inevitable outpouring of frustration and worry at the final whistle.
The point may be vital come May, though you would feel both sets of fans will be left with fears of their Championship safety come seasons end.
Rovers rotten run in the league from December onwards shows no signs of abating with another huge match next up in the league at home against Queen’s Park Rangers, a six pointer in February may be putting too heavy a point on the match at this stage of the campaign, but it certainly feels like time to start looking down rather than up!
By the time QPR head north on 3rd February; the transfer window will be closed, the Indian court’s decision will be known, and Rovers FA Cup fate will also be more apparent, if not already decided.
The tonic of 3 points eluded the team and fans.
The time to panic? How soon is now?