Tomorrow we need to put whatever might have gone wrong with our league form in the past few weeks behind us and all do all we can for a result against Millwall. Once again, the footballing world will take a little look at us out the corner of its eye. We need to get behind the team even more than usual and raise the roof. Another packed Saturday at the Kenny should be an atmosphere and an early afternoon to savour. I hope and I know that the players will be giving their all to extend the run a stage further and to finally get one of the ‘big boys’ and make a bit more history on the way.
Of course the profile of this tie is pretty high because of our non-league status, because of our victory against premiership opposition, and has been tweaked up further by memories of the 1985 game, and further still by the unacceptable racism shown by the Millwall fans against Leeds, which has made them newsworthy this week. Whilst what PB said about staying on if there are racist chants was right, Mendy’s flounce that he would come off was foolish to say the least. He could still have come off if racist language was used towards him (and rightly so) but to pre-announce that he would/will adds an edge to the game that didn’t need to be there. Now that they know, it only takes one cockney Neanderthal to shout something to Mendy and we will have utter chaos on our hands.
Millwall will be no pushover and no mugs – half way up the championship they will have higher morale than Wolves, but only just. Like Wolves and Norwich their league form (hey, just like ours) is horrendous at present and so any swagger they have won’t be built on the back of confidence created by good form, but in a belief that man for man they are a better side. Once again, we will have to be at our best and Millwall will have to have an off-day. It’s happened before twice now, why can’t it happen three times? I just hope that we can rediscover our goalscoring form, as we might only get one or two clear chances and can’t afford to squander them as regularly as we have been. We won’t get the luxury of a stumbling part timer to present us with half a chance – we have to carve out our own.
If we thought it was good to have a positive spotlight on us for a change, and the friendly support of the smaller clubs of this world, and those people who love an underdog, if – and it’s still a big if – we can win tomorrow then our boys really will be big news. Huge news and, bigger still if we get a big tie in the last 8. But you know that – and indeed you know that a big task awaits tomorrow.
I’ve no idea what Kenny Jacket’s teams are like. I know he has a pretty good record as a manager and is quite well respected in the game. Obviously with the footballing pedigree he has (being a one club man, and what a club to be a one club man for, what do they know of life those that only Watford know?) and being assistant to the former England manager whilst at the club down the road, I’m thinking that his teams might be a little ahem, direct, shall we say. But of course that is pure conjecture on my part. He might be Wenger in disguise for all I know. Actually, traditionally we are better against sides that don’t close us down, so perhaps it might be better if he does keep it on the floor…
To get all melodramatic for a second, TE Lawrence (Laurence of Arabia) once said: “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
Let’s do some dreaming on the day (but not on the pitch at set pieces please.)
Fingers crossed…come on you Hatters!