Friday night forgiveness

Looking forward to Leeds, which you don’t hear very often.

One good thing about those far-off, never to be repeated, days in the Championship was that you never had to wait long to get over a bad result. There was always another match coming up in a bit and a good performance then would mean everything was fine. That probably doesn’t work after the worst result ever; we could get double figures on Friday and it still wouldn’t be enough.

Mind you, it would help because our next guests on What Night Are We Playing This Week? are Leeds, who have probably still got that comedy rivalry with us. It’s about all they have got, apart from an ability to forget half a century of thuggishness and make themselves out to be a Big Club. To prove it, they’ve managed 53 seasons in the top flight, which I’m sure you will agree is very impressive. In contrast Birmingham City, under various names, have managed 57.

The current Leeds have still got a manager who is Not Bielsa and they haven’t got rid of him because of that yet, which is surprising. They’ve also got the loathsome Patrick Bamford, who seems to spend more time injured than playing these days, and a load of assorted obscurities making up the rest of their squad. We’ll have a couple more injuries (and if they haven’t happened yet, they will) plus the arrival of Alex Moreno. There might be one or two others along soon, but not in time for this one. We’ll also have a team absolutely, definitely determined to make up for Sunday’s fiasco. And if they aren’t, they needn’t bother turning up. Almost as important, win this and we’re still in touch with the top six, or seven, or whatever umber we need to be in. Lose and by the end of the weekend we could be dragged closer to the wrong end of the table.

It might be a pain to get there at this time but that means it’s Villa Park under the lights, where magical and wonderful things happen. Expect another one. Just don’t expect the last one to be forgotten.