Always look on the Brighton side of life
10:00am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Football
By Tom Hughes
It goes without saying, but to state the obvious I want to forget Sunday as quickly as possible.
Having been out the night before, I was rudely awoken after three hours of sleep to meet at the pub for a few nerve-settling, hair-of-the-dog drinks and board a minibus to Brighton.
Suitably numbed and disorientated, the next few hours passed in a blur.
Suddenly midday arrived, the teams emerged and the game kicked off.
The big one. South England’s El Clásico. However you describe it, the tie is possibly our fiercest rivalry and a game we’ve had the upper hand in for the past few years.
So it should have come as no surprise that we were due some derby day disappointment. Yet the manner of the defeat was overwhelmingly embarrassing.
No matter how inebriated I might have been, nothing could dull the crushing and humiliating performance.
Sadly, this is an extremely contrasting tone to the optimism of last week’s column.
But as Ian Holloway said in his post-match press conference, we need to forget the game as quickly as possible and move on - as hard as it seems.
It’s vital to try and think of it as nothing more than a defeat in a difficult away game verses a side with a good home record, not season-defining or cataclysmic.
Our promotion rivals all lost too. So while we again failed to take advantage, if there’s a silver lining anywhere this weekend it’s that we didn’t drop down the table.
There was certainly no silver lining in sight after the game as we trudged up a motorway slip road’s embankment in torrential rain to catch the minibus back to civilization.
Next up is Birmingham on Good Friday.
It’ll be interesting – and nerve-wracking – to see how one of the best away forms in the league clashes with Palace’s formidable home record.
Whatever happens, it’s going to take a huge amount of positivity to get the promotion push back on track.
Tom Hughes writes for the Five Year Plan