I had a little smile this week (it turned into a big one last night when I saw England win a penalty shoot out) but my other smile was a headline I saw on the Football League World.
The headline read ‘Rotherham Will Have To Work Hard To Avoid Another Championship Relegation Battle’.
Now that’s a bit like stating the obvious isn’t it.
Of course we know we are going to have to work hard – and even though we probably covered ourselves in a little bit of glory at Wembley we did have to get into the Championship, again, via the play-offs.
We were in the Championship for three seasons recently and we fought hard to stay up for two of those and there’s no denying it was hard, skin-of-your teeth stuff, the last year too hard and we were relegated.
This time I feel it will be different. We might have young players on the pitch with not that much experience at Championship level but those young players will give their all when they wear that Rotherham shirt (even the one that makes them look like a refresher). They might be inexperienced but with that comes the fact that they will have no nerves, they will just go out and play their game the way they’ve been taught.
I’d like to say that everyone in the Championship starts on an even keel but I can’t what with parachute payments and the like – but we do have something other teams might not have and that’s togetherness.
Most of the Rotherham team have played together for over a year. They know each other inside out, they fight for each other, they laugh together, they cry together and with that the management know them as well. And, I don’t know why, but this time going into the Championship it feels different, somehow more settled.
For me that’s got to be worth something.
Of course it’s not going to be easy, we never expected that but what we have come to expect is a team that will keep going until the final whistle.
So, will be avoid relegation? Who knows. But I, for one, will not be starting the season off by talking about the ‘R’ word.