A week of protest off the pitch, and indifferent performances on it. Mark Sellers reports.
Tuesday evening saw City play their game in hand at home to Brentford. The result was a workmanlike 2-0 victory over the Bees, with a standout performance from Harry Maguire.
Good though the young defender’s performance was, most of the column inches were (quite rightly) about the Red Card protest organized by the Trust against the proposed membership scheme.
The sea of red cards seen in all four stands at the KCOM sent a very clear message to the club’s hierarchy, and was reported nationally and internationally.
Steve Bruce gave an oddly mixed response to the protest, on the one hand identifying with the fans, saying that he thought the scheme was flawed and that “yes I think he’s got it wrong”, yet on the other he called for the protests to end, citing the impact on the atmosphere in the stadium. He also revealed that Assem Allam was suffering with an unspecified illness, and that, “This will not help him”.
On Wednesday the play-off dates were announced. The Tigers, who seem certain to meet Derby County, will play on Saturday May 14th and Tuesday May 17th.
It was bad news for David Meyler on Thursday, as Steve Bruce announced that a hamstring injury he picked up against Brentford would rule him out for the remaining two league games and possibly the play-offs.
It was better news for captain Michael Dawson, who came back from injury in time for the weekend, but that was probably the only good news from Saturday.
The game was the Saturday lunchtime kick-off – live on Sky against already relegated Bolton Wanderers. Bruce made six changes, and gave a debut to Irish youngster Brian Lenihan. A shockingly poor performance from City gave Wanderers their first win in fourteen, and the worst team in the league showed more fight and desire to win 1-0. In his post-match comments the manager was critical of his players and when asked if he knew what team he’d pick for the pay-offs said, “I think it’s made my mind up.”
Although we don’t know which division City will be in next season, the transfer rumour-mill has started turning, and the HDM summarized the possible signings – there are seven in all.
Mark Sellers @mrmarksellers