Time to hold your nerve and stay calm

WHAT a difference when we put our clocks forward, the light evenings arrive, the lawn mowers start humming and even the birds start singing – well the feathered ones do anyway!

But it’s not only our natural surroundings that change, in football people’s attitudes start to alter slightly, as the end of another long season suddenly becomes a reality.

When I ‘worked’ for a living, yes it’s true I did have a proper job once, I always liked Mondays, because I had the rest of the week to get tasks complete.

If you think of the football season being a five-day week, we have now reached Thursday and it’s too late for experimenting with new players, formations and tactics.

Supporters, manager and players know this and every little decision that goes against them seems to be magnified and a sense of proportion goes out the window.

It appears that the Premier League title is a two-horse race now, but the bottom looks like the race card for this week’s Grand National. In other words get a pin out and pick the three for relegation .

With the finishing line in sight there is not an ‘easy’ game to referee. My game at Stoke last Saturday, when they entertained Chelsea, was probably my hardest of this season, but when you consider what was at stake for both clubs it wasn’t surprising.

Now is the time to hold your nerve and try to remain calm. I understand the frustration that most supporters feel, I do after all support the Cobblers for my sins!

The season is a long haul and contrary to popular belief, one wrong decision will not cost you a promotion or commit you to relegation. The fortunes of your club are mapped out over the many months and games that are played. So don’t find yourself blaming an official for one mistake or for one difference of opinion. Look at the overall picture and ask yourself two questions. Did we deserve what we got and were we good enough?

These questions can be asked about any sport not just football.

My skittles team had their end of season bash the other day and yet again I came away with no trophies. Wasn’t I good enough or was it that I didn’t get the rub of the green?

This week I go to the Stadium of Light to referee Sunderland’s clash with West Brom. I’m sure the participants will let me know if I make any mistakes!