Ah, the sweet relief of avoiding a loss. It’s a bit disappointing that results like this are cause for celebration nowadays, but we are where we are and it is what it is. A strange and disturbing thought crossed my mind after the Wisła Kraków match when I was informed that our 12 games without a win was a new club record. It crossed my mind that “Achieving” that record, along with the one for our 6 straight defeats a couple of months ago, means that I may well be the worst Manager that GKS Katowice have ever had.
It’s a really unsettling thought, but put into perspective, we’re actually overachieving. Remembering that we were not only heavy favourites to go down, but to finish bottom of the league gives me some comfort.I suppose it’s all about context. For example, I still think of my stint at FC Höllviken as the biggest failure in my career to date. I saw the team through 3 wins and 5 defeats in 8 matches. That’s far, far better than we’re currently doing. The difference of course is that in the first half of this season with Katowice, we bought ourselves some much needed breathing room, whereas at Höllviken we had no such luxury. It’s strange comparing my stints with the 2 clubs in that way. It makes you think.
We welcome Pogoń to Katowice today. This is our last chance to put some points on the board before our tally gets halved and we head into the relegation stage. We’re without our Bartbeat as he serves a 1 match suspension for collecting 8 yellow cards. Hutton replaces him at centre back. I’m also making a couple of other changes as we swap to a 4-1-2-3 formation with which we’ll try to control the game. Fossy comes out despite his excellent game against Kraków as we aren’t using a number 10, which I’ve found is the only position he can successfully play. Rodrigo Silva replaces him as a holding man, fresh from scoring his first professional goal in extremely dramatic circumstances. I’m also bringing Jaworski out of the team. We gave it a go but he’s not ready and I feel like putting him through this with the first team is slightly unfair. Franczak will drop back to fullback, while Tuovinen takes his place on the right wing.
I’m not entirely vindicated in my decision to start Tuovinen when he loses possession in Pogoń’s half 5 minutes in. What comes next is a brilliant, high tempo counter attack culminating with Rudol placing a cross straight onto the forehead of Jaroch, who directs the ball into the far bottom corner.
You’d think we’d fight back. You’d think we’d keep peddling. Especially when we go on the attack at half time. Apart from a Gyurscó pot shot just after half time though, the match fizzles out. None of Jaworski, Machalski or Karwot can turn the tide when they’re brought on with half an hour to go. It’s a gutless performance and I’m thoroughly disappointed.
What a wasted opportunity. We’d brought a losing streak to an end with a dramatic 92nd minute equalising penalty to draw a match level at 4-4, and what do we do next? We throw away our chance of gathering momentum. We finish 14th in the Lotto Ekstraklasa league stage, marooned between Wisła Płock, who are 7 points above us, and Korona, who are 6 points below.
Everybody’s points will now be halved as we enter the relegation group, meaning that on the upside, we’re only 3 points behind Płock, but on the downside we’re only 3 points ahead of Korona in the relegation zone.
I’m sick of dropping people. Overall it’s a motivational strategy that’s had little to no impact and who knows, may have even cost us points. Everybody will come back into the fold for our next match. Clean slates all round. We’ll absolutely need points to avoid relegation now and we need all hands on deck to make it happen.
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