If the journey home from the Valley wasn’t hard enough last night, then, unsurprisingly, this morning I woke up feeling like I’d just been hit by a train. It hurts so much more as they gave us all hope. Perhaps in some way, I wish they hadn’t. A friend commented to me this morning that “there was only one team in it until you gifted them a goal”. I know. Swindon will know. We all know. How very typically Charlton! I’ve felt this way before…and I’ll experience it again.
I have to remind myself that promotion would not have been won last night, and at least we’ve been spared the agony of falling short at Wembley (most probably against Millwall). Not that either of those points are any great consolation.
In the end, the shortcomings that have hindered us throughout the entire season let us down once again. The moment when Bailey gave the ball away so cheaply in midfield - which led to their goal – will live with me for a long, long time. Perhaps until such time as we’re back on the up. As I say, it will live with me for a long, long time. I don’t blame Bailey for the overall defeat; I accept he and his fellow players gave everything on the night. But once again, no consolation in defeat, especially when you consider few of the players on show will be Charlton players next season.
In the cold light of day, it is hard to imagine any news coming out of the club this summer that could not be viewed as yet more steps backwards. Unless a knight in shinning armor is riding in to SE7 at this very moment, I know in my heart there are still dark days ahead. That harsh reality alone is far, far harder to accept than last nights defeat.
I’ve already purchased my season ticket for next season, so I can ‘enjoy’ a few months before it all starts up again (when I'll be stupid enough to dream once again). But, despite the immense disappointment, above all else I’m proud to be an Addick. That will never change. Never.
As Phil Parkinson mused in a post match interview, "It's been very difficult over the past couple of years to be a Charlton fan…”.
I know. We know.