If there were footballing gods who revealed themselves in the form of omens, you’d have to say we look to be doomed.
First there was the Michael Chopra saga on Friday, with the club’s ‘it’s a private matter between Michael and the BHA’ doing us no favours (it was, in fact, a very public arena it was played out in guys).
We then played well at bottom side Bristol City on Saturday, but Lee Martin’s miss was reminiscent of other world powers diverting it away and another last-minute strike saw us come away with nothing (it’s not just Paul Jewell then).
At the same time, wins for Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday compounded the misery, and who would have thought on Tuesday play-off chasers Millwall and Watford would have fallen to the bottom two sides, with Jason Scotland haunting us.
The grim fact is we’re now just four points above relegation with a tough looking home game against Tony Mowbray’s sixth-placed Middlesbrough on Saturday — who could have Kieron Dyer, or even Danny Graham in their ranks — leaving no margin for error.
A ray of light though may be the captures of Richard Stearman (Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan) and Anthony Wordsworth (Colchester United for an undisclosed fee rising to around £200k).
If anyone can get the former back to the form which saw him play an integral part in a Championship-winning side, it is Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor, while Wordsworth could be our missing spark in the middle.
By the time you read this there could be more, but while loanees have attracted a lot of criticism this season, remember this: without them we would probably already be dead and buried.
Three-fifths of our goals (17 of 29) have come from borrowed players and it was some football sage who once rightly pointed out ‘goals win games’.
Thank God for the loan players.