With eight League Two games to go, Tranmere Rovers have it in their own hands to achieve automatic promotion.
Just sit back and take that in for a moment.
Contemplated? OK, let’s continue.
Currently 5th in the League Two table, Micky Mellon’s team has done incredibly well this term in their first season back in the EFL. And in the (ok, unlikely) scenario that we win all of our remaining fixtures, Rovers will be a League One side next term!
I don’t know too many supporters, other than the crazily optimistic amongst us, who could have predicted that such a situation would arise at this time of the season when the first ball was kicked in earnest back in August at Stevenage. But here we are, and it’s brilliant!
Whatever happens between now and the final game of the season in May, this is a team we can be immensely proud of.
Let me take you back to that sunny Saturday afternoon in Stevenage at the beginning of the season. We were 2-0 down in that game and fought back to take a point from a 2-2 draw. That sums up the qualities within this team. Fight.
And no, I don’t mean scrapping with opponents and causing aggravation, but that ‘never say die’ attitude which runs deep within this squad of players. They will keep on going, keep on believing, keep on battling for the club until the very final whistle. And as supporters, that’s all we can ask.
Some of the football we have played this season has been arguably some of the best football I’ve seen at Prenton Park since my first days of going to watch the team in the late 80s. Skilful and silky smooth at times, strong in defence and quick in attack, bodies on the line, it has been a joy to watch.
After two relegations in a row in 2014 and 2015, the club was on its knees. A downward spiral that had reached its lowest ebb.
Transformed and rebuilt from its foundations, we now have a club and team which is thriving, flourishing and well and truly putting Tranmere Rovers back on the map. For lovers of board game analogies, we have slid down the snake and are climbing back up a ladder.
Our current form is exceptional. Six wins from the last six matches has put us in this unbelievable position and given us an incredible opportunity.
Of course, winning each of the last eight matches is improbable, particularly with some of the opponents we are set to come up against, but the same can also be said of our promotion rivals. How likely is it that they will win all of their remaining fixtures?
Four of the matches we have left are played at Prenton Park, and this is where the crowd can really play their part.
It’s a cliche to say the fans are the team’s 12th man, but how many times, in the past 12-18 months in particular, has the crowd support provided a visible lift in the players? A good few, I’d say. Remember Wembley, anyone? The positive energy from the stands really can be transferred onto the players on the pitch and help get the best out of everyone.
So, after successive relegations, wouldn’t it be great if we could show that we have turned it around and enjoy back-to-back promotions to counteract it?
And it’s possible, we really can do this. In the words of S Club 7, “reach up for the stars”. The dream is there, it’s tangible and we, as supporters, can help make it a reality. We can achieve what Rachel, Bradley, Hannah, Jon, Jo, Paul and Tina set out to but didn’t quite make (they didn’t really fulfil their potential if we’re honest – those names are the members of S Club 7 if you’re wondering what the hell I’m going on about).
The atmosphere at Prenton Park, on the whole, has been fantastic this season. There is a buzz about the place, a sense that something special could happen. After a couple of decades with not much to shout about, the Super White Army have a team to be rightfully proud of once more. Micky, the coaching staff and the players deserve a hell of a lot of credit for that.
So Rovers fans, be proud and be loud and cheer the lads on in these final few games. It’s an exciting time to be a Tranmere fan again, so let’s enjoy it!
Ubi fides ibi lux et robur.