EXETER CITY DEFENDER PAT BALDWIN WRITES FOR WMN SPORT
Well I must admit, while sitting in my front room, listening to the carnage that is happening outside my window, I have officially had enough of this atrocious weather.
Far too many games are being postponed, too many training sessions are indoors and I have not been able to get out and enjoy the beautiful Devon countryside as I often do. Obviously life could be a lot worse and my complaints are completely in jest – but come on, enough’s enough, you can stop raining now.
I don’t think I can ever remember having such a wet winter, not as prolonged anyway. The postponement of the under-21 game on Tuesday night was a big disappointment for everyone at the club. It was a fixture the lads were very excited and confident about.
Their fantastic run in the competition has been a huge positive for the club this season and it was a shame they were not given the chance to progress further.
Another home game being called off provides us with yet another logistical problem in trying to fit this fixture in. The groundsmen – Clive, Chaz, The Colonel, Big Dave and Joe – all do such an amazing job but they are not miracle workers.
They have to somehow fit in about seven or eight games in the next few weeks or so. It is going to be a big ask but if anyone can get the games on, our fantastic ground staff can.
Maybe we could all help in the efforts in getting the games on, perhaps a salute to the sun or whatever the opposite to a rain dance is. I would just like to point out that I actually searched online for the opposite to a rain dance, that is how sick I am of the constant downpours.
Our game against Burton Albion looked to be in doubt on Friday. The weather was dreadful on the journey up and by all accounts, a pitch inspection was arranged at 9am the morning of the game.
Thankfully, overnight, the rain stayed away, and on arrival at the ground, the pitch was surprisingly in good condition. The game itself was hugely positive for us. Though we could be disappointed to not come away with all three points, the performance was again a huge improvement from previous weeks.
We certainly took the same intensity and team spirit that was present in our home fixture against Oxford into the game. We have shown a level of performance that now has to be the minimum standard maintained in every game going forward.
That hard work, coupled with the talent we have will go a long way in turning our points tally around. We will start turning losses into draws and the draws into wins, I have no doubt about that.
After the game, in his usual press interview, Tis said: “We shared the energy out and everybody contributed to a team performance.” I would completely agree with his view and, as I have said, we can’t afford to give anything less.
The match aside, the trip to Burton provided a very funny moment involving a number of televisions and a certain player who I will not name. To give a clue, he has played in the Premier League and we signed him after the season got under way but that is all I will give.
As I have mentioned before, I share a room with the skipper, Danny Coles and the pair of us were chilling out on our beds watching the television. All of a sudden, it switched off. We did not think too much of it, putting it down to a timer or something and just turned it back on.
A couple of seconds later, it happened again, the TV switched off. We both looked at each other in bewilderment until we heard child-like giggles from outside our room. We were staying on the ground floor and went to investigate through our patio doors.
Upon opening them, this player and his room-mate were laughing their heads off while holding a remote control that seemingly worked, through the window, on our television. Being the grown-ups we both are, Colesy and I demanded we do the same trick to the coach driver who was staying in the adjacent room to us.
So there we were, four grown-up men, giggling like little children, as we watched through his window, the coach driver getting very confused and then angry at his television’s volume going up and down without a clue of how it was happening. Priceless!
I should point out, we did tell him about it over dinner and he found it very funny.
Today gives us another chance to improve our recent performances yet again against a side in and around us. We can go into it with plenty of confidence and if we are going to get a result, it will most certainly come off the back of an enormous amount of hard work.