Our trip to Burton tomorrow has drawn parallels to our away game at Port Vale last season. Both were on the penultimate weekend, where something was on a knife-edge, and on that day we came up with the goods.
The objective is different this season, of course. 12 months (and one week ago for the pedantic) we were trying to get back up into the Championship, whereas now the focus is on trying not to fall back out of the Championship at the first time of asking.
But the way our run-in has gone this season and last has eerie similarities. Early last-April, Mark Beevers scored a late winner at Southend, we went ten points clear in second place and in that moment we thought it was job done. Gary Madine picked up an injury though, and we then suffered some sort of stage fright, as went on to lose at Scunthorpe and Oldham, and drew at home to Bury as well. In the end, Madine returned and played through the pain barrier as we snapped out of our slump at the right time, won that game at Vale, and finished the job the week after.
Twelve months on, the same story has started to write itself. After Villa, maybe not so much job done, but the confidence was there. On this occasion, it can`t really be put down to any one player missing, but again we`ve had a dodgy April. But like 12 months ago, we`re still in a situation going into the penultimate weekend, where a win at worst puts us in the driving seat, and at best, secures ourselves a place in the Championship.
Forest did us a favour on Tuesday. They helped the Bolton players and staff. Now Bolton need to stand up and be counted. Make this a Port Vale 2017. Not a West Brom 2012.