Sunday, 28 February 2010
This is the first time I've uttered these words since the start of the season or, indeed, since starting this blog. I think Exeter are going to get relegated.
That's not to say we will, nor have I given up on a not-so-great escape - after all, we may be 22nd but are only three points off Gillingham in 18th. There's every chance that Tisdale and the players will turn it around. And we've got winnable games against Oldham, Southend and Bristol Rovers coming up.
But then Stockport and Brighton were meant to be winnable as well. That's Brighton who'd only won at home three times all season and Stockport who'd only won away twice and were generally acknowledged to be going down. It seems any team in need of a revival just needs to play us.
It's not just who we've lost to, it's the manner of the losses as well. As always, this comes caveatted by the fact I've not seen the games, but the response from fans hasn't been anger or a "so close" attitude we've had so many times this season. No, it's disappointed resignation.
Opposition fans, too, have commented on how poor we've been, how there is little fight until late in the game. And that, for me, is worrying. It's not that we appear to be battling and losing heroically. We just don't seem to be battling at all. It's almost as if the players have forgotten what it's like to win and don't believe we can win.
And that, for me, suggests there's a good chance we may go down. As long as the team's scrapping over every 50-50 ball and giving it their all, there remains a chance. If we get into the losing mindset, it's very hard to get out of it.
We can stay up, but we need a win, and even though average, low-scoring Oldham are next up at the Park, it's difficult to see where that win will come from.