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Time to face up to some home truths

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OK, now we know our fate and the good little run we had is over and was for nothing. The fact that we got to the last day with a chance of staying up is really quite something as over the season I have felt that we have not been able to compete in this league. The only game where I think we looked in control and untroubled was, perversely, the Man Utd game. So now we have been well and truly mullered we know where we have gone wrong all season:

1. The midfield laced presence and control. Francis looks disinterested and must leave along with Holt.

2. Fleming has had his day and now lacks pace and positional awareness.

3. Hux is a worry. Great when he has the ball in space but can''t defend and leaves Drury exposed. He''s a match winner but is the left wing the right place for him?

4. The standard of passing has been very poor all season.

5. We have given opponents too much space. Look at how Palace get in teams'' faces despite poorer players than us they went the distance too against all the odds.

6. Defending too deep.

7. Some strange tactics and substitution decisions at times from Nigel.

8. Despite looking desperately for signs of international quality from Jonson I saw virtually nothing.

9. How can we sign a donkey like Doherty, and then play him up front??

10. In fact all the usual stuff.

The last few games must not let the truth be hidden that we have been a poor team which has been regularly out played. And I find it astonishing that any team can go into a must win match against a team with supposedly no motivation other than to avoid being our first victims, and get so badly turned over. At Arsenal, Chelsea, maybe we might not be surprised. But at Fulham? This has got to raise serious questions about how the management prepare the side for these big games.

This  result and the terrible show against Brum when we were outplayed by 10 men for an hour at home have now raised all those doubts in my mind about how we can compete next term, I thought they had gone after the Man Utd and Newcastle games. But they''re back. I look forward now with some trepidation, I can''t face another 9 long years of hurt.

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