Tickle Tackle - Back From The Brink Wednesday, 13th Aug 2008 13:06 by Steve Tickle
Last night's Carling Cup defeat of Lincoln City came as something of a relief to anyone who has any affection for the Rams and finally gave Paul Jewell something to smile about.
Had the result gone the other way, the pressure on him would have mounted even more.
The first game of a new season is always a tense time. Everyone is looking for a clue as to how the team will play in the coming season, there are usually new signings to cast a critical eye over (in the Rams' case, plenty) and everyone's looking for three points.
For Rams fans, all the above were probably in even sharper focus than for fans of most clubs and Doncaster Rovers probably wouldn't have been most people's choice of opponents for such a game. Sadly, and probably predictably, it all ended in tears as the Ramsd huffed and puffed but went down to a single goal. It was as if although many of the players were new to the club, they'd taken on all the doubts and miseries carried over from last season.
Even with a few pre-season games behind them, it was probably expecting a lot for the new look Rams to hit it off from the first whistle. People say you shouldn't judge what kind of a season a team's likely to have until it's played ten or twelve games. This must certainly be true for the Rams this season.
Nevertheless, individual players showed they certainly have ability. Kris Commons, despite his red dog history could well prove to be a real Pride Park favourite in time. I also have a sneaking feeling Przemek Kazmierczak and Andrejs Pereplotkins may do likewise.
I hope so. Quite apart from anything else, there's something vaguely satisfying about having relative unknowns who nevertheless, have skiil and ability and who quietly get on with the job.
Robbie Savage please take note! To say he's never been one of my favourite players would be the understatement of the century. I was hoping it was all unfounded rumour when he was first linked with the Rams but now he's here, I'd probably rather him earn his money and do the job we pay him for, rather than see him leave. Coming the wounded primadonna just won't wash with Rams fans though, nor I'm sure, will it with Paul Jewell.
So anyway, a bit of confidence has flowed back into the club with last night's win. As the Chinese supposedly say, even the longest journey starts with one small step. On Saturday, Nathan Ellington will be back in the city where he first came to everyone's attention, but this time, across the city at Ashton Gate. No doubt another hat-trick would suit him just fine.