Harty on Gus Poyet, Albion and Rebels against Whitehawk

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IN life, we all make mistakes, some-times not intentionally, sometimes to please or appease people, but the bottom line is nobody, whoever they are, is infallible.

In my opinion, Gus Poyet made a mistake last week getting embroiled in the Suarez racism row. Part of me understands why he did, loyalty is a big part of Gus’s make up, but there is a time and a place and, coupled with the fact that since the abolition of fox hunting, the only pack in this country that can rip something to shreds is the press pack, and ripped he has been.

His outburst was perhaps also mistimed in light of the fact that he spoke on the eve of a potentially huge south coast derby at Southampton, which the Albion lost 3-0.

Work intervened on Saturday, so I never made it down to St Mary’s, ending up instead at Culver Road for a very entertaining game between Lancing and Guildford in the FA Vase, so all I can comment on is what I have read in the press, been told and what I saw on the Football League Show highlights on Saturday night.

Much has been made of referee Peter Walton’s performance on Saturday and, as much as I don’t like criticising officials, clearly he made errors. Of five penalty decisions, he got four wrong and one right, ironically Saints got two penalties that weren’t but were clearly denied two that were, with the other refusal being the correct decision.

But that is all immaterial. Saints had taken the lead in open play and, having won the 19 previous home games, once in front it was always going to be a mountain to climb, regardless of any subsequent penalties, especially if chances are not being created at the other end.

When you strip it all down, it comes back to expectation levels. At the start of the season, how many fans would have settled for mid-table stability, with a decent run in both cups?

Despite a number of “new” fans at the Amex, probably the overwhelming majority, the problem is Poyet and his side have made a rod for their own backs by starting off so well.

Even the most level-headed supporter would have looked at the Albion in a promotion/play-off place and actually thought, well, perhaps, emulating Norwich with back-to-back promotions was not impossible.

With the current dismal run, prophets of doom now look at one win in nine as relegation form, which is a bit harsh and actually wide of the mark.

At this point, I, like I’m sure thousands of others of the Amex faithful, would settle for a top 10 finish and perhaps a nice little FA Cup run. Anything better would be a bonus.

Worthing fans are set for an upcoming Whitehawk double bill, with Chris White’s team entertaining former Woodside favourite Darren Freeman’s charges on Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off.

Then, on Monday night, the under-18s from both clubs meet in the Ryman Youth League, again at Woodside, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

The youth sides played out an eight-goal cup thriller last month, so another close game is on the cards.

Also, Rebels’ players and coaching staff have been taking part in Movember all month and a collection will take place on Saturday.