A worrying answer comes with a lot of questions ... David Rawson's Rotherham United fan column

Advertiser columnist David RawsonAdvertiser columnist David Rawson
Advertiser columnist David Rawson
WANT to know if we’re in trouble in the Championship?

There’s a dead easy test. Will one win be enough to take us out of the bottom three? If the answer’s 'no', we’re in bother.

As I write this (after Cardiff, before Bristol), we’re in trouble. We’ve been in trouble before. It’s not a surprise that that’s where we find ourselves.

Except it was supposed to be different.

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First, this year’s squad knows the league, knows what it takes to grind out results. Supposedly.

Second, although we spent long periods of last season not being very good, we always had a cushion for when the days got shorter and the energy of the early season turned into the trudge of winter. We were supposed to be building on that, not sliding backwards.

Now, there are reasons, justifications, valid excuses. We’ve had referees literally invent new rules, on the spot, to turn games against us.

We were the hipsters getting apologies for the abject state of this country’s officials before teams like Liverpool made it mainstream.

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We’ve had a run of injuries that makes you wonder if running under ladders is part of our training regime.

But, even so.

Taylor is full of analytical insight. He’s always able to explain what’s gone wrong clearly. He’s always in control, always thoughtful and honest.

His touchline ban wasn’t from some wild reaction in the heat of the moment, but a calculated act of defiance, to take the pressure off his team.

It’s kind of reassuring, and kind of frustrating. He was dead right about the lack of physicality in our performance against Millwall. And he was dead right about how effectively our game-plan to protect our makeshift defence had strangled the life out of the Cardiff game for 56 minutes. As he lays it out calmly and clearly, you can’t help but nod your head in agreement.

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But football only works if it engages the heart as well as the head. We’ve played worse away from home under previous managers than we did at Cardiff. And yet we’ve come away feeling better about it, just because we’ve spent time expending sheer frenetic energy in the hope it will buy us something.

It didn’t, of course, and it wasn’t likely to.

But it also let us at least hope we could beat the odds. There’s something bloodless about us this year, like we’re thinking, not feeling, our way through games. It’ll see us win and deserve it.

But not, maybe, often enough to get and stay out of trouble. And that’s the worry.