Can We Make the Play-Offs?

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 04/04/2005
With only five games left, six points from the play-offs and with a maximum of 15 points from the next five games, Town manager Peter Jackson reckons we have a slight chance of making the play-offs. But would that be good achievement or are we just trying to get ahead of ourselves?Can We Make the Play-Offs?

Over the years Town have made it into the play-offs, of course winning two of these, who could ever forget Chris Billy?s diving header against Bristol Rovers in a 2-1 at Wembley in 1995 and the dramatic penalty shoot-out against Mansfield Town in which Town won 4-1 on penalties last year in 2004 at the Millennium Stadium. But there is always a down side having losing in the play-offs or failing to make the play-offs seems to be a massive hangover for the Town as looking back over the years you will find.

Back in 1992, Town made the play-offs in the old 3rd Division, Eion Hand?s side faced Peterborough United, the likes of Iwan Roberts and Peter Jackson were in the side that drew 2-2 with Peterborough at London Road, Town were expected to win the home leg at the old Leeds Road ground. But Peterborough spoiled the party as the snatched a 2-1 win after Town taking the lead early on in the game. Peterborough went on to win the play-offs that put them in the new 1st Division (now the Championship) with the creation of the Premier League for the 1992/1993 season.

In the new 2nd Division (now League One) Town were favourites for promotion in the 1992/1993 season after making the play-offs with a good side the previous season but Town struggled, as the hangover from losing in last seasons play-offs loomed, Eion Hand resigned and Ian Ross took over, but with Town struggling in the relegation zone Ex-Town manager Mick Buxton came to help out as Ian Ross?s assistant. Town had a good run towards end of the season and ended up 14th in old 2nd Division.

Eight years later and the big money spending of Bruce, Ayre and Rubery. Town were challenging for promotion and after a good start to the season things went down hill towards the end of the 1999/2000 season, and after the sale of top striker Marcus Stewart, Town were slipping and hoping to cling on to the play-offs but a last day 3-0 defeat to Fulham, Town missed out on the play-offs having slipped to 8th place. The season after in the 2000/2001 season the play-off miss had an effect on the Town players and after trouble going on behind the scenes that didn?t help matters Town struggled and eventually got relegated on the last day off the season.

The 2001/2002 season having been relegated on the last day of the season, Town were favourites to go straight back up. The then manager Lou Macari had a shoe-string budget to managed to build a side that could maintain a promotion challenge, but the habit of throwing games away cost them automatic as the finished the season in 6th place and in the play-offs. Old play-off rivals Brentford got their revenge for the 1995 play-off semi-final with beating Town 2-1 in the second leg and securing their place in the final.

The season after 2002/2003, Town were expected to bounce back from their play-off anguish of last season before and challenge for automatic promotion. But in financial trouble and the players not getting paid could have also had an effect and with a poor manager Town found themselves in the bottom half of the table for the whole of the season and ended up being relegated to the 3rd Division (now League Two) in which the 2002/2003 was a controversial season.

The point really I am trying to make is the hangover it has on the Town but losing or failing to make the play-offs. Don?t get me wrong I am ambitious as the next Town fan, but with a young side with most of the players being under 21 I don?t want to see the lads get down by not making the play-offs or losing in them.
Most of the Town fans I have spoken to have said they would be happy just staying in this league after just coming up and having a such a young team. But they say we could challenge for something next season. I would love for Town to prove me wrong but only what happens between now and the end of the season will only tell. If you would have said to me before the season Town would finish in the top half of the table I would have been happy. Yes, we can possibly make the play-offs but lets not rush into it, we have a good young side that will only get better and better and next season things might just only get better.

There is a poll on can Town make the play-offs and you can cast your vote and the results will be in a few weeks.

If you like to e-mail me on anything feel free


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