Fair to say, Stan is not feeling very level-headed at this moment in time. Andy D'Urso, in particular, is the focus of rather dark thoughts – the type where reason evaporates and violence and vengeance take over.
That his refereeing has long been regarded as incompetent is well known. But when it impacts on you and your team, then his hopelessness takes on a tangible and painful form. The man has conspired to rob us of a point, to plunge us back into the relegation mire, and to turn a fine performance into an irrelevance. What a t***.
Ultimately, of course, things are more complicated than that. D'Urso's uselessness sealed our fate, and he contributed to yet another City defeat. Yet he alone was not the architect of our downfall.
First things first, Norwich played extremely well. We created chances, played imaginative and attacking football. The team looked well organised, even with the injury problems that blighted our day. In terms of possession and quality of play, we deserved to win. Some even saw it as City's finest away display under Saint Glen. And yet, and yet …
There was, Stan has to say, something predictable about it all. Perhaps it is just the knowledge that this season has been such a rollercoaster ride that its end would have to be exciting/terrifying. Having beaten Colchester so handsomely, was not defeat almost inevitable?
Having stared relegation in the face, then glimpsed the top six, was not a fall back to the fringes of relegation all part of the pattern? There will, Stan fears, be yet more twists and turns over the next few weeks.
Even more disarmingly, however, was the fact that two oft-mentioned problems again combined to do for us. First, as we all know, scoring goals has been a problem for some time. City had more than enough chances to beat – or at least draw with – Bristol; we looked sharp and inventive. Nevertheless, we only managed to convert one of many.
While not quite the Man U versus Pompey cup-tie, the basic footballing lesson remains: if you don't take your chances you can always lose the game. Second, our defence is forever liable to concede a soft goal – especially from set-plays, and especially as the pressure mounts. This may be a tad harsh given that the back four kept Bristol at bay for much of the afternoon. Even so, we have seen it happen time and again.
Now, Stan admits that such observation is neither insightful nor helpful. They are both well-known and plain to see. Yet these are the concrete slippers around our feet. As Worthy, Granty and Saint Glen have all discovered, buying in a goalscorer – and then holding onto him – is a difficult and pricey business. Each have had their best laid plans frustrated.
On the other hand, all have bodged the defensive issue. Somehow, we have to muddle through until May, from which time Stan and the City faithful will just have to hope that Roeder has the guile, experience and connections to do what his predecessors failed to manage: that is, to rebuild a balanced squad capable of pushing for the top six. We are, ultimately, still cast in the shadow of our failed Premiership mission.
First things first, however, take seven points from our three remaining home games and turn up at Portman Road full in the knowledge of what the game means to us fine citizens, and all will be well. Fail to do that, however, and Hillsborough awaits in all its glory – a ground, for Stan at least, of very mixed emotions.
Today, the table looks a mess. We are sat slap bang in the midst of a full-on relegation dog-fight. Stan believes the team has the ability and the aptitude to ensure safety. If not, then the dishing out of some street justice on Andy D'Urso will be the least of his concerns. OTBC