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SPIRIT of 55: Don't stop believing
11:06am Monday 20th August 2012 in Wolves news
AT about 10.20am on Friday I drove past Bank Quay station and caught the reassuringly modest and down to earth sight of Chris Riley walking to the train with his rucksack on his back.
No high-powered sports car of a Premier League footballer, just a local lad walking to meet with his teammates.
Unfortunately, whether they travelled down first class or not, the train journey would likely have been the highlight of the day for the players.
It was one of those games where the excuses were in place before kick-off.
Several experienced, established first teamers missing and a few others with an eye on a much bigger stadium in London.
However, everybody involved in the club will know that nothing at all excuses this performance against Broncos.
One thing that seems to be missing from the team’s repertoire over the last few successful seasons is the ability to come from behind to win.
You could argue that over the last three years they have seldom been behind, but when you think of St Helens in their Super League pomp and Manchester United over the last 20 years or so, the overriding memories are those wins that they pulled out of the bag when all seemed lost.
Those lasting reputations can only be built from several matches won in those circumstances and more importantly, the more it happens the more the players believe it can happen.
I said last week that Wigan struggle in games when the opposition refuse to allow them to be dominant early on, and hopefully opposition fans won’t be able to say that of the Wire for too long.
After two immensely impressive defensive displays against St Helens and Wigan, London breached the defence too early and far too easily.
It also has to be noted that London produced a fantastic performance.
Half backs Gower and Dorn were pulling the strings expertly all night and utilised the many willing runners charging through on good lines to cause havoc.
It is also great to see their club beginning to produce so many local players.
That, for me, is the main argument for keeping a Super League club in London, the long term effect of getting the game played more and more exposure in the capital.
Also you have to take your hat off to the exceptional job Tony Rea has done as an interim coach, it’s amazing what a bit of team spirit and pride in your performance can do.
Of all the games this season I think this is the toughest to draw out any positives from.
I certainly don’t think any of the players will claim to have had one of their best games of the season.
The defeat may well have cost the club the chance of winning all three trophies available to them, but fortunately it doesn’t really lessen the chances of winning the big two.
Maybe it was even a perfectly-timed kick up the backside.
Just when everything seemed to be progressing serenely towards the business end of the season, it was a stark reminder that each game is a new opportunity to play like heroes or zeros and anything in between.
In any walk of life sometimes you’re the pigeon, sometimes you’re the statue.
It’s how you deal with failure that determines whether you achieve success.
After the last battering the team got at Salford, I suggested a Kelly Clarkson song for on the way home.
Maybe this time on the way back from London, they should have listened to Journey – ‘Don’t stop Believing’.