The biggest thing football fans do, is think that their players that play for their own team are much better than they really are.
This is particularly true for a team on a downward spiral through the leagues who can’t get their head around the fact that clubs with smaller resources have significantly better players than them.
I said it last season. I felt you overachieved with that team. Not the club, but 2 Wembley finals was above that group of players. That same team looks weaker now for the loss of Cattermole and Oviedo on top of Maja at the midpoint of last season. I felt Luton and Charlton were significantly better than anybody else, and whilst I personally didn’t think much of Barnsley, they definitely were better than you, and us for that matter. Whether that was down to Ross, or (in my view) good player attitudes to play above their ability I’m not sure.
The players that got you a double relegation. It wasn’t that they weren’t trying. It’s just that they are utter crap. There’s a good clip I watched on STID on Netflix, where Simon Grayson tries to explain that in kinder words to one of your supporter groups by saying ‘they lack confidence’ rather than them not trying.
In time you will build a squad who will get you up because the size of the club is too big to stay down here in the long term. But I don’t see it being an immediate fix either.
It took us 4 years to get out of L2. The first 2 of them were utterly dreadful teams, with a couple of shining home grown lights in Jed Wallace and Adam Webster. The team we ended up building through their sales and long term budget differential under Paul Cook got us up.
But we suffered down there, and tbh until we get back to the Championship as a minimum we still aren’t really out of the L1/2 graveyard. We’ve been down here since 2012, which is the longest stint in our history. I don’t know if you’ll be down here that long, but I can see it being something like 4-5 seasons for you.