Our pre-match prediction ritual sees us each have a stab at the score. We all thought Rovers would lose 3-2 today. It would have been the fourth such score in a row. As it was, it would actually have been a pretty fair result.
Barnsley worked out our weaknesses and used what they had to beat us. No problem with that.
But once again this season Rovers looked like the parts just don't fit together properly. As the remaining 10 players left the pitch, a few people screamed the cry of the angry - "you're not fit to wear the shirt". I don't agree with that. It wasn't for lack of effort that we lost the game, but that the team is set out all wrong, they aren't fit enough and substitutions only serve to disrupt what cohesion the team has. Charlie Mulgrew looked decent in both positions, but his excellent long weighted passes found the two players least able to outpace and weave past a defence to score. Had Sam Gallagher been played in the position he excels - centre forward - the chance of a goal would have been far greater.
Inevitably much of the post-match discussion has centred on the fans who gave the manager a hard time at the end of the game. Owen Coyle has never been liked by the fans, but this was the first game I've been to where the hatred was fully vented. Make no mistake, he's always been on a sticky wicket, but a fourth straight defeat on top of everything else we've seen over the last five years isn't likely to prompt any other response than anger. His response in the post-match interview was that they came "with their own agenda". Oh dear. In an answer straight out of the Jerome Anderson playbook he tried to isolate the most vocal fans from the rest. It's hardly as if fans protesting against the owners are new, nor is it likely that 1400 people would fork out £23 each and travel on a cold Bank Holiday because they're plotting a new sinister agenda that means they'll fail to support their team if we were to score, or heaven forbid, to win.
This isn't going to end well for anyone. Under any other circumstances Coyle would be on his way out by now. The only thing likely to ease the hostility towards the owners is either a winning streak, or a manager to absorb all that frustration. But as we've been here before under these wretched Venkys, the circus of the absurd just rolls on.