Situated in the top left hand corner of the blog since August has been the poll I ran last summer asking where you thought Rovers would finish this season.
As you can see, of the 26 votes that were cast in the 3 days I ran the poll, 53% of Gasheads thought Rovers would finish inside the top 7, earning us either promotion or a play-off spot. It's an unsurprising stat given the optimism we all had at the time, despite the fact out recruitment was less than inspiring. Only 29% believed we would finish where we did - in the lower half of mid-table. It would have been a conservative guess to make but probably the most sensible given the signings we had made and our inability to replace Mustapha Carayol effectively. At Christmas, the 15% who voted that we would get relegated must have feared they were going to be proven right as we sat 24th in the division. It was an undeniably bold prediction given how strongly we finished the previous campaign but it showed the doubts a few people had in regards to the depth of the squad we had.
Were you one of the 8 voters for mid-table or one of the 18 who opted for promotion or relegation?
It all makes interesting reading because I was surprised anybody felt we would be good enough to win automatic promotion or be bad enough to get relegated. As it turns out we were shockingly bad for 5 months and the latter looked more than likely until the messiah, John Ward, turned things around. He's instigated a feeling of unity that we've been lacking for years and ultimately that helped us win the relegation battle. Plus, with the way he's got the players playing for us, we've got a good chance next season with the right strengthening this close season. Factor in the ambitious UWE Stadium being just 2 years away and we've got every reason to dream of a bright future for our football club.
I'll run the same poll prior to next season to see how we all fare this time around. I'd like to think we'll all be of a positive frame of mind come the end of July but who knows?