SPORT TALK: Tulips fans should have faith in Stan

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ANGRY voicemails and letters about Spalding United used to be commonplace in the Spalding Guardian office – but I really thought they’d be in short supply this season.

Hopes were high after what looked like a fine summer of recruitment, following the Tulips’ inevitable relegation from the Evo-Stik League.

There was talk of the title and promotion, but after a pretty average start to the campaign it seems that the top six is now the best they can hope for.

Cue angry fan Pete Nottingham, who branded last weekend’s 4-0 Thrapston thrashing as “absolute rubbish” in a two-minute rant.

He feels the Tulips should never lose that badly to a team in the UCL Premier Division and thinks they need a “bloody good kick up the backside.”

Citing the glory days of 1973 under the late Freddy Fox, Mr Nottingham reckons the town would get behind Spalding if they built a decent team.

In defence of current boss Andy Stanhope, he agrees with pretty much everything Mr Nottingham said – and nobody wants to take the club back to its former level more than him.

He played an integral role as a player the last time the Tulips won the UCL title, and, in his own words, won’t let the current crop drag the club down.

I’ve seen quite a lot of the Tulips this season. In flashes they have shown the kind of form that would trouble any side in the division. Just ask Holbeach United.

With a few more signings I’m sure they’ll turn things around – and perhaps next season the title may be a realistic goal.

I KNOW this is old news by now, but Wayne Rooney’s three-game Euro 2012 ban still rankles with me.

The UEFA panel that described the incident as ‘assault’ clearly haven’t been out in Glasgow before. One game would have sufficed for a regulation red card, perhaps two at the most.

You’d think UEFA would want one of the world’s best players available for their top competition.

Without Rooney, our hopes look pretty bleak – especially if we’re handed a tough group. I’d still take him, though.

It’s not like Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe or Darren Bent are going to have any impact.