Remember when the fixture list came out last June. The first thing you looked for was to see who we would be playing in our opening game. The second thing you looked for was to see when we were due to play Hull City.
The attraction wasn't the thought of renewing old rivalries, as with Cheltenham and Rushden, but the prospect of a new rival. The rival who had lured our manager, snaffled our assistant manager and hijacked out star midfielder. Hull City.
Since the day the fixtures were announced the mood of the Harriers fans has grown to where it is now. Anger and almost pure hatred.
It's understandable that we should be upset about the way Jan Molby
left us but it was to be expected that, one day, he would want to progress his career and move to a big club. We just couldn't understand why he thought that a club in the same league as us was a big club!
The hatred is less understandable. We should have been glad to see the back of him now that under the auspices of Ian Britton we have turned out to be having a better season than our Big Club friends from the North.
With all the large amounts of money being given him to spend by Hull's chairman Adam Pearson, the potential in the players he has purchased with that money and the prospect of a new stadium to parade them in come the New Year then they should be near the top of the tree by now. No, they're struggling near the bottom unable to put a consistent run together and with most of the team either struggling with injury or walking out on him.
The fact that one of his goalkeepers, Matt Glennon, has walked out on the club this week reminds you that man management wasn't Jans' best asset.
How many more will fall out or be stonewalled by Molby if things don't start to improve on Humberside by Christmas. Will Molby still be there at Christmas?
I don't think we shall be having those kind of problems down here. Ian Britton, although being forced into pulling his purse strings tighter, seems to be running a tight, but happy, ship.
So, what kind of welcome will Jan be getting tomorrrow. He'll get a hostile one that's for sure, with chanting from the North Stand and old codger type mutterings from the Cowshed. Some fans will be wearing anti Jan T-shirts and waving anti Jan banners. (Well they would have been until this afternoon when I was told to remove any mention of T-shirts) The drummer is expected to bang his drum for 10 seconds somewhere around halftime.
Is it warranted? Yes and no. The way he left us was despicable but I have heard rumours that once Lionel Newton resigned, due to the apathy from residents of Wyre Forest, then Jan had lost his only allie in the boardroom so it would only be a matter of time before he left. Remember that throughout his time here Jan was forever being linked with other clubs. Wigan, Tranmere, Preston, Wolves and many others. He only stayed with us because he wanted to finish the job he came to do, get us into the Football League and keep us there.
When the Hull job came along it didn't take much to convince him that his future was not to be at Aggborough.
The fact that Jan Molby got us into the 3rd Division in the first place is why such a hostile welcome would be undeserved. Some say that Graham Allner did all the hard work and Jan just finished it off but thats like saying that the reason Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal are where they are today was because of Sir Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Herbert Chapman. It's all history.
Football is an amorphous blob that is forever changing and Jan was part of that 'blob'.
Brock, Danby, Joy, Stamps, Clyde, Melligan, Ayres, Smith, Hinton, Williams, Flynn, Bennett, Parrish, Shilton, Ducros, Doyle, Foster, Broughton, Henriksen, Lower, Khela, Lewis.
Hull City from:
Musselwhite, Anderson, Edwards, Ashbee, Keates, Philpott, Whittle, Green, Williams, Petty, Wicks, Jevons, Sheeran, Branch, Fenton, Alexander, Bradshaw, Elliot, Dudfield, Regan, Kerr, Peat, Johnson, Price, Smith, Burton.
We are expected to have Adie Smith and Sean Parrish back in the team for the game along with Mark Clyde, who missed last weeks victory at Bristol due to a viral infection. Still no sign of Abdou Sall returning from injury yet.
Jan Molby has now swooped into the loan scene and snapped up Michael Branch from Wolves for the next month. Never set the world on fire at Molineux did he!
City will be without defender Greg Strong who has a dislocated elbow and Neil Mann, out with an achilles injury. Stuart Elliott made his comeback in a reserve game in midweek and will be expected to start.
The biggest surprise absentee will be Richie Appleby. Who would have thought that he'd be out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury. You could have knocked me down with a feather!