After months of living in an optimists' dreamworld where everything is possible I now find that the word that I have been refusing to recognize all these months is now, well, everywhere.
In case you missed it, the word's Relegation. Its everywhere. When I open the fridge or the microwave it pops up, it looks at me in the mirror and it even follows me to bed. And the word's all over this mornings papers who, without exception, appear to be in no doubt, after yesterdays defeat, as to what is in store for us and they spell it out in horrible detail.
The independent is painfully spot-on with its report, reminding us that "Blackburn are in the kind of position, with the end of the season approaching, that Charlton fans not so long ago were inclined to feel was not good enough, with Europe perhaps beyond them. How much would they give to be there now."
Clive White in the telegraph recalls that Scott Carsons clanger set the tone but gives us the only compliment of the day with a "after gracing the Premiership for seven seasons", and then reduces the game into 4 easy to follow stages and some appreciation of the loyal fans with "One just hopes for their sake they don't have to endure much more of yesterday's agony during which they first shot themselves in the foot, had a player sent off, scored an own goal and then, finally, were hit twice when they were down by a ruthless Blackburn side."
The observer report does us no favours, saying it could have been more if Blackburn had taken first-half chances.
There's a very detailed report from Pete Oliver working hard to tell the truth at murdochtimes. He's provided player points, always a guide to who's done what, and he's the only one to mention Aaron Mokoena’s unpunished forearm check on Talal El Karkouri and also adds that whereas we had all hoped that Blackburn were settling for mid-table security, "The momentum was entirely with Blackburn, as they looked the ones for whom nothing less than victory would do. "
Apart from a couple of good snaps the dailymail also gives us a potted review of our leaders attributes and then turns the spotlight onto the players, "Like a condemned man trying to ignore the trap door as it opens beneath his feet, Alan Pardew insisted last night that Charlton can still escape the grim drop. It takes an exceptional optimist to remain so buoyant, especially after his players had committed such crushing errors of judgment."