ONE swallow does not constitute summer, so they say. And it would appear three wins with the season pretty much done and dusted does not constitute the collective leap of faith required by Darlo fans to assume what will be on display next season will be any better than what we’ve been treated to this.

On a hot, sunny afternoon in prime Leeds commuter belt, our three-game winning run, which briefly gave some, if not all, a little glimmer of hope for next season, came crashing down to earth with a bump.

Having asked in this column a few weeks ago for an end of season run of form to give us all a boost going into summer, to be fair to Tommy and the players, they responded. The three wins on the bounce perked us up a bit. Unfortunately, as has been the case throughout this season, brief respite from the reality has been all too brief.

Whenever hope has been allowed to build, we have found a way to crush it, usually in the most indisputable manner. This season’s theme has been regression to the mean. Our mean is not that high. Good performances have been nothing more than statistical outliers which could have led you to believe, if interpreted out of context, there was some real form hiding just under the surface waiting to be unleashed. I’ll hold my hand up, earlier in the season I suspected we had been unlucky at times and that it was all about the fine margins. However, after 41 of a 42-game season, the realty is it simply wasn’t there. The oasis in the middle of our desert-like pitch at Blackwell Meadows was nothing more than a mirage.

I’m sure some will probably think I’m being a bit harsh. Fair enough. This is an opinion and we’re all entitled to them. Despite that, I’d be amazed if anyone came away from Guiseley on Monday feeling all doughy eyed about our prospects for next season if the status quo is maintained. I feel like I say this a lot, but we were facing a poor team. This week’s poor team had won one in 19 games. They were still looking over their shoulders with the threat of relegation. We turned up and took pity on them.

Guiseley were a team of distinctly average players who looked reasonably organised and motivated. We, on the other hand were a team of distinctly average players who looked unorganised and not motivated. With disgruntled fans calling for change, this was not the performance to convince the doubters that either the management or the players are worthy of being at the club next season.

Given how disjointed our performance was, I was amazed at how little time the coaching team actually spent in the technical area trying to cajole their charges into doing what they had supposedly been told to do pre-game. Contrast that to Guiseley joint-manager Marcus Bignot, who spent nearly all the game barking out instructions. Nothing was left to chance.

For me, what summed the whole game up was the closing stages. We’re a goal down and the guy who we are rumoured to have spent a lot of money on last summer to be our marquee striker was still stood in his now defensive role while we looked like a bust flush up front. Surely you shove him up there and chase the equaliser? It was all just a bit too passive.

After the game, Tommy told us the players hadn’t done what he’d told them to do. It not the first time he’s told us that. It’s been a recurring theme of both him and Alan White. He has also told us on numerous occasions he believes this is a good team and that it’s almost ready to succeed. Sadly, I just can’t reconcile those two observations. Having good players certainly helps in making a good team, but they also need to be organised, they need to be able to take instruction and they need to be fit (we’ll not go there on this one).

Barring two or three game spurts every now and then, I just don’t see the basic fundamentals of a good team coming together under this manager with this group of players. Even if we are to settle for being a midtable outfit in this division possibly flirting with the playoffs while we consolidate ourselves as a club off the pitch, significant change is going to be required.