LAST week I was highlighting our defensive resolve since the start of September. Three goals conceded in six games has been swiftly followed by four in two. What do they usually say about commentator’s curse?

The two trips to Leamington and Bradford (Park Avenue) put those in attendance through the wringer. In both games, the high of excellent football and deserved goals was burst by fits of spectacularly low confidence and poor defending.

If you weren’t there to witness the two games, it’s probably hard to comprehend just how wildly the swings were between good play with purpose and aggression, to the feeble defending with the whole side looking like they’d been thrown in to the deep end making their senior debut.

One-touch passing with pace and movement was quickly followed by a breakdown in the basic fundamentals of the game like marking and simple passing.

For me, the frustrating thing from the two games is for the majority of both we played more than well enough to win. We could be in a much better place in the league if we just converted spells of good football into a whole 90-minute match-winning performance. Most games swing one way to another, but at some point we are going to have to become a bit more resilient to the pressure which will inevitably come regardless of whether we’re playing the best team in the league or the worst.

All teams can look pretty decent going forward. Whichever team finishes bottom will have spells of looking like a much better side than their league position suggests. What makes the difference ultimately is how sides deal with the pressure applied by the opposition. The team that finishes top at the end of the season dealt with it the best. The side which finishes bottom didn’t deal with it. As things stand, we’re somewhere between the bottom and the middle.

Even if you discount the couple of games where we have been properly taken apart, there are other games where we’ve had the lead or should have had it which if we’d dealt better with what was thrown at us we would be in a more positive position in the league than where we are right now. Is it really such a massive ask for us to be a bit more resilient?

With a mid-table finish becoming more and more likely, I can’t help but look upon the side we have put together and compare it to the Darlo sides of the mid-1990s. Back then, usually due to us being one of the poorest clubs in the league – something we’d struggle to claim these days - we inevitably ended up with naturally gifted players but who were probably not the most athletically gifted or weren’t the greatest football thinkers. They always seemed to be on the small side too.

It was the natural fit for a club paying some of the lowest wages in the league. Of course, Jim Platt managed to get blood from a stone to get us to the playoff final in 1996, although more often than not our flashy but ultimately low on substance players tried their hardest for the cause but rarely troubled the teams with more money and purpose.

Maybe I’m clutching at straws, but there is still a chance we could replicate the 1995-96 season this year. There are striking similarities between that season and this. We made a poor start. We weren’t particularly great at home. We only lost once on the road and that was a drubbing. I can but hope.