Since Christopher Schindler infamously wrote himself into folklore, the odds were very much stacked against David Wagner and his “plucky” side.
Eight months later, in the midst of an unforgiving journey that remains the case.
The only difference now is that expectations have risen and what was a glimmer of hope of survival is now a tangible achievable objective.
However, to achieve that aim, it is time for us as fans and the club as a whole to unite and fight.
To re-find that ‘Terrier’ identity, we need to play with the fearlessness which led to so much success at the beginning of the season.
If we consider the analogy that the Premier League is a marathon, as Town begin to edge themselves closer towards the finish line, it seems that already, they have hit a wall.
Against West Ham United and Stoke City, it was two back-to-back unrecognisable performances from a David Wagner side.
The basis of these unrecognisable performances is the absence of the unquantifiable qualities that have underpinned Town’s success since David Wagner’s arrival.
From togetherness and everyone in the club pulling in the same direction to the often ridiculed qualities of passion, desire and a willingness to fight to the end. These qualities have all been absent in recent weeks.
In the early passages of the season, we saw Town sprint out of the blocks as they were playing with true confidence and self-belief.
Playing with a never-say-die attitude meant that life was extremely difficult for the opposition, regardless of the quality and riches that they possessed.
The Unforgiving Journey
Since then, it feels like David Wagner, the squad and us as fans have all gone on a journey; a journey which has seemingly seen every mistake punished and the nature of the brutal and unforgiving nature of the league that we are in exposed for us all to see.
This journey has taken it’s toll physically as the speed and physicality of the league has caught up with the squad.
It has also been a journey which has had an impact mentally. We have witnessed the confidence drain from the players and the fighting spirit evaporate, leaving everyone feeling battered and bruised.
The journey hasn’t just had an impact on the field either.
Off the field, we have seen the fan-base divide very noticeably. This has come in the form of those who acknowledge that this squad and the club on the whole is massively over-achieving and, therefore, we should simply enjoy the ride and those who believe that the focus should very much be on survival and the here and now, rather than the larger picture.
As the defeats have stacked up, we have seen the fans not only turn on one another but also on the players themselves, which has led to an increasingly toxic atmosphere where every mistake and every backwards pass is met with a groan.
Time to Unite and Fight
However, whilst this journey has been a relentless one, the current situation is not a permanent one.
Confidence and form ebbs and flows and it’s now a testament to the character of David Wagner, the squad and us as fans to fight against the odds.
From that memorable day at home against Barnsley to winning the Championship play-offs without scoring a single goal, we are used to fighting the odds and it is time to do it again.
Starting on Tuesday night, once again, against the odds, it is up to us as fans through vocal support and genuine belief in the squad that can help pull the club out of this rut.
It is us who must all stand as one and support this squad to over-achieve again.
Whilst I say this, encouragement and support can only go far.
For Town to sustain their Premier League status, it is a matter of reverting back to basics and finding the confidence and courage to impose themselves on the game.
If Town find the courage to press high and coherently, as well as committing men forward when in possession, that will drive the crowd on to encourage and support even more vocally, thus creating a snowball effect.
If this piece alone wasn’t inspiring enough, I’ll finish by showing you The Red Terrier’s best Churchillian impression: