Is it frustrating or heartening this Charlton side delivered a second half performance bursting with skill, pace, teamwork and endeavour on Tuesday night, earning a 1-1 draw with Bradford?
Watching Tony Watt sprint from one end of The Valley pitch to the other in the last minute was an image I’m not sure many would have believed they would see.
A couple of hundred miles away Leicester were playing out of their skins in the Champions League, now within touching distance of the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Charlton, meanwhile, were in an almost meaningless game at the club’s lowest ebb in history.
No-one would have been surprised to see them roll over when at 1-1 at the break, after a first-half which was just about as awful as the Addicks have been all season.
I’d say it was heartening.
It’s not meaningless when relegation is still a possibility but there’s no way this side of talented individuals – two of whom have performed in said Champions League – should ever be this low.
Time for honesty
But it’s as though, after another miserable, even laughable, first half display, they each decided in that dressing room to confront their weaknesses.
“I’m lazy,” said one namesless player, possibly. “I’m greedy,” said another, maybe. “My legs have gone,” said a third, perhaps. “I can’t concentrate”… “I drop the ball”… and round they went until all those negatives were out in the open and disappeared.
Promotion chasing Bradford barely got a sniff and all that was missing for Charlton was that winner, with a goal mouth scrambles and gilt-edge misses galore at the Covered End.
They were playing as a team and not as the side of kids, failures and injury prone old pros they are.
The fans – those who bravely faced another 90 minutes – were fully behind the team in that second half. Despite it ending 1-1 it was enjoyable. Manager Karl Robinson said afterwards the players wore the shirt with pride .
Of course, 45 minutes of endeavour wins you nothing, it’s consistency everyone craves. But there’s a glimmer of light in a long season – make them seasons under the current regime – of darkness.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s a symbol of the future. That there are good times ahead.
Which brings us to that rumoured takeover…