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I DARESAY your morning-devilled kidney will have gone down pleasingly because of the result you're currently reading about in your ironed copy of this newspaper.

Because after what seemed like an interminable Keith Lemon TV special, we are now freed of the Burtons and Brentfords for... well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

I say 'because' for a reason. I could have rushed off home afterwards and provided you with immediate post-match thoughts but, as the result is largely academic to the point where even Sky have ditched us, I've decided to jot this down pre-match and enjoy a small post-match port to commemorate the end of an arduous season.

I will also celebrate a last match which for a change isn't fraught with peril, or a wave goodbye to the golden trough - we can actually enjoy the build-up as well. Despite the exasperation of Brenda from Bristol, you can't help but be aware of current political shenanigans and the issues surrounding it.

I make no comment on the political affiliations but, despite the perennial dire warnings for the North East, you can't deny that when it comes to employing light aircraft towing streamers around the skies we're positively booming.

Unfortunately, while heavyweights in the North West fly banners deriding their rivals for only winning 30 trophies we deride our rivals for being the second-best team in the North East and in the current scheme of things this equates to being the second-best singer in Steps.

I hope next season can see us kick on, instead of ourselves. Everything is in place: a wealthy, if reluctant, owner; loyal committed fan base; a quality stadium; a good group of players and a manager proven at every level who is adored by the support and city.

I know there are egos involved, this is natural but, to use a phrase I mentioned two seasons ago, we must stop digging in a gold mine with a toothpick.

The potential here is phenomenal, a place in Newcastle city folklore awaits the first person to even get us a meaningful trophy, never mind established in the top four or five.

The choice of aspirations now is simple for the owner: Pirellisponsored Inter Milan or 'inter' the Pirelli Stadium at Burton Albion. Paul Dixon

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 8, 2017
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