Marcus looks back at the Rotherham game and is looking forward to a break
It's all still a bit raw and I'm exhausted after about 17 hours on a train with a variety of companions throughout the day. Hopefully you are recovering after yesterday’s exertions and taking it all philosophically. I do find the away games more difficult as I'm a little too fixated on the game to be able to enjoy many of the other positives of an away day. With Wembley we also have that history that I thought we were going to shake after seeing Deano save the penalty.
I thought Rotherham were worthy winners on the day, they got their approach right in the first half and won the midfield exchanges meaning that our chances were reduced. They were also more than aware of our dangers and kept Jon Nolan quieter than the he was in the semi-finals and they also defended their flanks well that reduced chances further. So no complaints from me about the football, yes some began to look a little tired during the extra time but they have given absolutely everything this season.
The fatigue we suffered in extra time was undoubtedly a result of playing 62 games. That's over 93 hours of football not including injury time; compare that to the Millers 55 games or 82 hours. Rotherham were eleven hours of football fresher than we were and still needed extra time to get past us. On that basis I can’t be unhappy at how the season finished and given the expectation in August I'm ecstatic on the whole. I am however massively disappointed that the players, fans, management team and everyone else didn't get what they ultimately deserved after such an impressive season. I would try and argue that the play-off system is unfair but without it we wouldn't have been promoted back from the Conference at the first time of asking.
Did we suffer from our success on all fronts this season? I don't doubt it but those cup games put us in the spotlight and more importantly they've given us something to be so, so proud of again and again. Hopefully this season you'll have had non-Shrewsbury supporting friends telling you how good your team is like I have done, I like those little moments of pride. Hopefully there will be more years like this last one but I try and think of our successes as vindication for our support. We've had our tough, dark times and that makes seasons like this all the sweeter.
Now all the football has been played we go into an uncertain time with rumours and reports about our players and back-room staff. That's inevitable, as soon as a team like Shrewsbury do well; jealous noses sniff it in the air and do their best to pry it out of our hands. Then, once that drama is over we have the World Cup and new signings and all of a sudden it's pre-season! It never really stops but I might just ignore the sports news if I can until it all kicks off in Russia. I think I need a break from football, yesterday was a hard end to a very long season and a few days ignoring the world’s favourite sport won’t do me any harm. Then I can come back completely rested for another season of drama and hopefully celebration!