Mallorca's captains were giving a rallying call.

01-06-2016Miquel A. Cañellas

La Segunda strugglers Real Mallorca, for the second season in the past three years, have to rely on the last game of the campaign to stop them tumbling into the oblivion of Segunda B – the third tier of Spanish football. They play away at Valladolid on Saturday evening at 8.30pm. The bookies make us 4/9 on to win, 6/5 to draw, with Valladolid 5/1 to beat us. The permutations are nail-biting (I don't have any left now). If we win and Ponferradina and Almeria don't beat Girona and Cordoba respectively, we're safe. If we draw and they lose, then we stay in La Segunda: it couldn't be tighter. Don't forget that in Spain it goes on head to head not goal difference.

Eleven teams in the division have a stake in winning the title, winning direct promotion, getting into the play-offs or being relegated. As usual at this stage of the season there are rumours about “sweeteners” being given out to enhance performances. Mallorca's general manager Maheta Molango contacted the league's chief, Javier Tebas, to ask him to be vigilant with regard to Valladolid.

There is no love lost between the hierarchies of Mallorca and Valladolid. When they played at the Son Moix in January, just after our new owners bought the club, Molango sat next to the Valladolid president in the director's box. There's an unwritten law in Spanish football that representatives of the clubs should sit motionless in the box during the game. Molango didn't sit still for one minute, upsetting Carlos Suarez, the Valladolid president, who stormed out near the end and sat elsewhere.

The home side have nothing but pride to play for tonight and only two of their present squad will be with them next season. One crumb of comfort is that our conquerors last weekend, Cordoba, can consolidate their play-off spot if they beat Almeria, likewise Girona at “Ponfer”. It's undoubtedly the worst possible thing in any football league to have to rely on results elsewhere going your way.

A veritable horde of Mallorquinistas – 600 – have flown direct to Valladolid in three planes, with the possibility of a fourth being chartered. It's a tremendous response from our fans and shows just how much they love their football team. I just hope it all turns out well in a match, the magnitude of which is the biggest we've been involved in for many years. I had intended going, but coming back via Madrid in the middle of the night isn't for me these days: if I don't have my Captain America jimmy jams on by midnight, I'm done for, the next day. It's an age thing !

Truyols and Oscar Diaz are missing as they were sent off after last Sunday's game finished when all sorts of shenanigans kicked off. So it's all eyes and ears on our game tonight, the situation is critical. Results will change many times over 90 minutes and a late goal here and there could prove joyous or heartbreaking. We're in a situation we should have avoided months ago and it's not fair the fans have to go through this torture again as the whole season is decided over 90-odd nerve-jangling minutes.

As my friend from Northern Ireland said during the week: “We've lacked motivation and credible work ethic. We have too many mercenary football players who are not fighting hard enough for the shirt. We need players next season who are prepared to roll their sleeves up, both home and away, and need fighters not posers and wasters.”

One of our American owners, Andy Kohlberg, was in town during the week. He reiterated that whatever league we're in next season the American consortium will stay in charge: they're in it for the long term. Their aim will be, as it always has been, to get Real Mallorca back into La Liga as soon as possible. Something else people may forget is if we lose our second division status, the club also gives up what little television revenue they would normally receive.

On Wednesday the five club captains held a last-ditch press conference in front of the local media. The get-together was full of good intentions and rallying calls but now Real Mallorca need to do their talking on the pitch. We need relentless pressure if we are to have any chance – something we've been sorely lacking all season – Visca Mallorca!

PS I'm viewing the game in the Mallorcafé just beside the ticket windows at the Son Moix. The bar reportedly will have seven tellies in action and the all-important foaming beverage will be normal prices. See you there at 8.30pm?

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