Leicester City lost their battle against relegation this afternoon, despite earning a point at Charlton Athletic. Manchester City's victory over Newcastle means that the Foxes cannot get out of the bottom three and must now prepare for life in the First Division again, and manager Micky Adams has admitted that he is worried how they will cope.
The Foxes went into administration when they were relegated in 2002, and although Adams will not have to deal with that again, he cannot say for sure which players will be at his disposal when the 2004/05 season kicks off.
"I fear for the club in many ways, in terms of trying to get back onto this stage," said Adams. "We won't have the problems we had two years ago of administration, but it is going to take a massive rebuilding job. I am sure there will be clubs out there looking at my players and thinking that they might want them in their team.
"I won't stand in anybody's way - if they are good enough they will be on this stage again next season. If they are not, first day of pre-season we are back at it. But I can't say who will be here and who will not on that first day of pre-season."
Even though the result was not important in the end, Adams was still disappointed by referee Rob Styles' decision to award a penalty against Nikos Dabizas as well as sending the Greek defender off.
"When you are at the bottom things just seem to go against you," reflected Adams. "I have just seen it on the TV and it was not a penalty and did not merit a sending off. I think Mr Styles, who had an indifferent game, will be disappointed with that decision. If he is an honest man he will look at that video and reverse his decision."
For Alan Curbishley, it was yet more points dropped and their chances of qualifying for Europe have all but gone, but he refused to be too upset: "We have still got two games left and we don't know where we are going to end up," he said. "Because we have not won these games at the end of the season, people might look at like we have had a disappointing year.
"From being there all season if we do not finish as high up as we have ever done and we don't finish in a European place then it could be called disappointing - but we have had a fantastic season." However he was still disappointed to see his team throw away two points by letting Leicester equalise in the last few minutes.
"That hurt today, I must admit," he said. "I know Leicester perhaps felt hard done by with the penalty, but when you get yourself in the position we were in, 2-1 up with a few minutes to go and them down to 10 men, we have got to go on and take the three points. The extra two points would have done nicely for us and may prove costly."