Date:Wednesday January 31 2007
Steve Cotterill was an 'angry young man' yesterday, frustrated by yet another defeat (1-0 to Derby) plus a sending-off for Djembe-Djembe and his own sending off to the stands after an incident with former player,Mo Camara.
There was plenty of criticism about referee ,Mike Riley . This included sympathy also for his opposite number, Billy Davies who also found himself sent to the Stands following an earlier incident
Djembe-Djembe found himself yellow-carded for the second time in the last minute of the match and he will now miss the next match against QPR.
'There was nothing in Eric's challenge and it didn't warrant another yellow card' said Steve
'It was in stoppage time and I honestly think it was harsh. He (Riley) is an experienced referee, it is the 90th minute and it was just ridiculous.
'I have known Steve (Howard) for years. We played against each other in the Third Division and I think he is a really good, honest lad.
'I just said I thought he went down a bit easily and he came over and had a chat about it, but nobody deserved to be sent off tonight.'
Soon after that sending-off things went from bad to worse for Steve after taking issue with former Claret,Mo Camara in a touchline incident.
Cotterill explained: 'I took exception to Mo Camara pushing out at Kyle Lafferty, a 19-year-old kid.
'He came over and I said 'Oi Camara, what are you pushing him for?'
'I did not swear, but what will happen somewhere along the line is they will say 'use of language'.
'Is it a winnable case? No chance, because it never is and I don't know whether appealing is worth it.
'What are we going to do - take the passion out of the game? If that is what we want, then the fans won't come.
'I thought it was a passionate game all round, but did Djemba-Djemba deserve to be sent off? No. Did Billy Davies? No.'
Specifically on the team's performance, Steve Cotterill had this to say:
'We are delighted with our performance and I can't believe we lost that game.
'We fell asleep from a free kick, but other than that we have come to a team at the top of the table, we have dominated but not come away with anything and that's a disappointment.
'On another night Kyle Lafferty could have had a hat trick and that is the best we have played for a while.
'If we can keep up that sort of performance, that will get us good results.'
I think the calls for Steve Cotterill to go from some of the fans after this run of bad form and bad luck is uncalled for and ridiculous. Think back to when we were fourth and Andy Gray was scoring for fun. Think about the passion and joy of seeing the lads come back and beat Preston 3-2 at home earlier in the season. Have you forgotten the 4-1 away thumping of Norwich and the joy of seeing it on the box if not live?
All clubs go through these phases, we just need to break this spell of losing. The new faces recently signed may still be lacking full match fitness but at least we have money to sign players this January window and we are holding on to our key players eg Kyle Lafferty.
We also await with anticipation the return of Andy Gray, hopefully in February. Surely you must be excited at the prospect of seeing Gray partner Ade Akinbiyi up front?
The truth of the matter is that this squad when fully fit and firing on all cylinders is capable of beating anybody in this league. They can show both passion and play entertaining football. There is now even greater chance of that happening as the squad quality and quantity improves with the new signings. At least give them a chance of settling in and reserve judgement on our manager until we know our final placing this season.
Up the Clarets
Date:Wednesday January 31 2007
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