The Manager Says!: QPR 3-1 Clarets
Steve Cotterill is under some pressure at the moment from frustrated fans who have seen their team now go 11 matches without a win since Leeds back in November. Its amazing also how a bad run leads to kneejerk reactions and panic with calls for a resignation and accusations of playing dire football with poor tactics.
Steve tried his best over the weekend to calm nerves and explain the situation but its seems once a certain core of fans are in this mood it becomes easy to explain away everything he says as excuses or a lie
Steve says about the genearal situation
'Everybody is hurting and at the moment it is tough, but I will support the players all the way, even when they do things that upset and disappoint you.
'I think that's what you have to do - and we will get better!
'We have shown we can do it and we know we can do it, but at the moment we are down and we need a lucky break.
'We need something to go for us because at the moment they are not the same players they were earlier in the season.
'We will get back there, but the one thing you can't do is give anyone a confidence pill.
'It's the hardest thing you have to search for and there is no pointing ranting and raving at them because it is the last thing they need at the moment.'
I think Steve is totally correct here, this is now all about player confidence and avoiding individual errors and that will only come with our first win of 2007.
People seem to have short memories. Only a few months back up to November we had been celebrating being in the Top 6 for most of the season with Gray banging them in for fun. Our manager had received a 'Manager of the Month' award during that spell and the feeling that this would be a kiss of death certainly looks true in our case. Sod's law would dictate we would lose through injury our star striker,Gray and this has clearly destabilised the team.
Against QPR where in all honesty we were woeful and beaten by a poor side in the bottom three prior to our 3-1 defeat, Steve says of the match:
'We were undone by two corners and we usually do a lot better than that from set pieces. I would say that is unlike us, but today we had a nightmare with corners and when a goal goes against us at the moment, we fade.
'We look as if we are lacking in confidence. When we got the goal I thought that was going to be the fillip we needed and at half time the lads were in a buoyant mood.
'I honestly felt we would go out in the second half and possibly go on and win it, but we just never got going that is how we have been of late.
'We look devoid of confidence and anything that goes wrong at the moment becomes a bigger issue than it is.
'It's tough because they are a good, honest set of lads who are just suffering because we haven't won in a while.'
I feel sorry for Steve at the moment, he is getting little credit for having kept this club in the Championship with limited resources.For a club that is always being told 'it punches above its weight' with the pundits always predicting relegation that is some achievement.
Maybe the games have been dire and 4-5-1 in a lot of cases, but we have to be prudent and cant afford to play exciting attacking football every match and run the risk of losing 5-6, 4-7 and any other ridiculous score that we often saw under Stan Ternent in a different time and era.
Consolidating our position has been the aim and its to Steve's credit that we have mananged to be in the play-off places in each of the last three seasons during the first part of the season.
My belief is that we could not maintain the play-off places in the second half of the season because until recently we had not invested in enough players and sold our key players in January (Blake,Chaplow,Ade Akinbiyi Mark 1)
This season is different the Board are 'walking the ambition' talk and we have bought and loaned in the January transfer window and now have a bigger squad.
It is ridiculous to pour scorn on these new players after only a handful of games like some fans seem to be determined to do.
It is quite clear that what we need to see as soon as possible is a fully match fit team firing on all cylinders with confidence restored Ade Akinbiyi and Andy Gray up front getting goals for fun as they did individually in an earlier period for the Clarets is surely something to look forward too. We need our first win in ages to start that process and lets hope its against the Owls on Saturday
The potential is there, lets wait to see it before calling for a crucifixion
Up the Clarets