Date: 20th February 2007 at 8:16am
Written by:

We are on a terrible run with no win now in 13 matches, by all accounts the worse run we have had in over 25 years, The fans are obviously frustrated and a significant number now are becoming annoyed with what they see as continual excuses by the manager with his refusal to accept responsibility. Based on the comments on some messageboards some fans it seems are even prepared to vent their frustration by booing our manager and players if things start to go wrong tonight against Leicester at home

I have never, ever booed in my life in over 40 years of supporting the Clarets! This is my team, I am more prone to crying than booing. Lets face it we have all had the chance to cry over the last 40 years and we have all been through far worse times than our current predicament.

Booing is a simple expression of negative frustration that does nothing, absolutely nothing other than give players less chance on the pitch of restoring any lost confidence with less chance that the manager can raise spirits.

Steve Cotterill I am sure is right; the players have somehow to focus and remain positive.

They have to put all thought of relegation and doom and gloom out of their minds, and that is not helped by media attacks and now even the possibility of booing from within our own ranks.

People need to think what they are doing, changing manager now will be too late for anybody to do anything.

A change could raise even more instability and lead to experimentation by a new manager who does not yet know the players.

With the transfer window closed a new manager would also have to work with the same squad of players with only loans a possibility.

All this with the horrendous April fixtures coming up. Look at the clubs below us, all have had a managerial change within the last 12 months or even during the season, (except I think Newell at Luton)

17 Coventry

18 Norwich

19 Luton

20 QPR

21 Hull

22 Barnsley

23 Southend

24 Leeds

All of them have continued to struggle with no significant improvement. The grass is not always greener!

If you sacked SC tomorrow, there would be some time before a new manager could be recuited to take over and no doubt we would then be reliant on Steve Davis/Dave Kevan to take over as caretakers in the interim.

If they are any good at motivating the team and playing the right tactics more than Steve Cotterill,they should be doing it now.

Do not BOO and wait to see where we are come May 07. If still no improvement over next 3 months then that is the time to review contracts and to possibly replace Steve Cotterill with a new manager. There would also be more time to get this right in the close season and ensure we bring in a manager with the right credentials.

If you look at some of the Polls on this including our own poll, about 70% believe Cotterill should either see out his contract or have it reviewed in the close season depending on results(about 40%). About one third at the moment appear to be calling for an excecution before season end.

My own view is that Steve Cotterill deserves far more praise and respect than he is getting. Since he arrived, he has had to struggle with one of the smallest squads in the league, motivating players on some of the smallest wages and trying to attract players to a club that until recently had a reputation for selling its best players in the January window.

Its to his credit he has kept this team in the Division over the last few seasons let alone been able to see the team reach the play-off positions there or there abouts in the first half of the last three seasons!

This season alone we managed to be in the Top 6 for most of the first four months of the season culminating in a Manager of the Month Award for Steve.

We have had a string of bad luck, most noticeably losing Andy Gray but also fate affecting the fixtures with home games being postponed at critical times. Only three home games in 10 played, is not a good idea when the team is low on confidence.

I saw what they are capable of as late as the Sunderland match in December, that was the best I have seen them play for sometime to go 2-0 up. It was a tactical error there that saw us give that lead away, I am not arguing that and Cotterill should take the blame for thaose substitutions. He should however also take the credit with the players for playing that sort of football initially.

The lads are now low on confidence and making far too many individual errors..and boy will that be improved by booing!(NOT!).

Lets not also forget that during this bad spell, we nearly won at Ipswich but succombed to a last minute equaliser, we got a creditable draw away against Saints, fought back at Reading with two goals, didnt get a pasting at high flying Derby and showed some spirit in the second half against Wolves.

During this time we have seen Gray for the most part sidelined and now still not fully match fit, Ade,Gud,DJ-DJ and to some extent Caldwell all came in lacking match practice. Its no wonder things are the way they are but it would be far worse without any of the investment this January.

It might also help if Lady Luck shone now and again in the penalty area!

We have to judge Steve Cotterill now on what he can do with a larger, fully fit squad firing on all four cylinders. We need to see how the team plays with confidence restored and the currently underpar Ade Akinbiyi and Andy Gray scoring for fun. Surely its only a matter of time before the team gels and all the new players and Andy Gray return to full match fitness.

I came across one excellent post on one of the messageboards that I believe all fans would do well to note,especially those hellbent on bringing the manager down:

‘We like to see ourselves as some of the best fans around, so tomorrow night why don’t we prove that! Remember this is MY club, it is YOUR club. So instead of going for chants that will only make a bunch of players low in confidence even more paranoid why don’t we show them a bit of support.

I don’t care if you are pro or anti Cotterill all our care about is us winning and that is going to be a lot more achieveable if we unite and support our team rather than getting on players and our managers back.

I do believe you are right to have your opinion and if you want to air that on message boards I don’t have a problem thats what they are there for. But if you want to chant Cotterill out tomorrow why don’t you go and sit in the Cricket Field Stand as you certainly won’t be helping OUR club out.’

Very well said and on that note me laud, the defence rests!