By Assistant manager/skipper Adam Murray
Firstly on behalf of us, I want to apologise to the guys who travelled to the game on Saturday. I understand it's not cheap to follow us around the country and the least you expect is pride and desire on show. I think everyone of us accepts that we have to take responsibility as players for our performance and Saturday was not good enough.
I believe we have an honest bunch and it's time for each and everyone of us to stand up to the plate and I for one am glad the Lincoln game is so soon.
It hasn't been the start to the season we all wanted and probably expected but we should all know not to expect anything in this game. The game owes no one a thing.
So what do we do now? In any walk of life, when humans hit a 'not so good patch', we react. For example, in the first part of my career I went from club to club. The manager didn't pick me for whatever reason and I'd kick down his door (literally), abuse him and I would be off. I probably did this 5/6 times and eventually I ended up playing my football way down the pyramid from where I started. Looking back now if I would have stuck where I was, believed in what I was doing and worked hard to get out of the rough patch I think I probably would have played at a higher level for a lot longer; instead of reacting, wanting to change things and ending up spiting myself.
It took me a while to realise that the grass is not always greener and to be successful some times you have to ride the waves instead of stepping out of the water. It may not seem like it to some of you, but at the minute, as a football club, we are building something. Yes we have made a couple of mistakes, I'm not going to hide from that - but the football club can and will go places on and off the field. I'm sure of it and am more determined than anyone to make it happen.
I have big ears and hear a lot of what is going about, 'this is wrong', 'change this, change that', 'we should do this, we should do that'.
Over the last 5 years, how many times has the club been in a situation where these questions have come up? More often than not, the place opted for a change here and a change there, yes? As a football club where has that got us? Absolutely nowhere. Chairman after chairman, manager after manager, and guess what, we are still in the same place. I've been in this game a long time. In fact it's my 400th career league game against Lincoln (wow, that makes me feel old ). I've had four promotions, 40000 clubs and 60000 managers, so I have a little idea what I'm on about. In the chairman, manager and players which the club have now I am confident we will succeed. The chairman is loyal and wants the best for Mansfield Town and without him we could possibly be playing eight leagues lower. The manager knows how to win! He has proven this since he started in management. The players are a very talented bunch of lads with all kinds of ingredients. In fact, a friend of mine who has played at the top level all his life came to watch training and commented on the standard of what he had seen.
Now my point is for once we have PEOPLE who want what is best for the club and that in their own area are giving everything to try and make this a success, not for themselves but for the club. You're right, at the minute it's not quite clicking but for the reasons above I'm confident it will. The club can go 'all change' again and be back at square one or we can pull together, stay in the boat, ride the wave and come out of the other side even stronger.
In my first blog last year I stated that the place needed stability, loyalty and belief. You all agreed. So at the first hurdle why do people want to get out of the ship? Get ya' seat belts on and let's do this as a team.
I'm telling you now, every team out there will be looking at us wanting us to implode - that is a fact. I can hear it now 'watch Mansfield they're turning on each other'. We can't allow that to happen.
There's enough people around waiting for us to fall, let's not let them get their way. Things will turn our way and Tuesday night we will be doing everything to make that happen. It's a big game for us and you will have a huge part to play. I can't personally wait!
I'm writing this on Sunday afternoon and to my wife's anger I've sat and watched games all day. I watched the game from yesterday in which we killed ourself. We made errors that you can't get away with and we got punished. I also watched three games from last year. The atmosphere was unreal. Versus Newport at home, all we did was put it in the channels and play off the knock downs as well as winning second balls and battles all over the place. Football-wise we were horrible but boy were we effective.
When Barrow came here I spoke to their skipper and the first thing he said was, 'We were scared of your directness before the game even kicked off'. All that has changed this season is that we are not being effective with the style, coupled with a lack of form; for different reasons: new players getting used to the style, injuries, confidence, expectations. I personally believe this is why people have suddenly changed their views. What has been proven is that it works and once the side settles and becomes consistent we will be ok.
Like every blog which I write, you guys will differ in opinion to both myself and each other, but one thing you can't lose sight of is that we all want the same thing and we will only get that by working in the same direction ."COMING TOGETHER IS A BEGINNING, KEEPING TOGETHER IS PROGRESS, WORKING TOGETHER IS SUCCESS!!!!!!
See you all soon, ready for action!