Captain/Player/Assistant Manager Adam Murray writes. . .
We are back again!! I bet you thought you had got away from me didn't you?!?! Hahaha, only joking - I hope you’re all well. I was not going to continue the blog this season. Obviously with my new role I thought it might be a bit difficult. But I have had a think about it and now I am back playing I'm going to carry it on. I believe last season it built a bridge between us and you guys.
It’s like being in a relationship. Sometimes people see the outcome of a situation and come to their own conclusion when really they don't see what happens behind closed doors. Now obviously I can't tell you everything about everything because there is a line and the club, players etc have the right to privacy.
Firstly on a personal note, since the end of last season there's been a lot of changes with myself. I obviously took on a new role which I love every minute of. It is different in a lot of ways but something that means a lot to me and working with very good people such as the gaffer and Coops (Richard Cooper) is a privilege. I am also working with a group of men who are good guys and we have some real talent.
If I'm being honest, last season took a lot out of me both mentally and physically and to be truthful, the thought of playing wasn't really in my mind up until about a month ago. That fire inside me hadn't been fired up and the desire to stick the boots on wasn't there.
As the season got going though I started getting the itch and although I hadn't planned to be back until around Christmas, we sat down and made the decision. I was going back in. WOW, how my body has felt it!!
Four months of drinking tea and a little gym work is nothing like the whirlwind of the BSP. I’ve played five games now and my body is starting to come back. It’s s still going to take me a couple weeks ‘til I'm anywhere near my top match sharpness but I will get there.
I heard someone say the other day, ‘that Murray's not what he used to be’ - Hahaha come on mate, give me half a yard, I've been behind a desk for four months.
Now on to this season…. ooooooooo I can hear you all now, ‘what's he going to say, I bet he blames the fans,’ Hahaha, who said that? Only joking you lot, keep your hair on! By now you know what I am like and I won't talk rubbish to you and won't stand here and hide behind anything.
At times this season we have been nowhere near good enough. I totally accept that. The honest bunch that we have will hold their hands up to that and that includes all of us. As a team we know we have to perform better. We have to produce more quality.
Now last season, what was our DNA? Big, strong, direct, pacey etc. Teams feared what we were about. This season nothing's changed except that word QUALITY. We are doing things with not enough of it. Why? I personally believe there are a lot of factors behind this. The biggest one is expectation. Now I know people have spoken about this but it's a huge thing. People can say ‘You’re footballers, you should deal with it. But with all due respect to players at this level and I include myself in that, we are at this level for a reason. If we had the ability and mentality to cope with certain situations we wouldn't be here. It takes a bit longer to deal with and to produce different outcomes at this level, at times.
For me that has been the biggest problem. Everyone expected us to be ten points clear by now but guess what, we have 23 other teams that will bite, scratch, and pull your ears off every Saturday for those three points. I said last year that this league is like no other. It's tough, really tough. Expectation has brought its own burdens. Players have fear at the minute, ‘aaaahhh it's a ball, I can't make a mistake.’ The feeling of ‘I can't make a mistake because we are supposed to win the league!’ What a load of rubbish. As a group of people we have to forget about the outcome.
We all want promotion, I know that. But let's start focusing on the process rather then the target.
What is it going to take to get us to that goal? Forget promotion, let's deal with the here and now and the process of achieving it. The biggest thing is coming together as a group (I've got déjà vu). We built a fortress last year. A place where every opposition side said ‘oh no we have to go to Mansfield on Saturday.’
I'll be honest with you. After speaking to people on the opposition who have come to play us this season they have said, ‘we knew that if we kept you quiet for twenty minutes your fans would turn on you.’ Now this is not cool. We know when we go to certain grounds we can do this to the opposition. We can't allow people to do this to us. Now I know we have to be better, I really do, but we will be. You have to stay with us.
All this about hoofball - yes we are direct, but walk in to our changing room on a match day and the first thing you will see on the wall is TAKE A PASS !!! Again, this comes down to the fear of playing and making a mistake. We need you behind the boys. They have to feel happy in their surroundings and free to play. Not like the world’s going to end if they lose the ball. The bottom line is - no excuses from our end, we have to be better which means players take responsibility, but you guys play a bigger role than you can imagine. If we don't come together we will move nowhere. Simple.
I’ve just re-read what I've wrote and it sounds like we are bottom of the league - blooming nora we are a point off the play offs with ten games in and six points off top place. Yes we have got off to an average start but we are in the mix guys and we will be up there. Like I said it’s about the process.
Right I'm off. I know some people will have your opinions on this and rightly so – it’d be boring if we all thought the same. But we have to all pull towards the same goal. Catch you later!