I know that the performances over the last month or two have been generally disappointing, but we must not suddenly panic and go into our shell.
Some very significant injuries and a virus has played havoc with the selection process for Graham and his team over this period. Some players have virtually turned up unable to play on the morning of the match due to illness. This has happened throughout the last couple of months and it seems to have been singular players rather than a few getting it and then being okay. After preparing for a match and trying to settle the team it just unsettles the balance.
Taking this away, and the injuries, there still is no excuse for these performances and we have to correct it as a team. It is no good three or four players turning up and playing to their ability, we need the whole team on its game and that has not been happening, but we will sort it.
We all can feel the tension in the ground and I do understand the frustration from you, the fans, but we must not let this get to us. Do you honestly believe that when a player doesn't control the ball with his first touch of the game we should be on his back? Come on, let's get real for a minute, we are second in the league and that is after playing probably our worst football of the season for the last dozen games or so. That gives me hope that we can come out of this and continue our challenge at the top of the league. Yes, you heard it right, Scunthorpe fighting for a promotion spot at the top of the league!
We are not here by chance, we deserve to be here because of the points tally we have accumulated over the last 34 games. So, we are not six points clear and cruising the league - did you all believe we would be in that position? Every game we play is more competitive and creates more nerves because of our position in the league and all the other teams know it. Those teams that come to GP know exactly how to upset us and you, the fans. "Close down their players quickly, force the players into mistakes and the fans will soon be on their backs and we will win the game because we unsettle Scunthorpe as a team and their fans."
We are stronger than that and we as a team need you now, more than ever, as we play these vital last 12 games. It is inevitable that we get nervous, but let's turn that to our benefit and get our players playing with freedom, not just trying to play safe because they will be ribbed and abused if they play with flair and lose the ball.
I believe in these players, and Graham believes in these players, but this is the point where they must step forward and claim the prize. We did not do a huge amount of business in January due to the fact that these players had such a great first half of the season and that trust must now be repaid. There was a general feeling that we needed to trust what we had and that needs to reciprocated right now, not in six games' time when we go on a six game winning streak - but now, this Saturday, against a very good Fleetwood side.
We want to enjoy the rest of the season. You, the fans, need to enjoy the rest of the season and the players need to step up and play with freedom as they did earlier in the season, but they are the only ones who can move us forward. We all want to see them creating chances and giving us the flowing football which got us into the top two and top of the table for so long, and what an achievement that has been!
The rumours of contract disputes, unrest in the team, a not bothered attitude, is so far from the truth it hurts when I read it and certain people just want to derail our success whether knowingly, or not, which is even more annoying. However, being at the top of the league creates these problems and rival fans will do whatever they can to go on forums or in the media to destroy our success and that success is here right now, you can see it by looking at the league table. We are second in the league, struggling with our form - so what should we do, give up?
I came to this club to deliver success and we have the opportunity to create that now, but we need to do it together, we need to be mentally strong and supportive to all the players and management, and not give in to the critics and doom mongers. Your support will make a difference, but let's make it a positive difference over these remaining games and let the passion and support for your club get into the players veins, driving them forward and getting the results we need.
We ask passionately that you all get behind them and give them that chance to recapture their form and yes, DO NOT PANIC, because we can do it, we can get promoted and we can be proud of them.
We are all Scunthorpe United fans and we must be what our name implies, United and strong together.
We all love the Iron, let's get that message to the players and who knows what might happen!