Scunthorpe United have been very fortunate to have gone into the last five Christmas and New Year periods in an excellent position in the league and, for the first time in my tenure, we now face being in the bottom four.
We now need to dig in, that is all of us, to resurrect our season and continue the rebuilding process. The players are not performing well enough and I am not going to single anyone out in particular, because we are a team, regardless of all that is happening to us at the moment on the pitch. I have never experienced such a horrendous injury list like the one we have had this season and it will always affect a team when it loses significant players and we can’t put out a regular team, week in week out. The summer was difficult anyway and we had a reduced squad, but I felt that we should still be competitive with the players we had and the players we had brought in on loan. In general, we do have the makings of a decent side, if we can overcome the injuries and start to produce the performances we are capable of and have seen in patches in the first half of the season.
There is no point in going over what has happened and blasting players either individually or as a group, they know how bad they have been and they will turn the corner, and I will help them do that by investing in January and continue to rebuild the side, so we can challenge going forward. I come into the club every day with a smile on my face and positivity in what I do and that will not change, regardless of the results, although underneath I am as frustrated and hurt as anyone. We will not win anything if we dwell and apportion blame, but with support, mental strength and hard work we will turn it around and I am very confident in that.
It is not going to be easy, but there are some decent performances to look back on, if we take out those individual mistakes, and that is what we must grasp onto and build from, trying not to repeat those mistakes and improving our individual quality all over the pitch. Stuart has a tough job on his hands and the players need to step up and perform now, more than any other time, if we are to progress and build a team which can challenge at this demanding level.
I have no doubt we will be safe this season and we intend to not only bring in players to help us now, but still invest in players for the future and with this in mind we are introducing an under 23’s squad for next season which will also be our reserve team. This will ensure players remain fit if on the fringes of the squad and we can also utilise this team to integrate young players into the first team and develop potential players from the lower leagues. An announcement will be made shortly with further information on this and who will be managing and coaching this team.
I understand there will be frustration and disappointment at our current league position, but we are going to get it right and push forward, which means we need your support now, more than ever before. We only have a small fan base but it is loyal and I am very proud to be chairman of this football club regardless of that fact. We do however still need you to come and support your team as those funds that are spent on watching the football, eating the food and drinking the beverages, keeps the club afloat and people employed, in what is a family club. I can’t do everything for you, although I will do my best, which means you have to continue to support the club as you have before me and will after me. I will continue to invest as I have previously and that money is better spent on players, rather than shortfalls within our revenue streams.
The club has developed and improved in many areas since my arrival and I have ensured a good level of football to watch for the majority of the time at a very fair price, but the one thing I can’t guarantee are results, although I wish I could!!
So, our next match is at home on Wednesday against a very good Luton side, a mountain for us to climb at the moment, but one both the management and players will be up for. They owe you that performance and if we all get behind the team who knows what we could achieve?
From the President, Vice Presidents, Directors and all at Scunthorpe United, we would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.