by The Boy Holty
(March 23, 2015)
In David Flitcroft's post match interview on Saturday he commented that the team were booed off at half time and he went on to add that he was frustrated with the attitude and reaction of the fans.
First of all the team wasn't booed of at half time. There were a few dozen who booed but there were well over 3900 people who didn't.
So why do people boo the team? Is it a perceived lack of effort from the players, poor team selection or tactics or just the team losing to an inferior team? Well on Saturday, in the first half anyway, it could well have been all three.
It looked like the system wasn't working. When we lost to Oxford two weeks earlier, it felt like a blip and no-one seemed too upset, but when they fell behind against Northampton it looked like it was happening all over again and this was frustrating for the fans.
Flitcroft needs to bear in mind that the fans don't know the game like he does, and we don't know the players like he does. The vast majority of football fans know nothing about the game. They don't understand tactics and the finer points of football, they see everything in black and white. We're fourth, they're eight or whatever, we're at home so we should win. We're Bury, how dare any team come here and not just roll over and let us win. If we fall behind, its a failure. That's how 90% of football fans read the game. If we understood football management as well as the manager, we'd all be football managers. David Flitcroft works and hangs around with football people, he studies football, he talks football, he lives and breathes football and I bet his wife knows more about the game than most regular football fans.
The manager of a football club doesn't see what the fans see. He sees his players, who he knows in terms of their personality and character, who have worked hard in training, doing their best. He remembers conversations he's had with them and routines he's worked on with them and he knows they've got it in them to sort it out. He knows he can go in the dressing room at half time and talk them through the current situation. Losing at home at half time, he sees that as an opportunity, not a crisis. The fans see their team losing at home to an inferior side. End of story. I was sitting there thinking how painful it was to watch the whole season go up in smoke because I couldn't see us getting out of it, especially when we went down to ten men. Its frustrating for the fans and some people instead of being patient and having faith in the team, shout abuse and criticism. Its not right, and its not helpful but it happens and as a manager you need to be thick-skinned and let it wash over you. Don't let the bastards grind you down David, they're not worth it.
If you can imagine having a project to complete at work by the end of the working day, and by lunchtime its not going well, you wouldn't expect your boss or colleagues to give you a hard time for not having done the work. You'd say "Its only dinner time, ask me again at 5pm and if its still not finished by then, you can criticise me and hold me accountable." Well its the same in football. Its a ninety minute game, but the fans don't see that.
Hopefully the Bury supporters, having seen the response and reaction by the players on Saturday against Northampton, will remember it and next time we're trailing in a match and the whole thing looks lost, we'll continue to support the team and together we'll help make this season a success.
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