Saturday was an important day for everyone associated with the football club.
Every fan, player, staff member and director knew the significance of the match against Chesterfield. When I arrived last month, I stated that there would be a roller coaster of ups and downs between now and the end of the season. That has certainly been the case, and after some frustrating days, it felt good to be on the right side of a result. I was happy for our players and supporters that, after such a long wait, you were able to enjoy a Saturday evening. I hope you made the most of it. However, the fact is, we have not achieved our objective yet, and we must stay focused if we are to do so. There are some big battles ahead of us.
We all know football is ultimately all about results, but I believe in targeting progress to try and achieve those results. I believe there is a future in targeting growth and building incrementally on that. We saw signs of improvement in our performances against Stevenage and Wycombe – we were in those games with chances to get something. We must continue to move the quality of our performances forward, even if that process takes place ‘one inch at a time’.
The players have had much to deal with over recent times. Criticism from some quarters, a long sequence without winning prior to Saturday, plus the uncertainty that a change of manager naturally brings. They showed their mental strength, resilience and character to keep going and fighting until the last few minutes. In two of the last three matches at Blundell Park we have scored late goals to take points from the game. I have no doubt that the atmosphere that you created helped the players to keep going.
What was not publicly evident was the admirably professional reaction of players not in the team, or the squad, and their togetherness with their team-mates. I have great respect for the players not in the team who have shown themselves able to put the team above themselves. This is a powerful weapon when the group comes together and drives one another forward, and one we must maintain and build on.
From Monday onwards, we have shifted our focus to another critically important fixture at Blundell Park this coming Saturday. While the win against Chesterfield was a step in the right direction, we can take absolutely nothing for granted. I firmly believe that 41 points – our current total, will finish below the dotted line, so it is imperative that we add to our tally. We must approach Saturday with the same mindset and intensity as the previous game. Indeed, that is the standard for all our remaining matches.
The players will be ready to play when the whistle blows but we are also going to need you and the rest of our supporters to maintain the momentum that you have created in recent weeks. Our supporters have been outstanding in getting behind the team and sticking with us. Please carry this through the final four games of the season.
I am acutely aware of the financial, social and even mental compromises you have to make as a Grimsby Town fan. It’s very apparent that this is a unique and special football club. However, we are not ‘entitled’ to anything. Working together as players and fans, we will have to earn anything that comes our way. It’s stating the obvious that if everyone pulls together, we improve our chances.
The players are giving everything to achieve their objective. I ask you as supporters to do the same in these remaining four games. We all owe it to ourselves to give our very best.