Saturday’s result at Pittodrie was disappointing in light of the fact Aberdeen hadn’t scored against us for more than three years, but they will probably have been lifted by the fact they have a new manager coming in, while we’re evidently still on a bit of a downer after the League Cup final defeat.
We could do with getting that out of our system quickly, but that won’t be easy with little to look forward to as we get set to see out the rest of our season in the bottom six. The only thing we’ve really got now is the possibility of another derby, but, apart from that, the bottom-six is not an attractive proposition.
The indecision that seems to be constantly surrounding the football club is also going to be a big problem for the rest of the season. No-one really knows who is going to be here next season or how the land is going to lie in the summer. There will be players worrying about whether they are going to get new contracts and that won’t help them focus on their game, so it must be such a difficult time for Gary Locke, who will be trying to make long-term plans as well as getting us through the rest of the current season.
It’s such a difficult baptism for Lockey and I really hope he’s able to bring in his own assistant manager, who can be someone he can lean on for support, because it’s common knowledge that most football managers operate best when surrounded by their own network of people. He’ll be really hurting over recent results and our current situation.
He’ll also be wondering what the budget’s going to be, whether he’s going to get to sign his own players or, as has been the case in the past, if he’ll get players signed for him by other people at the club. If we lose one or two and can’t bring in adequate replacements chosen by the manager, what does the expectancy become?
If the squad is depleted any further in the summer, the club would have to come out, be transparent and say that expectations have to be reduced, otherwise the manager – like John McGlynn was before him – would simply be hung out to dry because some fans will still expect the top six just because of the stature of our club.
We were fifth last season with a relatively good squad and we’re tenth now with a much weaker squad, so you just wonder what next season is going to bring. It’s a sad situation, but, if we’re to move forward in as harmonious a way as possible, we really need all supporters to retain a huge degree of realism about our current situation. We are where we are for a reason – and it’s not down to any faults in our current manager or any of his recent predecessors.
The supporters have been brilliant in terms of rallying to raise money for the club and showing their typical unstinting loyalty, and now they are being asked to buy season tickets with no idea of what they’re going to be watching next term. I’m always banging on about transparency, but the fans really need it – and deserve it – from those running the club now. They want honesty. What sort of team are we going to be watching next season? If they are truthful with us, it won’t come as much of a shock and disappointment to some if it’s not as good as they expected. Fans don’t want propaganda; they just want honesty before they part with their hard-earned cash. They will still buy season tickets because they love their club, but if more experienced players are going to be leaving, the fans deserve to know now. Scottish football has driven away enough fans over the past few years. Let’s not pull the wool over the eyes of those who remain.