One aspect you can be sure of in football management is that it can change from week to week.
Things can count against you in regards to the form of your players, injuries, suspensions or simply ensuring your squad is mentally and physically prepared for the next fixture. The problems listed can all make the manager’s role a tough job at times and, on Saturday, Terry Butcher faced his toughest half of football since his arrival at the club in November.
The reality of being 3-0 down to St Mirren at home was a scoreline not many could have envisaged. We looked extremely vulnerable at the back, an area of the side I thought we’d shown vast improvement in recent weeks. Our opponents looked like they would continue to add to their tally every occasion they homed in on our goal and we were probably fortunate to be going in at the break just three down. This will, of course, be a real concern for the manager.
Changes were made to try and salvage something out of the game at half-time and to an effect, it did work as we restricted St Mirren to very few chances in the second half. However, the damage was done in the opening 45 and we do not possess sufficient quality within the squad to give any side a three-goal lead.
Being 3-0 down at half-time is a position I have experienced both within a management role and as a player. I recall my time as a player where the manager, at the time, simply came into the dressing room and addressed us by saying “You’ve got us into this mess so make sure you get us out of it” before walking out and he was perfectly within his rights with what he said. There does come a time where the responsibility lies with the players to make amends.
That’s two defeats on the trot and we now face a formidable task this coming weekend as we welcome champions Celtic to Easter Road. Terry Butcher made it clear in the aftermath of Saturday’s defeat that there is some members in the squad who are simply not up to the job. Could we see some new faces at the club in the next week or so?