Kevin Blackwell on a busy week and looking forward to Bournemouth
“On Tuesday we quite rightly got what we deserved, though we did miss good chances and a penalty, we know what is required to get out of this, it’s finishing off our approach play, if we had done that much more consistently, then we wouldn’t be here. We can keep going over old ground, we know what the situation is, but the lads thoroughly deserved that and I am delighted for them.
Anyone that has watched us will know that we have been fairly consistent, and when I first came here if I had said at that first press conference that with eight games to go – three or four wins would get us out of this, people would have thought I was mad or absolutely delighted, but we are three to four wins away from staying in this division.
That’s a fact and you hope that people will start to understand the work that has actually been one here. I know it’s not been revolutionary, but if we had got four, five or six more points in those first 16 games, a win somewhere, it would just help the situation. Look where six points would put us now!
We are where we are now; four wins could see us safe – what a terrific achievement that could be. There is a lot of vitriol around the club at the moment because of where we are and what’s happening. I understand that, but sometimes it’s being directed at the wrong people. The players have never lost faith but it has been tough or them. We just want to get the club out of trouble, that’s all I came to try and do and I said that if we finished fifth bottom, that was the target, to stay up and that’s what we are trying to do – we have a chance.
We’ve gone game after game after game and missed chance after chance after chance. How many times have I been asked ‘how did you lose that one’! We know what the problem is; we’ve lost games because we haven’t converted the chances that we have created. If we can do that, then we know that we can win games, because goals change games.
There is no reason why this club cannot go on a similar run to the run that got the club promoted. Nobody has turned us over. We’ve gone to places and we have been solid and good. For all the work and the effort that the players have put in, if they create all these chances, they have to take some, that then alleviates the pressure to some degree; you can then make a mistake at the back and get away with it. If you don’t score, and you make a mistake at the back, you won’t get away with anything.
Sodje is back in; he does have a talisman effect on and off the field. He is a senior pro and at his age to be still playing professional football, then you have to admire him for it, but it does come to all of us and a decision has to be made. Sometimes somebody has to make that decision for them. It doesn’t make you the most popular person in the world and I have had this situation before, but he’s come back here and did well on Tuesday. He made his mistakes and got away with it, but because we had scored the goals – it didn’t matter. But if those mistakes had led to a goal, the straight away people would have been on my back and on his back.
The squad has not been strong enough since day one, we’ve had to try and change it round yet here we are and if we can win four games, we’ll nearly be safe. What a thing to say when you look back at the first quarter of the season.
Every club needs their fans, and it’s not when you’re going well, it’s when you’re not going well. Anyone in life needs the support of their family when there is a crisis, that’s when you need help, when there is a crisis. We are a family here, we are in crisis and we do need help. I inherited this situation, this wasn’t my doing, and so we have to sort this out as a unit and as a team, as a family – the club and the fans – we have to pull together. This will be Bury Football Club long after I have gone, long after the chairman has gone but the fans will always be here. This is their club, and everyone says – don’t be go losing your club. It’s important that we pull together. I knew the depth of the challenge when I came here, it was going to be tough and so it’s proved.
The passion of Bury fans is unquestionable, they vented their fury at me on Saturday and I respect them for that. Somebody had to take the rap and I accept that. I will get on and do my job, the players were terrific on Saturday and again on Tuesday, we just have to keep going. I have the upmost respect and admiration or the players here, they have been terrific, we know we have been up against it on and off the pitch but they have never questioned it. I know the fans have had a go at certain things; they are giving everything for the club.
We go to Bournemouth showing the upmost respect to them, but we do not fear anybody. Gerry Francis was at the Portsmouth game, and he told me that we should have been two or three up at half time, now is the time to do it. Bournemouth have the finances that we can only dream about, they have the players, the squad, the facilities – it’s all there, but we have shown against all the top teams that we can compete and that’s a great feeling. They know that we are down there, but they know that we will not stop competing.
Watch the full video interview with the gaffer on Shakers Player