Rob Richardson discusses why the sacking of Graham Alexander has not had the desired effect and has challenged the players to prove him wrong ahead of this weekend’s crunch clash with Charlton Athletic.
The Iron’s game this Saturday against a Charlton side, that many would say are play-off rivals, is a six pointer if ever there was one.
The problem is that as our chairman said when he recently disposed of the services of Graham Alexander, “I could not see where the next win was coming from”. As many would agree, that it is still the case.
We all expected a bounce back from GA’s departure. Reverting to round pegs in round holes should have in itself been an instant relighting of the fire in the belly of a team and club who have paid a high price in an attempt to get promoted.
Outwardly after the two games under the stewardship of Nick Daws and Andy Dawson it seems they have inherited a deeper rooted issue with mixed performances, games of one half and a continuation of season(s) old issues. It is sad to see this and what is sadder is that it didn’t and probably more accurately won’t go away overnight.
The Alexander tenure has ended and people away from our club and support would think it strange that a manager with a team in the play-offs with a 50% win rate would be disposed of. We as Iron fans saw much more. The chairman even more and then the players had real first hand experience. It’s possible that those experiences have prevented the players accepting the temporary stewardship because of their role in yet another frustrating season.
Charlton too have had it tough. Off field issues, management change and uncertainty and lack of security puts the Addicks in a much darker place than we are. Yet they have come through post Robinson stronger, keener and hungrier. I am sure that this is what our chairman thought would have happened post Alexander. I know every Iron fan had their fingers crossed that would be the case. We have dropped four places. Not what we wanted. Alexander fans within our supporters quite understandably can say it wasn’t him who caused our problems because they have gone on after he left. There will be others, however, that will say they have gone on because of him.
With many of our players coming to the end of their playing careers with the Iron in the summer it is difficult to see who we want to retain, who we need to retain and who we need to remove off the wage bill. I’m sorry to say that we need to extend that into the management and over the summer have a massive rebuild from the top down. That may well mean selling players on as we did in January but this time we need to replace wisely and to do that we need a new management set up in place as soon as the final whistle goes at Bradford.
It’s possible all of that is in hand because as many of us know our chairman works in mysterious ways but we don’t need a nearly team, a team of egos, a team of dissenters. We need a team of leaders and grafters. We need battlers not bottlers. We’ve seen bottling for two successive seasons now so it’s hard to get our chins up.
Back to this Saturday’s game. Another game that every Iron fan hopes will turn our fortunes around but we thought this last Saturday and the game before that. Statistically and mathematically we are still in with a shout but how many fans will really see a reversal of our form and the demise of other’s which is needed to bring the sums home. Damage has been done, we will limp over the line but after six or seven others already have done so before us.
Do me a favour Iron. Prove me wrong.