The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Questions, questions

12 September 2017

Middle-Aged Diary doesn't have any answers, so I'm going to ask some questions. Unfortunately most of the people I'm asking them of don't read Cod Almighty, so if you run into Russell Slade, John Fenty or any Town players, perhaps you could ask them on my behalf.

An easy one to start for our manager. I daren't ask a tough one as it might be too much for the man who can say "home form [won one, lost two] has been much more consistent than our away form [won one, lost two]." Comments like that sound like a man whistling in the wind. Tonight he must prove he has a plan.

So Russell, tell us about your motivational techniques? For example, do you usually reward a good performance by dropping a player out of the match squad altogether? I ask as the silver lining from the match that should not have happened is that Harry Clifton played well on his debut. Afterwards, Clifton told the media he was "buzzing", no doubt full of confidence and straining to get another chance. Since then he hasn't even made the subs' bench.

Tonight we play Accrington Stanley, a club whose attendance on Saturday of 2,120 – scarcely half of a typical Blundell Park gate – was their best in the league so far. They still manage to run the club sustainably and, with four wins so far, have made an enviable start to the season. They also have a chairman, Andy Holt, who uses social media unpretentiously to get across the realities of running a fourth-flight team on a shoestring budget and talk a lot of sense about the way the game is run. So my question to John Fenty is: do you promise to listen and learn from any insights Holt might share with you tonight?

Accrington is a tough place to get to on a Tuesday night. Even though I live in Manchester, the logistics of attending, as a non-driver, have defeated me. Even so, and despite our mediocre form, there's every chance there will be a more than respectable turnout from Town fans. How will the players respond? Will it be a single clap from the halfway line after the game is over, or will it be 90 minutes of showing you care about playing for a Football League club with strong roots in its community?

And that brings us to you, the only person I can be sure is reading these questions. Rich Lord paints a pungent picture of the current state of the club. He ends by writing that he won't stand by if our hard-regained status as a League club is once again endangered. It begs the question: what can we do?

We do have a voice. Next Saturday, at 11am in the bar below the Lower Findus stand, the Mariners Trust is holding a meeting, open not just to trust members but to all Town fans. You can put your questions to the trust board on the day or in advance. It is our chance to decide how best we can make our voice heard in improving the decision-making of the club and the whole experience of being a Town fan. Don't waste that chance.