DAN THE FAN: Support needed – in good times and bad
3:00pm Thursday 23rd January 2014 in Sport
OUR 27-year wait for a win at the Priestfield Stadium continues after another poor away performance from Mark Cooper’s side.
Town were second best all over the pitch from start to finish.
When you travel to an away game you understand the odds aren’t stacked in your favour.
But the least you expect from the 11 players on the pitch is effort throughout the 90 minutes, and that wasn’t anywhere to be seen against Gillingham last Saturday.
Since his arrival in the summer Yaser Kasim has been one of the most consistent players, but last weekend he had his worst game for the club by a mile.
The Iraqi midfielder’s off day also coincided with Mass Luongo and Ryan Mason not playing well.
All three midfielders have had an impressive season, but can’t afford to be that poor again if the club wants to achieve a top six finish.
While pushing for an equaliser, Town were caught on the break for the Gills’ second but before the ball had nestled in the back of the net, some fans were heading for the exit.
Every fan has annoyances about the game they love, whether it’s sitting down at games, stewards who have a God-like complex, or the price of food and drink.
Mine is fans leaving games early.
I understand every fan has paid to be at the game and can leave whenever they like.
But when you’ve come to support your team you should stay from the first minute to the last.
I remember watching the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley, and when Chesterfield scored their second goal the Swindon end seemed to empty within a few minutes.
Thousands of people came to watch Town in a rare appearance in a cup final and instead of showing their appreciation and support of the club, they just turned their back on Paolo Di Canio’s side.
I’m not aiming this specifically at Town fans but football fans in general.
Maybe I’m old fashioned in expecting people to support their team though the highs and lows, but personally I’d rather stick to that, than walk out on the club that I support.
Town have made their second signing of the January transfer window to snap up Charlton Athletic striker Michael Smith.
But despite this, more work in this transfer window is needed, especially at the back.
After the last two away performances it’s obvious this young side needs some vocal experience – someone who has been there and done it in the Football League.
Darren Ward seems to be the lone voice with any real experience.
I don’t mind younger talent coming into the side, which seems to be an important part of the club under Lee Power – but you need some leadership alongside the guys who are taking their first steps into the game.
Town welcome 20th-placed Shrewsbury Town to the County Ground on Saturday.
The Shrews saw manager Graham Turner leave the club and retire from management in midweek after a successful 35 years in the game.
With the Shropshire side rudderless and Town’s home form currently the best in League One, I’d back Town to get back to win ways in emphatic style.
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