Trouble at the top, unpaid wages, poor form… Such conditions tell you a lot about players. Some players capitulate when facing these. Why not? It’s much easier to use these as excuses in a feedback loop of poor results. The only clear end is relegation when this happens.
However, what we saw today against Norwich City shows that there still remains fight among our camp. Phil Parkinson, whatever you may say about his tactics, has always managed to motivate players; he has always thrived under difficult conditions, and he faces some of his toughest yet. Meanwhile, the group of players we have playing under him appear to be behind him every step of the way.
And yes, even though they played very well, we lost today. That can still happen. We can still play well and lose games, and this might even hurt more than going down without a fight. However, they key takeaway from today should be that there still remains the desire to work hard and get a result.
I fully understand that many fans want rid of our manager. I can easily see why. The football we have been playing has often been uninspiring – in fact, it has been very very poor at times. I would say, though, that the one thing he still has, and probably always will have, is players who back him and will do whatever it takes to win not only for our fans, but also for him.
We can support our players as much as we like, but when they’re not playing for their manager, they’re always going to be a lost cause.
Lose as we may, like today, this group of players seem to have the grit and determination to not go down without a fight. There are many factors up in the air and out of their control, and although they have not done everything right so far this season, I am at least happy that we have players who show up when the going gets tough.