Nick on a long week at the club.
There is an old saying that a week is along time in politics – well then they should try being involved with a football club.
It has been a week full of highs and lows, starting with the news that a Judicial Review application has been lodged questioning the validity of the planning permission granted to J Sainsbury’s on the current Memorial Stadium site.
It is a huge frustration for us, as we are desperate to get started on the UWE Stadium. This will obviously delay that start of our development, but at this moment in time it is impossible to say by how long, if it goes to a full review, it could take several months.
We urge you all to remain patient, as we work through this process with our partners.
We then had a couple of pieces of good news, with captain Tom Parkes signing his contract extension, and Andy Bond joining us on a month’s loan.
Tom is a vital part of our defensive structure, and is a player who has grown and improved dramatically over the last 12 months. We hope that he can continue to develop over the next few years, and get the success he deserves with Bristol Rovers.
Andy has been bought in to give us more options in midfield. He is an experienced player, and someone who is know to both John Ward and John-Joe O’Toole. If the initial loan spell is successful, there is a potential to extend it, so we shall see how that goes.
And then on Saturday we witnessed a disappointing display that ended in defeat down at Dagenham. It was a poor performance, and John Ward has said that he expects better from his senior players.
Despite the setback, it is still far too early to press the panic button. We know we have a talented squad, capable of much better, and I believe there is a lot more to come from them; as a team and as individuals.
Many players are lacking full match fitness, and that extra sharpness in front of goal, and when that comes back, I really do believe that we can be a force in this division.
Now is the time to show our mettle, both players and supporters. As fans you have a reputation for backing your side, and now is the time for us to stick together and make sure we are all pulling in the same direction, be our extra player out there, and make the Mem our fortress.
Saturday’s game against Hartlepool is our only home fixture this month, so I would encourage you all to come down to the Memorial Stadium and help cheer the boys to victory.
Bring a friend and help us get the Mem rocking. Our home form has been pretty good so far, so hopefully we can continue that this weekend, and put ourselves in a much better position before we head to Southend next Friday.