My notes in today's match programme were written on Tuesday night after a disappointing result. Today is another day and I feel compelled to write to you.
It’s been magical of late; to see The Memorial Stadium crowd growing and the positivity heard in the stands has had a huge impact on our players.
I write to ask for your continued support. There has to be no negativity. We only want positive people. There are enough negatives in the world. Everyone is always 'outraged' by something.
Football should be a release.
A sanctuary from the difficulty of life.
We appreciate the part we play to support well-being of the blue half of Bristol.
Your support has been phenomenal as this group of young lads has grown. We have a tough run of games coming up, but every game at The Mem we should expect to win - especially with our crowd behind us for 90-plus minutes.
It’s no coincidence to me the amount of late goals we now score as a team. We have a belief growing daily. Confidence comes from good preparation and this team is supremely prepared.
We have turned a corner as a team and we have turned a corner as a football club.
It is important that we have a superb football club to be proud of. I know the Community Trust guys have been outstanding in their department, setting standards and really helping people’s lives. I can also see the passion in our owner, Wael, and CEO, Tom, to create an environment where we have excellence running throughout our football club.
Whilst defeat on Tuesday night was difficult for us all to take, we also must not lose sight of where we have come from. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Day by day, week by week, we will incrementally strive to improve. Progress has been positive of late but we still believe, as a group, we have yet to consistently play our best football.
We need you with us.
We have two tough home games coming up, starting today against an in-form Mansfield Town. Nigel Clough has always produced good teams and goes under the radar for the job he has done at the club.
His father, Brian, was the greatest of his time; a truly unique character. Football needs more like him. He was spectacular. His moments with Muhammad Ali and Michael Parkinson were favourites of mine growing up.
Nigel was a top player himself, representing Forest, Liverpool and England. I’ve always enjoyed his straight-talking and how competitive his teams are.
We were unlucky down there and lost 2-1, but we have a different look about us from that game.
I’m really looking forward to today’s game; it’s a good test of our players. We welcome the Mansfield players, supporters and directors and hope to have a fantastic contest against the Football League's form team.
That said, we are in OUR stadium today.
We need YOU to all be at YOUR best today. Let’s make it as loud as you can for the lads. They have loved it in recent weeks. There is nothing better than The Mem in full voice.
Hopefully, there will be 8,000-plus here again and we can put another brick in place as we continue building a football club to make you all proud.
Finally, I want to mention the job the lads do in preparing the pitch at the stadium for home games. They do an incredible job for us, both at The Mem and at The Quarters. Led by Daryle and Ben, we are very lucky to have them. Their efforts contribute massively to us playing the type of football that is starting to help us increase our results profile.
Win regularly, draw occasionally and lose rarely.
That’s a profile for success. If you strive to consistently achieve that, success will invariably find you. We will continue striving for that.
Enjoy the game today.