BEING BOTTOM IS ONLY PASSING PHASE
I WAS quoted this week as saying that “Stevenage were rock bottom when I arrived and we have now progressed to bottom”. Quoted and then ridiculed!
“Doesn’t he realise that rock bottom and bottom are both bottom?”
Well, surprise surprise, that hadn’t escaped me! I did actually know what message I was getting across. But let me explain:
Gary Smith was dismissed from Stevenage after a run of 14 defeats in 17 games. That was rock bottom form.
I have slowly and steadily worked to try to improve those results. I currently have 10 new players at the club and I have moved 24 players out of our squad.
The weekly wage bill has tumbled, which was important because last year’s revenues did not allow spending to continue at the levels I inherited. And in our last 17 games we have won 20 points.
That form sees us at the bottom of the table but it is a huge jump forward from 14 defeats in 17 games. Our intention is to continue to rise into a comfortable position of safety.
We are a small club and there are no fast track solutions. We can’t go and spend on proven players. We have to find and develop talent and that takes time.
The beauty is that, if you are patient, you can make substantial strides with ambitious talent from lower levels and young talent deserving its chance.
In 2013, in three of the few games that we have played, we have knocked Doncaster out of the Cup at their place, and beaten two decent mid-table sides (Swindon and Gillingham) at home in the league.
Rock bottom and bottom are very different places. Just like bottom and comfortably safe are very different things. One step at a time. One day at a time.