Dave Pottinger looks back and looks ahead to 2016
Hello Reds fans,
Unbelievably, it is halfway through the season, half-time so to speak. It has passed so quickly. Mark and Jimmy were charged with ensuring that we do not suffer the double dip that befell Tranmere last season and finds them mid-table in the National League today.
Meanwhile, our friends from Yeovil are battling against a similar fate, a triple dip, this season.
For our part I see no reason why we should not be looking at the other end of the table for our second-half challenge. But for an indifferent start we could have been ‘in the mix’ now. Indeed, when we played away at Newport County at the end of September the loser would occupy the bottom place in the Football League. We avoided that dubious honour with an emphatic 3-0 victory and have gone forward since then.
It is common knowledge, and I think generally endorsed by our supporters, that our aim must be to deliver a solid-based, self-sufficient Football League club. With that in mind we set a realistic League Two budget. Once again, that budget has received support to help Mark compete in this division.
The board will continue to support and assist the team management wherever possible. Even so, Mark and Jimmy will need to work prudently during this January window to freshen up his squad.
Our support seems to have stabilised and we are grateful to everyone while our backing both home and away appears to be more vocal this year.
Our away fans are benefitting from the fact that this league has a definite southern bias compared to last year. Even with Hartlepool, Carlisle and Morecambe I think someone calculated we travel about 1200 miles less this season. I know the players appreciate this support and its good to see them going to the supporters, home and away, to show their appreciation at the final whistle.
At this point I would like to mention the club's support team and the hard work they do, from the CEO down to the match day staff and volunteers, all the people that give us two to three hours on a Saturday afternoon to make things work.
A special mention for Stadium Manager Peter Wimhurst and his team. The Checkatrade.com Stadium is one of the safest environments in the Football League, matches come and go with only the football to concern you and your family.
I would also like to thank Barbara Robinson and Birtug Kazim for their liaison work with the supporters and, through the foundation, the community at large.
Finally, I would like to thank you, the supporters of this club, and wish you and your families a happy and prosperous New Year. With 22 games to go anything is possible. So let’s get behind Mark, Jimmy and the boys for the remainder of this season.
Come on you Reds!
Dave Pottinger, Chairman