Date: 20th January 2012 at 4:04pm
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Something For The Weekend By Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips

Hello and welcome to Something for the weekend – New manager edition, and that`s where we start, so welcome to Mark McGhee from all at Bristol Rovers. It appears that Mr McGhee was a late runner for the vacant position and was certainly well worth being on the apparent short list of four and ultimately he has been given the job to turn the clubs fortunes on the pitch around. From his opening interview, he certainly exuded an experienced, reassuring calm and obviously laid out that his initial task is to avoid relegation first and foremost. A new manager more often than not brings an uplift to the fans and Mark McGhee has already tried to manage any expectations, and the key word there is managed as opposed to the last incumbent intent on lowering them. The initial reaction to the appointment seems to have been pretty positive all round, and some people seem really excited because of who Mark McGhee is. We must keep our fee firmly on the ground though. McGhee certainly has a `name` and plenty of years experienced and with his time in the game he will have had successes and failures many positives and surely a few cons. Whilst we can look at his record and what he has done in the past all that truly matters is what he can/will do for us, because that is what he will be judged on when push comes to shove. As the man himself said

‘I have to earn my reputation again, and I can only do that by being successful here.’

umping back a bit we ground out a hard fought point against top of the table Crawley, which coupled with the three points against Hereford was most welcome that will perhaps give Mark McGhee a minimal amount of breathing space to organise and compose his new team. A shout must go out to Shaun North who I admit I had some doubts about given some of his interviews and the players for the work they have put in, in the last few matches. I think there was a bit of an over reaction to the result against Crawley. It almost came across as if we had won a cup final or something. We didn`t create much of note, if at all and there were still evident areas of the team that need strengthening. That said the effort and commitment shown from the players is the least we ask for and no one can fault them for that.

This leads me back to the appointment of Mr McGhee. It`s easy to say he has said the right things in his interview, I am sure many of us have said the same about many managers in the past including the last one. However Mark McGhee does have plenty of years in the game and as per the quote above he does realise that this job as is as important to him as it is to us. He has also managed to come across with some humour to his assessment of the situation. Again we will have to wait and see how this appointment turns out, but we all want it to be successful and between now and the end of the season we must get full square behind the team and manager and stave off relegation first and foremost and hopefully move up the table to a more respectable position. He certainly looks as though he will be more endearing to the fans and will be prepared to hold his hands up if necessary or so he says he is able to. The simple fact that he appears to have some humility and a bit of character will no doubt mean he will garner respect with the fans even if things do not work out straight away and we do face difficult challenges ahead and people will give him time and a chance which is what this team needs going forward. This really has to be the right appointment as there is a lot riding on it. Having a team and a manger that everybody can get behind and believe in will be a start as well look to get out of division four the right way.

This weekend sees Mr McGhee`s first game in charge of high flying, in-form, top of the table Cheltenham. Yes this game will not be easy and will require a similar big effort as the Crawley game did. I think most of us will take a point from this before heading into a big home game against fellow strugglers Bradford. With the new manager and with only a short trip up the M5 or on the train I am sure we will take a good, vocal following to cheer the boys on and hopefully we can come back with more than one point. We have all had a shot in the arm this week in regards to the Rovers and we need to make the most of it while it lasts.

Whatever you are up to this weekend I hope you have a good one, and I hope we have something to shout about come 5pm Saturday


Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips


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