THIS week’s fan’s view column has been written by season ticket holder Brett Woodward who looks back over the past 12 months.
IT WAS with a twinge of sadness as I saw a tweet on Sunday morning which showed it was a year since the Sky Blue Army travelled en masse to MK Dons.
7000 of us travelled down to support the Sky Blues on that day, and were rewarded with a Chris Maguire inspired victory, to leave us with genuine ambitions of promotion.
Fast forward 12 months and there was roughly 7,000 Sky Blues fans at the game this weekend. The official attendance of 8,076 was boosted by several hundred away fans who had made the trip.
The difference in the club in the year between the games is staggering.
Only six players of the 18 man squad that day remain at the club, and there also seems to be an attitude shift in players and fans alike.
We left Milton Keynes that day with songs of defiance that despite the initial points deduction that we would still be going up.
It was a display of total unity behind one cause and at least for one day all the in-fighting over the Sixfields move was put to one side.
Now though, there seems to be a reign of apathy amongst fans. Many found new hobbies to fill their Saturdays, whilst others were caught out by the return, and simply couldn’t afford to buy a season ticket at the time, and the football has hardly tempted people back.
Despite having a season ticket myself, it has been a challenge to get back into the routine of going to games after a season in exile. It doesn’t help that the product on the pitch is seemingly getting worse.
It was often said that the Ricoh was a burden around the neck of the players, and again it seems to be hampering the squad.
After the impressive display against Gillingham, performances have struggled since. Players seem to have reverted into their shells and are happy to take the ‘safe’ option rather than look to take risks and make something happen.
In turn this leads to uninspiring displays, which do not convince fans to part with their hard-earned cash, leading to attendances continuing to decline, which isn’t going to help motivate the players as they come out of the tunnel to a sea of empty sky blue seats.
Steven Pressley seems to know that he needs to cultivate a new attitude around the club, but he has his work cut out. His words about the DNA of the club are encouraging, but what comes first?
The attitude change which can lead to improving displays and results, or the improvement in performances in results which can bring about the attitude change?
The Ricoh Arena. (s)