Gibson backs McClaren

Last updated : 06 February 2006 By Reggie Holdsworth
Speaking to a group of disgruntled fans after Saturday's defeat against Aston Villa Steve Gibson said "When Steve McClaren came to this club we had only managed 42 points under Terry Venables. The only way this club has gone under Steve McClaren is up. We have won the Carling Cup, we have got into Europe the last two years running and we are still in the Uefa Cup.

"You have to look in the longer term. We have had a bad couple of months but there are reasons for that. What we need is everyone, all the fans, to get behind the team. I can tell you if you had seen Steve McClaren tonight you would see how passionate he is about this football club."

I'm sorry but I do not agree with the chairman's statement. Yes, we won the Carling Cup, and yes, we have been in the UEFA Cup the last two years, but our bread and butter (the Premier League) is being overshadowed by our progress in the cup competitions.

Terry Venables was only in charge for 22 league games and earned the club 31 points (1.4pts/game) compared to the 11 points in 16 games (0.7pts/game) by Bryan Robson in the first part of the season.

Under Steve McClaren we consolidated our Premier League status, won our first silverware, qualified for Europe and were a team to be feared. Up to Christmas 2004 we were flying, Carling Cup holders, through to the last 32 of the UEFA Cup and sitting 5th in the league, with 35 points from 20 games (1.75pts/game).

But then the wheels came off.

A poor end to the season, however, we managed to qualify for the UEFA Cup again by the skin of our teeth. Mark Schwarzer, a recent villain, was our hero on the final day at Manchester City.

Coupled with a poor start this term we manged to amass just 41 points in 2005 (1.05pts/game). And with 4 points in 5 games (0.8pts/game) since New Year the fans (me included) have quickly run-out of faith with McClaren. Just like Robson before him he has out-stayed his welcome and the sooner he goes the better.

Steve Gibson, be brave, follow Freddie Shepherd's example and get rid!