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INTERVIEW: Worst day of the year

29 April 2013

Manager on what is a tough day

United manager Greg Abbott spoke this morning about what is a difficult day ahead.

“This has been a tough season and we are now at a stage where we have to start our planning for when we all get back together again at the end of June,” he said.

“We can’t get away from the fact this has not been a season any of us wanted. We have massively underperformed and we’ve conceded far too many goals. That meant we lost too many games far too easily and we then lost almost 1,000 fans because of it.

“That brought a negative reaction right through the club where we had to make cuts, and it was difficult for us to recover from it.”

“We have a good group though and the important thing for us was that we dug deep,” he continued. “There were a couple of six or seven game runs which started to bring the belief back – not with everybody, but with quite a few of our fans.

“That’s why we wanted to end the season on a high on Saturday. We had an opportunity with almost 5,500 fans here to show people that we’d recovered. We didn’t do that and that left us feeling very disappointed and deflated. It just wasn’t a performance any of us wanted to see.”

“The end of the season brings that period where you have to think about who to keep and who to let go,” he explained. “We think we’ve made the right decisions because we’ve looked at the squad, and where we want to go, and we think we need to have some space there to bring some fresh energy and enthusiasm into the mix.

“We have to come back in June better and stronger, and that goes for everybody connected to the club. It isn’t going to be easy because this is a tough business, but it would be fantastic if we could all try to move this thing forward together.”

“I take full responsibility on team performance matters,” he said. “But driving the club forward as a whole is a team effort. I hope we can all buy into that and stick together so that we can come back ahead of next season bigger and stronger.”

“Today is the worst day of the year without question,” he admitted. “In some cases I have to tell players who have given this club some magnificent service, and who have stuck by us through a very hard year, the news that their services are no longer required.

“That is a difficult thing to have to do. We’ve seen through these really tough periods that they have all had a determination to stick together and that’s why we all knew within the club that relegation was never going to be an issue.

“I do wear my heart on my sleeve and I am a very emotional person. The lads we are talking to today are good people and it always hurts to have to bring it to an end. I can’t afford to have any hesitation in doing what I believe is right, but that doesn’t make the job any easier.

“I’ll go home tonight feeling quite low because we go through a lot with these players for however long they are with us. We see so many highs and lows and I genuinely hope that those who do leave us will move on to be a success elsewhere.

“The process today is to talk to all of the players and then we’ll be able to let everyone know where we are at, hopefully later in the afternoon. It’s a day we want to handle properly, though, so hopefully the fans will understand if it takes a little bit longer to get the news out.”

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