Paul Thirlwell on a difficult week
Club captain Paul Thirlwell spoke to us about what has been a difficult week as the lads set about the task of regrouping and getting ready for the visit of Sheffield United on Saturday.
Speaking first about Greg Abbott, he said: “It isn’t nice for the players when something like that happens. At the end of the day somebody has lost their job and it’s a person who all the players were close to. We’re really disappointed that it has had to come to this situation.”
“I’ve worked with him for a long time so that does make it feel worse,” he admitted. “I had a good relationship with him, as did all of the other players and it feels like, as a group, we’ve let him down. He would never say that to us but we do feel that way. For whatever reason we just haven’t been able to get the results that we’ve needed to keep him in a job.”
“We’ve actually started to play better over the last two or three games but the results haven’t come with that,” he continued. “That was compounded last Saturday with a game we felt we should have won ... and we maybe even should have had it over and done with by half time. We ended up with that sucker blow in the last minute, which is very hard to take.”
“In terms of luck, things seem to have gone against us since the start of the season,” he added. “We had Lee Miller sent off in the first game and that left us chasing our tails with our main striker going down. The only luck that has been flying around seems to have been bad - but people don’t want to hear about hard luck stories any more. They want to hear about results.
“The gaffer is big enough to take that on the chin but it still made Monday a very difficult day. He’s a good man and all he ever did for this club was give it 100% and do his best. I just hope that people don’t forget the success he did bring to the club through the time he was here.”
“Often when managers lose their jobs there is talk of him losing the dressing room, or of things going wrong,” he told us. “I can absolutely guarantee that everyone was behind him, as they have been since he took over as manager.
“Monday was probably one of the most difficult moments of my life when he got us all together to tell us he’d lost his job. I don’t think there’s any disgrace in saying that everyone was welling up with tears because we’re just really disappointed that we haven’t been able to get the results to keep things moving on.
“We’re all human beings so things like this are never easy. Greg is the same as all of us because he was coming into work every day and giving it his all. Everyone needs a bit of good luck along the way and unfortunately he hasn’t had that this season.”
“He told us on Monday that he just wants to see success for us now,” he said. “All we can do is knuckle down and work hard this week. Hopefully we’ll get the result for him this weekend.
“There is that feeling of responsibility because we have to take it on the chin that he’s lost his job because of results. When I say ‘we’ he will include himself in that. However, it’s us who go out on the pitch and he has to live and die by what we do for him when we’re out there.”
“We had our meeting with the gaffer and then Kav [Graham Kavanagh], Tony [Caig] and Davie [Irons] came in to talk to us about the rest of the week,” he explained. “Obviously it was a difficult situation for them because they have to pick everyone up. Monday was a bad day for the whole club but the lads have been fine about the work they have had to do since. We’re paid to do a job and we’re going to knuckle down and get on with that.
“We won’t forget about him overnight but we have to put this to the back of our minds. It will linger for a while but we have a job to do. To be fair to the three coaches, they were as positive as they could be and they tried to lift everybody up right away. Training was bubbly and we move on for the rest of the week with the aim of getting three points on Saturday.”
“Everybody wants a win because it feels like a bad situation at the moment,” he told us. “We’ve got 40 games to put that right but under no circumstances are we looking at it that way. We want to get it right and we want to get it right now. We want to get out of the situation we’re in and turn what has been a negative into a positive season.
“There’s a bit of an onus on the senior lads to make sure the young lads are right but we do that anyway. What happens with the manager’s position is out of our hands – that’s up to the powers that be to decide – so all we can do is put on as good a showing as we can for the team that’s in charge now. Hopefully that will be good enough to get results.”
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