Graham Kavanagh on the Wolves game
Manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his reaction to the defeat at Wolves on Saturday and to the club’s relegation to League Two at the end of what has been a difficult season.
“I think it goes without saying that we’re all gutted,” he said. “It was always going to be difficult to come to Wolves and get what we needed but we’re disappointed with the way we lost the game, yet again. It was typical of some of the poor performances we’ve seen and that’s why we are in the situation we’re in.
“But our relegation isn’t just about today. Wolves are the best side in this division, they’ve shown that all season, and Kenny [Jackett] has assembled a fantastic squad. We didn’t match them and we still played with that fear of consequences we’ve talked about. That shows the character in the squad and it’s something we definitely need to change.”
“I want to apologise to the fans because ultimately we haven’t been good enough this season,” he continued. “They stayed and clapped their team off the pitch but they deserve better. I felt when I took over that the squad wasn’t good enough but we haven’t been able to do as much as we wanted in terms of adding to the quality.
“We’ll be talking to the players on Tuesday to let them know where we want to go and I will start to look at reshaping the squad from there. I need players who won’t look for excuses and who will give everything to wear the shirt. My job now is to regroup and get a squad which will challenge at the right end of the table.
“There have been reasons for why we’ve struggled for periods but we need to be smarter in our recruitment going forward. We saw with the injuries to key players that we couldn’t really cope without them in the group.
“One of the big lessons we’ve learned this season is that we need to have players who have an affinity to the club. They need to understand what it means to play for us. The fans expect us all to work hard and, if we don’t get that, they can expect to find themselves on the scrap heap.”
“The work for next season started a while ago,” he confirmed. “I’m going to have to be very prudent in the market and I’m looking for players I know will do the job we need them to do. I feel a huge obligation to the fans to put this situation right and we owe them a little bit of success. I’m extremely proud to be manager of this football club and I want everyone to be able to feel that pride with me. That can only be achieved by winning games and getting positive results.
“We’ll sit and talk to the players on Tuesday and we’ll look to where we go from here after that. I certainly want to be manager of this football club next season because I do feel responsible for where we are. Like I say, there are reasons, but that’s been and gone. It’s now about building a team and a squad which will get us going in the right direction again.”