David Hopkin resigns from Bradford City, allowing one more throw of the dice to avoid relegation

Image by Thomas Gadd (copyright Bradford City)

By Jason McKeown

In the end it all unravelled very quickly. Prior to Bradford City’s home game with Fleetwood Town, the general supporter sentiment towards David Hopkin was favourable, and optimism levels of avoiding relegation felt reasonable.

But these are hugely volatile, high pressure times. Three hugely disappointing results later, and public opinion has significantly shifted. As hopes of survival have taken a major nosedive, Hopkin has come in for huge criticism. Calls for him to be sacked had suddenly appeared, growing in volume and intensity. Bradford City had faced a major choice this week over whether to stick or twist, but Hopkin’s decision to resign saved them from having to make it.

There’s no question the sudden desperation of City’s plight has led to supporter panic. Emotions are clearly running very high, as the club’s painful decline from the 2017 play off final defeat hits bump after bump. City are now three points off survival, but with a daunting-looking March fixture list, there’s a painful realisation that these last three games were costly missed opportunities. City will have to do it the hard way to stay up, by beating teams at the top. But all season long they have only beaten one side in the current top 14 – Burton Albion at home, back in August. As the threat of a return to League Two looms large, the removal Hopkin is the last available throw of the dice.

So much of what has gone wrong at Valley Parade can be traced back to short-term thinking. So it seems very hard to believe that the departure of yet another manager will bring a different result. Clubs who have three managers in a season tend to get relegated. Ole Gunnar Solskjaers don’t grow on trees, and you probably have to go back over 20 years, and the mid-season switch of Lennie Lawrence for Chris Kamara, to find the last example of a new City manager heralding an instant upturn in results. Usually, a Valley Parade manager change sees no improvement and in some cases a sharper decline. The new manager bounce is a phenomenon observed elsewhere in football. Hopefully, Bradford City can go against its own history.

That’s not to say those who advocated this change were unjustified in their criticisms. City are on collision course for League Two. Maybe a new manager can shift the trajectory, or maybe it won’t. But after a strong end to 2018, Hopkin had stopped getting excellent performances from his players. He steadfastly stuck to a gameplan that opponents had clearly gotten wise to, and has failed to adequately adapt that approach. The recent overloading of the team with creative players has inadvertently taken the dynamism out of their play. And defensively, they’ve gone backwards again. Hopkin has every right to feel let down by his players, especially after Saturday’s horrendous defeat to 10-men Walsall, but there are pertinent questions over whether he was getting everything he could out of them.

In some ways, Hopkin was the right man at the wrong time. His record at Livingston shows that he is someone who can turn around a club on the decline, but he’s no overnight fixer. He took over Livingston half way through the 2015/16 season and could not save Livi from relegation to Scottish League One, yet the club stuck by him and were repaid for that faith with back-to-back promotions. Ultimately, Hopkin left Livingston in a much, much stronger position than when he joined, but they did have to go through the downwards part of the curve first.

I think in time Hopkin could have been a successful Bradford City manager. This is my 16th season writing about Bradford City matters and Hopkin’s departure is the 12th managerial change I’ve covered. Over that time, we’ve seen good, average and bad managers, but the overall picture has fuelled my belief that managers can only ultimately be successful if you’re prepared to stick with them through the bad times. Phil Parkinson was the epitome of this.  A huge, huge success at Bradford City, but only because the club supported him during that difficult first season where he struggled to impress.

For me, Hopkin shared similar qualities that Parkinson instilled. I know some people don’t want to hear that, especially when his results at the end were so disappointing. But behind the scenes, Hopkin was doing a lot to raise the standards and challenge the culture of the squad. Only last week, he arranged for someone to deliver a presentation to the squad about the Valley Parade fire, so they can gain a greater understanding and appreciation about the bond between City and supporters, and why playing for Bradford City is different to other clubs. He introduced a rule that the squad met early at Valley Parade on match day to share a pre-match meal. He removed the pool table from the training ground, reasoning this was a place of work. He introduced a rule that all players must walk from the changing rooms to the training pitch together, so cliques couldn’t be formed.

Many of these, and other Hopkin initiatives, won’t instantly bring three points on a Saturday. But in time they would have borne fruit. Parkinson’s first season at Valley Parade saw him challenge and revamp the way things were done, and recruiting players for the strength of their character. And just as Hopkin has shunned Josh Wright and Joe Riley, Parkinson forced Guy Branston to train with the youth team. There were notable similarities in how both managers challenged a difficult situation they inherited. And when you compare this to the way people like Peter Jackson and Simon Grayson managed the club, you realise that it’s not common for managers to put the club’s long-term needs ahead of their own reputation.

Of course, there is no guarantee Hopkin would have been a success in the long-term like Parkinson. But going back to my personal view that a manager should be allowed to take a long-term approach in order to build sustainable success, much of what Hopkin was trying to do was pleasing to me.

But as we know, it’s a results industry, and Hopkin wasn’t achieving them. He inherited a desperately difficult situation last September, with the club’s supporters on the brink of civil war with Edin Rahic, and the playing squad at his disposal was woefully lacking in fitness and heart. The 3-2 loss at Blackpool in his first game summed up the mess that he walked into. City were 2-0 up with six minutes to go, before hitting the wall, legs-wise and completely collapsing. It took Hopkin another month to register a win, but that was prelude to seven straight defeats that sent the Bantams to the foot of League One, the plight looking desperate by early November.

Hopkin appeared set to walk after a 4-0 loss to Gillingham, only to be talked out of it over that troubled weekend. It was clearly not working, reporting in to Rahic, but the arrival of Rhodes saw improvement to results and in the manager’s ability to sign players, and the early December departure of Rahic saw a terrific run of form. It’s hard to believe now, but some fans ended 2018 talking about making the play offs and claiming that Hopkin’s football was some of the best seen in years. The 3-0 victory over Accrington on New Year’s Day lifted City out of the bottom four.

From there, it went very wrong. They never got going again after a 10-day break in fixtures, with the 3-0 thumping of Barnsley denting their confidence and knocking them out of their stride. The next seven fixtures looked kind on paper, but yielded only six points. And as the spectre of basement league football looms large, the panic and anger is understandable. Hopkin can be accused of many things, but deserves respect for falling on his sword. He is a good man, and I really hope he can go on and revive his promising managerial career.

If City can bring in a replacement who can keep the Bantams in League One, the ends justify the means. At some point, we have to rebuild this football club from the destruction Edin Rahic caused – and, in that respect, Hopkin’s resignation might be akin to kicking the can down the road. But we are in a really critical period, and it’s all about the short-term of these final 12 games. Rebuilding will have to wait for now.

It goes without saying that this next appointment is critical. If I were Julian Rhodes and Stefan Rupp, I’d be moving heaven and earth to get Michael Flynn from Newport County. The former City midfielder has done an astonishing job, coming in mid-season and saving County from certain relegation two years ago, and he has taken the Welsh club forwards since. If Flynn can’t be afforded or persuaded, I’d go against my own beliefs and values by thinking short-term. Appoint someone on a deal until the end of the season, and find someone who has a record of delivering a managerial bounce.

This is probably not the time for a Gary Jones-type person. The kind of passion that Jones exhibits is inspirational, and the club simply must find a role for him in time. But right now we need proven experience and an ability to set the team up successfully. See Wetherall, David for a reminder of how easy it is to chew up and spit out a club legend by appointing them at the wrong time. Imagine how you would feel getting relegated with Gary Jones as manager? He doesn’t deserve that.

As a split amongst supporters formed over the last fortnight, and passions have been running high, perhaps the positive is that this moment could act as a catalyst to bring us all together. I’ll be honest, I deplore this group of players and the pathetic performances they’ve delivered for most of the season. I can’t wait to see the back of some of them. But we have no choice other than to trust in them to save Bradford City from relegation.

In previous City seasons where relegation has been avoided – 1999/00, 2002/03 and 2011/12, for example – there’s been a collective spirit that has helped the club over the line. And in relegation seasons like 2000/01, 2003/04 and 2006/07, that spirit was lacking. Sometimes, adversity can bring a siege mentality that refocuses minds. Think of 2011/12, and the Crawley Town brawl. Hopefully, this change of manager can allow us all to come together and bring new energy to what is the fight for our lives. We’ve worked too hard as a football club to throw away our League One status – these next 12 games need us to find a united front.

The new manager should be able to count on our backing. And if he can somehow mastermind League One survival, he’ll be forever a Bradford City hero.

Categories: Opinion

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40 replies

  1. ……and back to square one. Brilliant

  2. But please, not Steve Evans.

  3. You can’t argue Hopkin was put in very difficult circumstances. However results and performances were not upto standard and his tactics were something out the stone age.
    On Saturday it was probably the last throw of the dice to get ourselves good result and going into this tough March of fixtures.

    Its okay winning promotions in Scotland the overall quality of the lge is not lge 1 standard in my opinion .

    I’ve feeling Phil Parkinson would jump at the chance to come back home or even Stuart Mcall would be good shout.

    I’m convinced lge2 football will be back at Valley Parade next season plus short fall in season tkts.

    Edin Rahic may have gone but the mess he’s left behind may take the club years to sort out.

  4. We’re very unlikely to avoid relegation. It would probably require us to win six of our last twelve games.
    As such I think that we should think long term and get someone in who has a proven pedigree in league two. It feels like the club needs a reset to get rid of the Rahic stench and as such I’d go for someone who has no ties to the club. Gary Bowyer is a proven firefighter in tough situations and Paul Hurst had a great lower league record before he struggled at Ipswich. Those two would be my first two choices.

  5. Also you’re spot on about the players. 99% of them should be ashamed of their performances this season in particular the central defenders and left back.
    The worry is that 14 of them are under contract for next season and we are apparently in a financial mess.

  6. I feel sorry for David Hopkin, as you say, he was possibly the right man but at the wrong time. I don’t think that we would have been in this mess if he had been appointed in summer, even with this hapless bunch of players currently with the club. There was too much mess for him to sort out, especially in terms of fitness. I think his heart was in the right place.

    So it will be interesting to see who takes over. Perhaps a ‘big’ club like City might appeal to Mickey Flynn? Anyway, whatever happens, let’s hope that the close season is more productive than the last two and for goodness sake, let’s get back to Claret and Amber Stripes!

  7. Anybody who can perform miracles.But please,please NOT Steve Evans!!!

  8. Apart from Julian Rhodes, I’m not sure what level of expertise is available behind the scenes at VP. Before the Rupp/Rahic era, Julian would have been able to brainstorm with Mark Lawn and James Mason. Due to Stefan’s lack of interest in football, Julian may well stand isolated at a crucial time like this. Whoever comes in has a thankless task trying to turn this car crash of a season around and, more crucially, next season.

    The club is in a perilous position, both on and off the pitch. The most telling part of your article is the comment “I deplore this group of players”. In my eyes they epitomise all that’s wrong with the modern game. We saw last season that certain players downed tools and ultimately cost Stuart McCall his job. David Hopkin has contributed to his own downfall, but he’s been badly let down by a disinterested, overpaid, hapless bunch, most of whom aren’t fit to wear the shirt.

    Stefan Rupp will have earned his fortune through hard work, commitment and an above average skill set.

    The major issue now is, not who’s likely to succeed Hopkin, but whether Stefan is prepared to continue shelling out his hard earned cash to fund what is increasingly becoming a lost cause.

  9. I think Hopkin has done what he has in the interests of the club, not himself, unless there’s more to today than meets the eye.

    To be honest I genuinely don’t care who the next manager is as long as they keep us up. I think relegation would be the end of the club, never mind “lets plan for a promotion push next year”, a descent to oblivion beckons if we go down, permanently or for a very long time. Steve Evans? Doubt he’d come as we have no money but I’d have him if he kept us up. Anyone who says otherwise is part of the problem.

    And for what its worth, we are NOT a big club. We have inflated crowds due to cheap tickets. We underachieve because we accept underacheivement – see the embarrassing way some of our fans ramble on and on about the C*p r*ns all the sodding time. We are a large (post) industrial city with a shameful record in football compared to every decent sized town or city team.

    In summary, oh shit.

    • You can’t deny before the club was sold to Rahic and Rupp we were in far better position. Agree the cheap season tkts have upped the level of support but to say it’s not well supported club at this level is nonsense.
      I’d try for Parkinson or Mcall they would add more season tkt sales and at least we would know there very capable

      • You’ve only got to look at the way that weird Coventry/Fleetwood Trev creature used to troll the #bcafc on twitter to see that we haven’t historically been particularly well supported. We get a decent away following for this level but we’re pretty average overall, and irrespective of that who wants to be a “big” club in League One? Shouldn’t we want to be a “good” club in the Championship when you look at the clubs/towns/cities who are consistently up there? Ipswich, Derby, Preston, Bristol, Boro, West Brom, Hull, Blackburn, Reading, Bolton. All much smaller catchment areas than us.

  10. Comparing the styles and personal attributes between Hopkins and Parkinson are similar but the squads they had were not the same. Parkinson had a squad that suited his style. He also had the personalities and captains. Hopkins has been devoid of these components. His team lacked height, width and pace. Parkinson was allowed to build a team that suited his style of play. The board supported him also. I believe had Hopkins had the same opportunities then things may have been different. I believe there are flaws that Hopkins has that may not have brought the results Parkinson achieved. I suspect Hopkins to be a one track pony. He struggled to change things when things went awry. His tinkering was one of his flaws and his inability to get the players to play 110% when needed. I wish Hopkins well for the future. He has tried very hard to get city moving in the right direction. I do not envy the new incumbent but it should be someone with an ability to rebuild and with a proven track record. Let’s hope that the bookies are right regarding their favourite for the job

  11. Jason. Enough of blaming Rahic! Its Feb 2019, the guy has been gone for 6 months!!. Yes he was a disaster, but you cannot keep blaming a guy who has been out of the country for months for players under performing whilst being on large salaries. The players need to take a long hard look in the mirror. loan players or not, they are still professionals so they should care about having a relegation on their CV’s!. Get some grit in! Jagger with Jones, Jagger with Jamie Lawrence. Some passion is needed

    • Ignoring your odd dismissal of Rahic’s stinking role in the current predicament, we don’t need passion, we need professionalism allied with determination, organisation and ability. Passion without them is just shouting.

      • Completely agree, theres this wonderfully naive notion that passion and bollockings will turn this hapless group around. Its nothing to do with that, its the fact that there are too many missing jigsaw pieces to finish the puzzle. You could bollock this group of players till the cows come home, it won’t make any difference.Too many fundamental problems in the starting eleven with no option to change it. Thats the real problem.

      • Agree. We need a manager/coach who can coach players to perform their role in the game more effectively. Make them ‘better’ players by reducing the amount of technical and decision making mistakes they make – concentrating especially on the players defensive (in)capabilities!

        Small improvements and small reductions in mistakes from each player in the team can make a very significant difference to a teams performance and results. Working on the small details of each individuals areas for improvement is essential and should be part of every single players’ individual ‘continuous improvement plan’. ‘Team tactics’ are important and necessary of course, but INDIVIDUALS form teams so individuals require the time and
        attention that will improve their individual performance within the team.

        Team performance will be the outcome of the sum of all the individual contributions which is of
        course often termed ‘synergy’: ‘the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. DH, for me, apart from a short spell around December, just never seemed to have the ability to be able to achieve the synergy that he should have been able to get from a good number of potentially pretty good players.

    • We don’t need passion, we need professionalism allied with integrity, ability, determination and organisation. Passion without those things is just shouting.

  12. Why is David Hopkins walking now? I wonder at his comments about 12 hour days….since Greg Abbott left, who supports with recruitment? The impression is he’s chief scout as well as manager. I worry about the behind the scenes support, and what he knows or expected about financial support for next season…if it’s not there, then it’s going to prevent us getting a decent replacement.

    • I too carry this concern. Hopkin despite recent criticism could have still pointed to the fact that the squad still wasn’t his and his previous job also saw a relegation before improvement. But it’s concerning that he didn’t feel able to be able to ‘re tidy things NEXT season. He will be privy to our plans, and financial situation. So the question is, did this put him off staying to fight on? And if so it doesn’t bode well…..

  13. I found out about Bradford City requiring a new manager during my lunch break. I admit that I was shocked that Hopkin had resigned.

    I am disappointed that Hopkin has walked away from the club as I thought that he’d stay into next season even if we got relegated. However, in my humble opinion he has worked extremely hard to get us further up the league table.

    This fine mess all leads back to the ridiculous sacking of McCall. Personally, I think that whoever we offer the job to, we need to offer them a contract beyond the end of this season so that they can plan for next season rather than appointing someone only until the end of the season then they walk away like Grayson did.

    Let’s see who Julian Rhodes can attract.

    • Always like your comments Richard and really enjoyed your book. Coming back from Walsall on Saturday evening it really felt like the end of the road despite a quarter of the season remaining. I’ve posted several times over the last few weeks that the vast majority of our first team selected and playing (including playing subs) are not here or contracted after May, think it was 10/14 against Plymouth and can’t have mean much different on Saturday.

      At the same time there are around 12-14 players contracted to the end of next season and in some cases beyond that are not playing and not likely to play.

      I liked Jason’s comment on Parky shunning Guy Branston but he knew when to bring him back into the fold when he was needed. Hopkin has shunned far more than just Wright and Riley (Gibson, Patrick, Jones, Clare) and I believe this combination of contracted players not even being considered and training on their own combined with a starting 11 predominantly of short term players is not conducive (to put it mildly) to team spirit and cohesion.

      Following a popular trend on the various forums, I’ll be there irrespective of who is the next Manager, so need to consider my opinion !

    • My opinion is we need to see what division we are in, who of the squad we will have left, and budget before hiring someone linger term.

      My reasoning is that we don’t want a manager inheriting a squad that isn’t his style of football like Grayson and Hopkins both did. I doubt very much we will have the finances to reshape the squad entirely. Furthermore the manager themself need to be aware of the exact situation they are walking into so we don’t see another resignatoon when it isn’t has they imagined….

      Even Rhodes position isn’t clear next season so who would be making this choice anyway?

      Let’s have a short term apppinment, cross fingers for a miracle but then assess at the seasons end when we know where we are

  14. Yes the cuŕrent situation goes back to the extremely ridiculous sacking of Stuart and is the direct result of the Rshic ego trip.
    But it goes back further to that when they allowed PP to leave. Surely anyone with half a brain knows that “if its not broke dont mend it”,
    Thats when the die waa cast and that was mistake number one. Momentum and confidence is a big part of football and that was halted then. SM.worked miracles in getting us to the play offs against the odds.
    Now we really do stand at a crossroads and i dont envy Julians job because the next appointment may define the very future of the club.

  15. Like most people I am shocked. I thought Hopkin would be long term. There must be some underlying reason for the demise. Lack of fight, players taking too long to recover from injury, a mess made of the January window, wrong tactics, the tyrell Robinson situation, manager unable to motivate players, contracted players totally frozen out, good players consistently playing bad,players not caring or trying.
    All this and other things add up to a total shambles. Why? There must be something we don’t know.
    Hopkin obviously felt he couldn’t go on. Why?

  16. Just carrying on I think Akpan epitomises city at present. Very skilful big strong quick but lacking in spirit and fight and seems to be a walking sick note. Reeves…….. His situation baffles me.

  17. Hold your noses the lot of you. Circumstances have brought us to his door. You know it to be true. Steve Evans your time has come.

  18. Watching City for many years, I’ve seen more lows than highs. We are masters of punching below our weight. Yes there have been moments of brilliance i.e. Premier League promotion and League cup final. It’s those moment which make it worth it.

    Hopkins managerial stint, like his playing career at City, offered lots but failed to live up. No slight on David as I do believe he is a decent man and I wish him well for the future.

    As for us I don’t think we’ve bottomed out. Not sure where we go from here.

    • We won’t have bottomed out until a significant number of the current playing staff are waved off down the road. There are few similarities between BCFC now and the BCFC we knew before the fantasist Edin Rahic rolled up. Those I can think of off the top of my head are:
      1. Billy Clarke.
      2. The name of the club.
      3. The stadium (excluding the playing surface).
      4. We the fans (though there are fewer of us).
      All else has changed.
      A successful squad took years to evolve and was dismantled in no time. The naivety of Wreck It Rahic in the squad he assembled last summer is simply stunning. It will take several years to correct. We MUST at all costs avoid relegation to League 2, as that will set us back 5 years or more. We need to fight hard and fight dirty. Bin the defeatist talk of building for the future, as that simply breeds defeatism short term, and can wait for another day. We need a manager that can get the best out of the players we have to avoid defeat and THEN build for the future. Niceties can sit on the shelf for now.

  19. I am torn between wanting a manager with a connection and wanting a fresh start. It broke my heart seeing how the club (and far too many fans) treated Stuart McCall so in that respect I can see where you are coming from Jason.

    However, I think there is no risk in having Gary Jones (Jamie Lawrence etc) until the end of the season for two main reasons:

    We are already down in as much as it will take a miracle to stay up. Nobody will blame Jones if we drop.

    Our only route to salvation relies on somebody, through sheer force of will, getting this squad to play above themselves. If Jones can’t, nobody can.

    Give him a squad number while we’re at it. And Lawrence; would be nice to have a winger in the squad.

  20. For me the new appointment must be guided by our values and i cant think of anyone further from those values than Evans, no matter how effective he may be. Please don’t even consider him.

    • Not really sure why Evans would be anti-pathetic to our values ( whatever they are!). Rather like the good old Micky K he may be a bastard( in football terms) but he would be our bastard. He is charmless and unpleasant to oppose but he would not half shake things up which is what the players need. I hope the plan is not to just leave Drury in charge and surrender meekly as we did when Wethers took charge. Really cannot see why one of the stand out candidates cannot be brought in swiftly assuming they are interested ie Evo,Hurst,Bowyer

      • One example/reason is that this lot aren’t an Evans tram. It would tske money to change the squad next season and thus your have the potential for a wrong manager with the wrong players scenario. We saw that with Grayson.

        Remember it took Rhodes and lawn both time and experience before they found a plan that worked. We need a similar long term strategy ONCE we know where we stand this isn’t defeatist as if the short term apppinment works miracles then make it longer. Going long without a plan and time to assess where we stand after tickets sales etc is a recipe for further disruption and conflict……..imo

  21. One example/reason is that this lot aren’t an Evans tram. It would tske money to change the squad next season and thus your have the potential for a wrong manager with the wrong players scenario. We saw that with Grayson.

    Remember it took Rhodes and lawn both time and experience before they found a plan that worked. We need a similar long term strategy ONCE we know where we stand this isn’t defeatist as if the short term apppinment works miracles then make it longer. Going long without a plan and time to assess where we stand after tickets sales etc is a recipe for further disruption and conflict……..imo

  22. I suspect that there was a number of factors that led Hopkin to resign but maybe it came down to the simple fact that being manager at VP wasn’t in the best interests of his health. Remember he threatened to resign last October but was talked out of it and he probably thought then that he’d made a mistake. His wife or his doctor or his better sense could have whispered in his ear that it was time to call it a day and he probably didn’t relish the mounting impatience / frustration / criticism of the supporters. Throw in a few sleepness nights and he probably decided enough is enough. He seems a decent guy but like Stuart and Michael Collins before him it couldn’t have done his mental wellbeing any good and frankly who could blame him for calling it a day if that was the case.

  23. Like others on this site I feel that is long overdue to stop blaming Rahic for the current situation. Not as a defence of the man but look again at the break up of the 2016/17 play off team – Meridith wanted Championship football, Marshall wanted to relocate to London, McArdle and Clarke left for more money/longer contracts. In this age of player power that is what players do! Yes some of the replacements were poor, eg Chickson, McCarten and Poleon, but there was the involvement of McCall and Abbott in their recruitment. To continue, of the 17/18 team McMahon and Vincelot downed tools after McCall was fired – so no great loss.

    The current situation is down to the summer of inactivity in 2018. Clearly, Collins was a bad appointment and the recruitment was poor. However, it did take Hopkin 10/12 games to work out his best team and tactics – and then he changed the winning formula in January. Despite telling the fans that he had identified new players in the January window and that he had Rupp’s support Hopkin again messed up – more midfielders and no strikers! Clearly, Hopkin was not the answer – poor team selection and tactics – but I am surprised that he jumped before the end of the season, (or was he pushed?). These are dark days for BCFC.

    • It is boring to keep blaming Rahic, but the scale of the mess he made of things – financially, squad wise and supporter and sponsor engagement – will set us back for years. That’s just a fact sadly.

  24. I feel sure DH had come to realise (as John says) that health was a factor.Fans on his case big time (he had to apologise for turning on some weeks ago) social media in meltdown against him after recent results.The camp must be very strange.A lot of short term players filling the first team with deals to just the end of season whilst many on no doubt much higher contracts with another year after this sat in the stands.Some who have never really started and are half way through long contracts.Big fees paid too.That scenario alone is not good for spirit.Blame game starts everywhere.The spirit on the terrace will mirror that on a daily basis.There is one person who has volunteered that I can think of (Terry Dolan) who universally each and every one of his former charges respected.Top bloke who had to manage on shoestrings.He is not an answer long term at 68.He has a calm old fashioned way.Its a hedge now for Julian and Mr Rupp.Do we appoint long term or short? Is Mr Rupp here for the long term? Is Julian Rhodes? (Julian probably thought he had escaped the stress but his love for the place has seen him back).I do not believe Mr Rupp will want the underwriting of losses to continue from his funds.He has little interest but is clearly honourable and despairing at what he did not realise was the “mood” around the place, not to mention the finance.Very silly and gullible to be taken in by a fellow German friend of a friend.We are left with uncertainty beyond the end of season.I am not sure of TD”s ability to pull these factions together for a final herculean “together” attempt.I am not sure if JC would have any answers currently either.Fans and players I see discord everywhere.If KP started defending and start becoming aware of where his man is we might have a chance.We have shown we are capable of scoring.A team that gives soft goals away again and again is the one relegated.I first noticed this with KP for Millwalls winner at Wembley.He looked brilliant bringing the ball out of defence all that season.At the end of it he simply lost his man.As he has so many times this year.All great teams have a great defence.That rarely changes.I cannot recall the same defence once this year.

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