In the words of the great Bill Shankly: “At a football club, there’s a holy trinity – the players, the manager and the supporters.”
This weekend we welcome some familiar faces to St James Park as we take on MK Dons and I’m sure each part of our holy trinity will be viewing this game with a mixture of emotions.
We’ve been through some unusual times over the last 20 years or so, but no matter what you think about any of our managers, whether Eamonn (Dolan), Alex (Inglethorpe), or Paul (Tisdale), they all did exceptional things for our club.
And with Paul’s return as manager of MK Dons, we should remember that for anybody to manage any club for 12 years is a feat in itself. During that time there were some quite amazing highs, and some difficult periods too. Promotion from the Conference, promotion from League Two to League One, the season we survived on the last day and the season we didn’t make the play-offs by one point.
Those would be the things you remember on the field and so much happened off it as well; the development of the Cliff Hill training ground, player sales and a team that could take on Liverpool. I’m sure our fans will recognise and respect that effort and show their appreciation for all those years.
As a supporter-owned club which prides itself on doing the right thing and in fact at all times being ‘proper chaps’, we welcome Paul, and of course Steve and the rest of his team, previously linked with our great club. One thing though, let’s hope they don’t head for the wrong door when they go to the changing rooms.
When all’s said and done, we have to be focused on the result on the day and the managers old and new, will, I’m sure, share mutual respect and we’ll be in for a fantastic game of football.
One thing’s for sure, they’ll certainly notice some changes at the ground, we’ve managed to knock up a couple of new stands and embraced digital advertising with our new LED boards since we went our separate ways.