Shrewsbury Town attempt to turn around their League One fortunes against Colchester tomorrow with a call for patience and realism from chairman Roland Wycherley.
A run of four defeats in the last six home games – and just two victories from the last 13 encounters – has added extra significance to the second Greenhous Meadow clash of the week.
Graham Turner’s side will be desperate to eradicate the memories of Tuesday’s miserable 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Yeovil, a result which left them rooted in the bottom five of League One.
But Wycherley believes the time to pass judgment on league position is still around 10 games away.
“I would ask all supporters of this club of ours to be patient and support the manager and players in these first ventures in League One,” said the Shrewsbury supremo.
“By the middle of the season we should have a more considered view of where we stand in the pecking order in this league, what adjustments need to be made to the squad and what the realistic goals are for the remainder of the season.
“No-one at the club entered into this campaign with rose-coloured spectacles expecting to be able to dominate the other teams from the start.
“We have had some encouraging matches where we have won or drawn, but have also suffered from the hardship of conceding early and late goals and missed chances that have cost us valuable points.
“I feel our present league position is not a true reflection of the team’s performances at this point in time.”
Wycherley believes stability is the main priority for Town’s first appearance in English football’s third tier for 15 years.
“This season is one of learning and consolidation,” he added.
“Many of the teams we face have a pedigree of playing at League One or higher over a number of seasons.
“There are no pushovers. As we have found, there is little between the quality of the sides in this league, and that includes our own club. The board, like all our supporters, would have loved to be in contention near the top of the table at this stage of the season.
“However, a run of results, good or bad, can change attitudes and affect the confidence of all involved with the club.
“The important factor is to be realistic about this first season and not to have expectations that are exaggerated and unlikely to be achieved without a spectacular run of results.”
Tomorrow’s clash with Colchester illustrates Wycherley’s ‘no pushover’ point. The Essex club may lie 12th in the table but have won five of their last six league encounters since Joe Dunne replaced John Ward as manager at the end of last month.
And Dunne has promised a positive approach from the visitors tomorrow.
“We’ll go to Shrewsbury with the attitude to win,” he pledged.
“We are not good enough to sit back like a hardened Italian team that knows the ropes.
“We’ll go with the same attitude and try and win the match.
“Form doesn’t mean anything and on the day, anything can happen. Every game is about how we approach it.
“If we don’t turn up then we’ll get beat and my message to the players is that they need to be at their maximum.”