Here’s Director of Football Robbie Savage’s programme notes from last night’s league game against Kidsgrove Athletic.
For the first time in almost a month, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to the Leasing.Com Stadium for a Northern Premier League West Division fixture.
I would like to reserve a special welcome for all those who have travelled from Kidsgrove today and hope that you enjoy the experience – but not the result!
By now, I am sure that you will have seen the interview that I did for our Official Club Website last week.
I stand by everything I said in this as I am incredibly passionate about getting the very best out of every single staff member.
Whether this be the Manager, the players, the Backroom Staff, the Coaches or the Office Staff – I will never apologise for wanting the best for this Football Club.
My job is to ensure that the fine margins that are so important in football work in our favour.
We leave no stone unturned to make sure that we are the best that we can be and although we are top of the league, I will still strive for us to be better in every department.
People have asked whether I undermined the Manager in the interview and the answer to that is unequivocally no.
For a long time, people have wanted transparent Owners and that is what Rob and I most certainly are.
Due to the fact that we have constant meetings with everybody employed at the Football Club, there was nothing within the interview that Danny was not acutely aware of beforehand.
I am not naive enough to come out and say all that I did without the Manager knowing, so let us put that accusation to bed once and for all.
I have also seen claims that myself and Rob want to bring in our own man as First Team Manager.
Hang on a minute, Danny was our overriding choice as Manager when the Club was formed and we want him to secure back-to-back promotions more than anything!
Having said that, when analysing every aspect of our game you have to take out all elements of emotion and sentiment.
We have to look at everyone objectively and if I am being honest, it is difficult to do that with Danny at times because he is such a Club Legend.
But more than that, Danny is a fantastic individual who I really am privileged to know.
So you begin to see how difficult it is to assess Danny objectively – bearing in mind the esteem that he is held in.
As Director of Football I have to do that of course and the question I have to ask anyone in the First Team Manager’s role is can he get the best out of the squad that has been assembled?
We are going to lose games of football – I get that. Additionally, if we win every game 1 – 0 between now and the end of the season then we will win the league comfortably.
But are we getting the best out of that squad of players?
Results-wise I think we have so far – with the exception of the losses at Witton Albion and Coalville Town where I thought we were naive beyond belief.
You could argue that Mossley was a poor performance too, but I guess that one is open to interpretation.
If you look at all our away games this season, then I am struggling to find a good performance – other than last week’s 5 – 0 victory at Ramsbottom United.
Before last Tuesday night’s game, we had scored two goals in our previous four away games, claimed three points from six in the league and been eliminated from the Emirates FA Cup.
With the amazing recruitment that we have been blessed with, I am looking at that record and asking whether we are playing to our potential.
The honest answer to this is no we haven’t and deep down, I am sure that you will agree with that.
We are giving Danny every ounce of support that we can muster because we really are desperate for him to succeed and I am sure that he will be the first to acknowledge that.
Collectively, we have assembled the best squad in the league and probably in the one above, provided the best training facilities and implemented the daytime training model which maximises contact time with the players.
We have only suffered one league defeat since the end of January, but inevitably there will always be massive pressure on the Manager of this Football Club.
We simply cannot lose two or three games in a row at Macclesfield FC – especially if we are not playing well.
There is a huge difference between laying siege to the opposition’s goal and suffering a 1 – 0 defeat, to playing poorly and effectively capitulating.
Over recent weeks, we haven’t been playing well – particularly away from home and this has worried me intensely.
Like me or not, I have to do what is right for this Football Club at all times and at the minute, Danny Whitaker has my full support as there has unquestionably been a great reaction to the defeat at Coalville.
But if I am being honest, I expected the ten goals we scored against Ramsbottom and Widnes.
As a Football Club, we all know that if we lose one or two games then the quality that we have assembled within our squad will ensure that we reverse the trend fairly quickly.
With the talent that we have at our disposal, I am looking at the home games that will follow safe in the knowledge that we should win all of them.
Sometimes football doesn’t work that way of course and if a team comes here and is really aggressive throughout then I won’t necessarily have a problem with claiming a point.
But my aim is clear and that is to win every game we play.
In addition to this, I want to see the real detail, patterns of play and identity shining through every time we cross that white line and you know what, if we lose then I want to lose with a vigour and desire that is clear for all to see.
Now is the point within Danny Whitaker’s managerial career where it’s not just about what happens on the pitch.
Whits has to consider the feelings, emotions and demands of all our players – all of whom are desperate to start matches.
Managing a group of twenty hungry players who all want to play is one of the hardest jobs in football, but it is critical to the unity of the squad as a whole and will play a massive part in our ultimate success.
For the first time this season, we have virtually a fully fit squad to choose from and that means that good players will have to miss out. So Danny is going to have to make big decisions and keep those who miss out happy – because as we all know, it will be the best squad who wins this league.
This is a huge test for the Manager, but one I am unwaveringly behind him on.
Enjoy the game.