I mentioned recently that it is of great importance for me as Manager to engage with you, our fans. This obviously has not changed and I would like to share with you my thoughts and feelings.
Firstly, I would like to a say a huge thank you for your continued enthusiastic support. The turnout both at Derby County and Brentford was exceptional and something that in all my years in football I have never taken for granted. The future of any football club is dependent in large part on a very strong fanbase, good communication and the willingness to endorse into a club’s philosophy.
Football is very much a game of opinions, with everybody entitled to voice their own views, but only when the greater majority pull together is success possible. Bearing this in mind, I would like to state that every decision that I make as your Manager is always what I feel is in the best interest of the Club. What we are working to achieve is exactly what you as fans demand from us, thus we welcome a positive approach on your behalf.
I do believe that with you driving us on last Tuesday, it helped us considerably. It was not only the victory against Brentford that was much needed, but more so the manner in which we won. I was very pleased with the fight and commitment my players showed throughout the game. The team spirit was also excellent and, in my eyes, it was a very professional performance.
As you already know during the season 2012/13, many of the top players who contributed greatly to the success of the Club were sold. This money was sadly not reinvested into improving the squad, hence the team fell into decline. Investment into the football club has been forthcoming with the arrival of Shahid Khan as Chairman in July 2013, though the slide into the Championship was not avoided. With the support of Mr Khan, we made the decision to develop a team with much younger players.
This is a process that requires time, but we are convinced that we will be able to compete in the upper echelons of the Championship. I would also like to mention that not only do we have a young team, but a predominantly English team, hence we are very much promoting English talent. One should understand, that we simply cannot irresponsibly buy players at inflated prices, an example of this being the price of £12m pounds quoted to me for a top Championship goalkeeper.
Our most recent signing Gabor Kiraly is a welcome addition to our squad. He has a world of experience having played here in England, both in the Premier League and the Championship, and also in the Bundesliga. He has been brought in to support and develop our young goalkeepers, thus adding more stability to this position. Having said this, and knowing how ambitious he is, I am sure he will be fighting to be our starting keeper.
The current position of the team is not dissimilar to the predicament I had in VfL Wolfsburg, where I was brought in to build a new younger team. In the first half of that season we did struggle, but still managed to finish fifth in the division. This rebuilding is a position that other managers are also finding very difficult, but given the time required they will achieve stability and success in the future.
Contrary to statements made by previous players, we are working with a very positive attitude and a feeling of togetherness exists within our squad. This enables us to work in an environment devoid of selfishness. Having assessed the squad over the past five games, I do believe that we are getting closer to an established starting XI, which will result in more stability.
The support you give the side can never be underestimated and I hope that we are able to repay you with a positive result on Saturday.
All the best!