Bristol Rovers must start winning before supporters lose patience – Mark McGhee
Mark McGhee knows that the patience of Bristol Rovers fans will soon run out if improved results are not forthcoming.
The manager watched his side suffer their fourth successive defeat when losing to Southend on Tuesday, after which fans expressed their displeasure by booing the players off the Memorial Stadium pitch.
Rovers get a quick chance to bring an end to their recent run of dismal form when Chesterfield visit on Saturday and McGhee said: "My overwhelming feeling is one of frustration at the moment.
"I know the players here have a better performance in them than the one they showed on Tuesday night. I was hugely disappointed with the result and with the first-half performance in particular.
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"The supporters were behind us when we went a goal up on Tuesday night. When you go 3-1 down, how can you expect supporters to get behind you?
"The supporters have shown a fantastic tolerance, but that will run out. Their patience will eventually run out with the team, and me in particular, if we do not quickly start to get better results than we have been. We have to create something for the supporters to get behind."
McGhee, meanwhile, defended his tactics and team selection after a switch to an unfamiliar 4-2-3-1 formation failed to pay dividends against Paul Sturrock's side.
"I've thought a lot about how I prepared them," said McGhee.
"I still feel that I sent them out in a system designed to be positive and it fell down because we simply didn't keep the ball well enough.
"We were also punished for individual mistakes, for which the players involved have all held their hands up.
"I don't accept that it looked at any point as though the players didn't understand what it was we were asking them to do.
"I think these players are capable of playing in any way in which we ask them to play. What happened on Tuesday night was simply down to our inability to keep the ball at the top of the park.
"We played with two holding midfield players to allow our full-backs to really push on in a positive fashion.
"If we'd have kept the ball a little bit better we'd have certainly given Southend a lot more problems.
"The players we started with are probably our 11 best players at this moment in time.
"We'll pick most of the same team again on Saturday while, at the same time, adjusting things accordingly in order to try and get a result."
McGhee, meanwhile, is hoping to discover the reasons behind his side's inability to hold onto a lead after being a goal up in the last two defeats.
"That is something we have to consider," McGhee admitted. "We need to start capitalising in situations like that.
"A lot of the talking we did in the dressing room after the game was to try and find out reasons why we haven't been able to do that.
"When the players left our changing room you can be absolutely assured that they believed that they could win the game. When we scored the early goal I was confident we could win the game.
"Then we lost a goal and we suddenly looked a lot more disconnected as a team; almost like a group of individuals.
"That is something we need to fix, but I still believe that this group of players is good enough to get results in this league."