Leroy Rosenior: Fans need patience as McGhee is right man for Bristol Rovers
FOOTBALL being what it is, you just know that some Bristol Rovers fans will begin to turn up the heat on manager Mark McGhee if they do not beat Northampton Town at the Memorial Stadium tomorrow.
More than anyone else, Mark will be aware that a season has to be based around your team's home form and the Pirates have yet to win in front of their own supporters in five attempts.
Against that backdrop, Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at the hands of a decent Cheltenham Town side was disappointing to say the least.
Had Rovers drawn that game 0-0 on the back of last Saturday's superb 2-1 victory at Exeter, everybody would have been content with four points from two games and the feeling would have been that they had turned the corner.
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Instead, Mark must feel as though his team has taken one step forward and two backward, and Rovers will again go into a weekend under pressure.
Failure to beat Northampton or at least take a point, will further increase the frustration the fans are feeling and they will be on the manager's back for sure.
In my opinion, they should remain patient and let Mark do his job. He needs to be given time.
Rovers have a competent manager with good contacts, who has shown he has the ability to bring good players to the club.
I don't mean this with any disrespect, but he is having to cobble together a side and he was never going to work wonders in just a few months.
Bad luck and injuries have forced him to rebuild the spine of the team and it will take time for the new players to gel.
Now that he is fit, Garry Kenneth looks a good acquisition at centre-half, while goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was in fine form against Cheltenham in midweek.
It now remains for new strikers Tom Eaves and Derek Riordan to gain match sharpness and build an understanding and Rovers will be better equipped to pull away from the wrong end of the table.
I know it is taking longer than most fans would like, but I am absolutely convinced that Mark McGhee is the right man for the job and that he will turn things around. Unlike when Paul Buckle was in charge and you could tell things were not right behind the scenes, the current Rovers set-up gives the impression of being far more progressive. It just takes time. Of course, Mark is not the only manager in Bristol with problems right now.
Derek McInnes has not had the best of weeks himself at Ashton Gate after watching his City side take just one point from home games against Leeds United and Millwall.
I saw his interview after the Leeds game and he came across as being very frustrated with his team's defending. City have yet to keep a single clean sheet this season and Derek needs to return to the loan market to recruit a dominant centre-half and maybe even another left-back following George Eolokobi's unfortunate injury. It was revealing that he told reporters he was fed up with repeating himself. As a manager, once you reach that stage where you are saying the same things and players are not learning, then you know it is time to make changes.
You cannot allow the same players to keep making the same mistakes and Derek will know that. Either the players already on the staff have to step up to the plate, or else move aside to make room for new signings.
It is well documented that City need a strong centre-back, one capable of winning the first ball. But even if you are not that type of player, you can still get by if you are cute.
I remember playing in the same Queens Park Rangers team as Gary Chivers and he would hardly ever win the first ball. Instead, he would just touch the striker and do enough to enable him to win the second ball.
So the message to City's defenders is simple; if you cannot win the first ball, then be intelligent, drop off and make sure you win the second ball.
I know City are making mistakes that are costing them points and there is an air if frustration inside Ashton Gate, but Robins supporters have to remember where the club was 12 months ago. No disrespect to Keith Millen, but there was a feeling that he did not have the contacts or the player knowledge to pull City out of trouble back then. That is not the case with Derek McInnes, who has shown he has an eye for a player and has worked wonders in the transfer market.
The one thing he has in his favour which Keith did not, is a team that can score goals. Of course, you cannot expect to score three to win a game every week, but that kind of firepower certainly helps.
Believe me, finding answers to City's problems is a hell of a lot easier when you are scoring goals. Personally, I fancy City to get something at Leicester on Saturday. Although the Foxes are the best side I've seen in the Championship home and away this season, I feel City will relish the challenge of finding answers to the questions Nigel Pearson's men will pose.
Leicester have good movement and, in David Nugent and Jamie Vardy, two forwards who are extremely mobile. I feel City will be better equipped to deal with that kind of threat rather than the physical approach adopted by Leeds and Millwall.
I can see City causing Leicester problems on the counter-attack and I can definitely see them scoring.