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Thursday 18th March 2010


Margy gives youth a chance

After a calamitous three defeats in a row Margy and Roy Soule have told the players what is expected of them leading up to the Unibond Premier League home game against Hucknall Town this Saturday.

Following the 3-0 away defeat at Buxton, FC were beaten by bottom club Durham City 2-1 to gain their first points of the season. Margy was unhappy with the way some players approached the game. "A lot of the players seemed to turn up and expect to beat the bottom team without needing to try and that is not on. We were completely outfought by a team that wanted to win a lot more than we did. I'm not prepared to put up with that at FC United.

"The players should be going into every game wanting to win more than the opposition and the kind of performance we put in on Saturday should never happen again. We pick the team and give advice, but beyond that once the players step out on to the pitch itís up to them to put the effort in and to deliver. They didn't do that and as a result they let you, the supporters, down big time. Our fans were exceptional again, both getting behind us and applauding Durham's achievement and you deserve better than that terrible show we put on. Myself and Roy believe we have dealt with the issues and are pleased with how the players have conducted themselves since.

"Despite the 4-3 defeat at Matlock in midweek, we were pleased with the way the players reacted to last Saturday's Durham debacle. To score three away from home is no mean feat, but we made four calamitous individual errors that cost us the game.

• Nick Swirad: Impressed again

"We had many discussions with the players in training about the Durham defeat and they responded well with an excellent first half against Matlock that should have seen us three or four up at the break. Unfortunately, we made some daft decisions and silly mistakes to throw the match away. I was happy with the attitude of the players though and they needed to show that they still had the desire after Saturday.

"We brought young Nick Swirad back from Rossendale and he played really well. I also gave James Holden a game at right back and was pleased with his performance. Looking to the future and with an eye to giving the established players the message that their places in this team are not secured, I also brought in a couple of teenagers I discovered while coaching at Manchester College. Cedric Krou got a run out and he is a lad we have got big hopes for in the future. We haven't got the cash to bring in 12 new players in response to poor performances, but we do have excellent youth players to call upon.

"We welcome Hucknall, who have had a mixed season and will be sure to test us on Saturday. We have beaten them previously this season but a lot has happened since and both teams will be very different. If the players show the same attitude as they did in midweek and they cut out the errors, then we will not have any problems as the quality is still here at this football club.

Thanks for your support and let's stay United as we look to get back to winning ways."

Big game Wednesday

Fans and players alike may have one eye on the big game Wednesday evening as FC welcome long time rivals Bradford Park Avenue to Gigg Lane.

While only having an outside chance of making the play-offs, United's players and fans will be up for the game against the team that has been a thorn in the side for United over the past three seasons.

Avenue pipped United to the Division One North title in 2008 and battled a hard fought draw on the last day of last season; a result which saw both teams miss out on a play-off spot.

United have never beaten the Yorkshire outfit and with Avenue having only lost once on the road this season, as well as sitting top of the league, a win on Wednesday would go a long way to build moral in the team and install some pride back on the terraces.

Like buses

We all know that Durham City had to wait 29 games to get a win; even a point, in the league this season, and we also all know where they got this first victory.

But the Citizens are certainly on a high, after losing 28 games on the trot they now have two wins from two games after they beat Whitby Town 4-3 on Tuesday evening.

Spare a thought for those loyal Durham fans though, their team lead 4-1 with eight minutes remaining and conceded two goals in two minutes to set up a grandstand finish and hold on for a consecutive victory which sees their points tally back at zero.

Another standing ovation anyone?

You can't buy class

I have seen Ruud Gullit get a standing ovation at Burnden Park after a first half of breathtaking proportions for Chelsea. I've seen Ronaldo (the first one) get nearly the same after a hat trick at Old Trafford for Real Madrid and I've had tears in my eyes at a game when the FC faithful sang "We love you Wombles, we do" to AFC Wimbledon in appreciation of what they had done and the help they had given us.

It's what football should be about, not feeling sorry for a team every time they go through a bad patch or applauding vigorously everytime some flash Harold throws a step over into the mix. It has to matter and last Saturday it mattered.

When your team is bottom of the league, they have conceded over a hundred goals already and you have seen more pastings in a season than a B&Q display wall has seen in ten years then you really appreciate a half way line lobbing of the keeper and a 2-1 victory in front of 2000 people.

But when the home fans appreciate it as well and then clap your team off because they appreciate your plight even though their team was beaten, and then applaud the supporters outside the ground because they know how it feels to be the underdogs and to get a result then that is immense.

I was proud to be an FC Fan on Saturday, regardless of the result it meant more than the game and it's not often I go home smiling after a defeat. TD

Own the club, own the future

The General Meeting is fast approaching (Sunday 25 April 2010) and the cut off date to become an owner and be able to attend or vote is Monday 29 March 2010.

Members are owners, owners are members, it's a nice little circle. If you join our club as a member and you're over 16, you own an equal share exactly the same as everyone else. Everyone is equal and everyone gets one ownership, one share, one vote.

The Board have told us that at this General Meeting there will be a resolution to protect the club as we move very close to owning our own ground. Just think about that for a moment. Every owner of our club will soon own an equal share of of our own ground. In my head I'm going to name my share of the ground Jimmy, after my Dad, so it really feels like mine. You can do whatever you like with your share in your own head, but you won't own anything if you're not a member. Plus, if you don't sign up for membership before 29th March 2010, you won't have a say in deciding our future when all the owners are asked to vote on this important resolution.

At the Hucknall game this Saturday and the BPA game next Wednesday you can sign up at the Membership Stall, which is outside the Megacabin at Gigg Lane. While you're there, you could also sign up any family or friends who haven't got around to it themselves. If they love FC United, or they love you and therefore support your love of FC United, then what better present for Easter than their own share of their own football club? Much less fattening than chocolate eggs.

You can also pick up a copy of this FCUMPink from the stall, because the lovely stall volunteers do the printing for those who haven't got access to the Interwebthingy and they even do it on pink paper. It brings back memories of the old MEN pink. They do other nice things for the owners, such as a newsletter of recent club news, bookings for away game travel, general enquiries and shortly before kick off they chalk up the teamsheet on a board, so you can see who Margy's picked for that day's game and learn how to spell Angelos Tsiaklis. Your club, Your membership stall.

Other methods of becoming an owner are:

  • Online through the club shop http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=51
  • Post a completed form for each member. There's a downloadable form on our website http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/documents/Memb%20Application%20Form-1.pdf. Send with a cheque payable to FC United to: Membership, FC United of Manchester, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard St., Manchester, M4 7JA.
  • Contact the FC United Office by phoning 0161 273 8950 to pay by credit/debit card.
  • Email Membership@fc-utd.co.uk with your details.