FGR fan JohnLight gives his hard-hitting view
I OPEN by making two points and asking one question.
Firstly I am not employed by Ecotricity founder and FGR chairman Dale Vince, and this column is not sponsored.
Away travel costs me, but admission to press boxes is free. I make this point because some people annoyingly think otherwise.
Secondly our form slipped when the clocks went back, will they go forward in time for a late rush? I hope so, whatever happens we are in a much better place that Gloucester City.
No goals - one point, wretched injury news, an extended suspension, and worst of all a rapidly worsening league position.
It has not been a good week. During it I have been both dispirited and disappointed.
Written from a fans perspective this column has always, for all the right reasons been written from a standpoint of optimism and hope.
Forest Green's foundations are firm. There are fine training facilities, good contracts for players, excellent stadium amenities - a marvellous playing surface and to visit the New Lawn is a joy- we owe Ecotricity so much.
There is no doubt about the foundations, but what of the building blocks - by that I mean the the team and the coaching staff.
Are they of the quality to take full advantage of their working conditions? To put it bluntly - can they deliver? I would be delighted to say yes, and there is evidence to prove they can. But there have been lapses, within games and in some we have been very poor.
I was at both Braintree and Woking, they come into that category. What is worrying is that we are seeing more of the same.
The faults are clearly identifiable and are not being remedied. Woking was a clear example of this. Yet again chances were missed and yet again high balls into the box caused problems.
If Russell does not deal with a corner who does? The Woking highlights were sent to me and the evidence is clear enough. Two second half corners and one free-kick came into the box, resulting in two free headers and one poor clearance, whacked into goal by a welcoming Woking boot.
I was not at Cambridge because of compelling family reason and I gather it was a better performance. Frankly it needed to be.
At this stage I must comment on manager Dave Hockaday, as he is at the centre of events.
For him I have total respect. He is a thoroughly decent man with a fine football background and has brought many quality players to the New Lawn.
Can he produce a team that is as good, or better than the sum of its parts? This remains an unanswered question. His position will be debated - it should be. Hopefully the level of this discussion will rise above personal insult.
This is an easy resort for far too many on the club forum.
Excuses have been made for poor performances such as "we are a young team". This must be instantly disregarded, we are certainly young but it is because of our own choosing.
Experienced players are available to sign. More valid is the injury situation, Forbes and Collins especially have been missed.
The news about Reece must have been devastating for him and is a real blow. Best wishes Reece, from so many of us. We know where your heart is.
Suspensions are a self inflicted problem and recent signs our disciplinary record is improving are welcome. I cannot share the view Al Bangura has been hard done by.
From the commentary position at Luton I saw what happened after the red-card had been shown, and described it to listeners. If you are red-carded go quickly and quietly.
Protest or appeals can be made afterwards. Now to look forward. Yes we can still challenge for the play offs but a new found consistency will be needed. Certainly hope is not lost. Neither us nor the players must be down-hearted.
That is what being a true fan means.