Aidy: ‘I’m here until I’m told different’

COLCHESTER United fans will be no doubt be further polarised over manager Aidy Boothroyd today following a series of controversially honest statements from the U’s boss.

COLCHESTER United fans will be no doubt be further polarised over manager Aidy Boothroyd today following a series of controversially honest statements from the U’s boss.

Following a spectacular end-of-season collapse, the Essex side are on the verge of throwing away what, for the best part of the season, had looked to be a nailed on top six finish.

But in a typically open and forthright press conference yesterday, Boothroyd refused to just simply say what any disgruntled supporters might want to hear. Revelations from the U’s boss included:

– An insistence that things ‘aren’t going wrong’;

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– Admittance that he was ‘expecting’ this recent downturn in form;

– The claim that people ‘don’t understand’ a manager’s job;

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– And that – despite his rolling contract – he will stay at the club ‘until he is told otherwise’.

Boothroyd’s physical, direct and ‘percentage’ brand of football already had fans’ opinions split long before a miserable run of form which has seen a return of just six points from the last available 33.

However, these latest statements will be sure to firmly split the rapidly developing ‘give him more time’ and ‘he’s not the man for the job’ camps.

“I don’t think it’s going wrong at all,” said Boothroyd, whose side host Tranmere in a must-win encounter tomorrow.

“I’ve been in worse runs of form than this. When you are in a position like this you look at the players and ask; ‘Are they putting a shift in?’ ‘Are they doing what you want them to do?’ ‘Is there still positivity in the dressing room?’ And the answer is that I think we have all those things in abundance.

“It’s really only a matter of time before we get back on a winning run.”

He added: “I know exactly why we have done what we have done, but the minute I start saying why then people will say ‘he’s got his excuses ready’.

“There are reasons why things have happened, but it’s not the time to start saying why just yet because we are still very much in a promotion fight.

“At the end of the season I will sit down and say it was because of this, this and this, but I don’t want to do that until it’s mathematically over. I will go into a lot more detail in five weeks’ time.”

The U’s boss continued: “I’ve not been surprised (by the recent downturn in form). I’ve been waiting for some things to happen and they have happened.

“Sometimes it’s possible to start too well. If you are in the top four for most of the season then teams tend to set up defensively at your place, while you become a scalp on your travels. That’s part of being successful.”

And when it was put to Boothroyd that fans might be questioning why certain remedies weren’t being undertaken now rather than at the end of the season, the U’s boss was bullish in his response.

He said: “That’s why there are so many sackings in football management, because not many people know what the job’s really about. Five of the boys are going to be new dads for instance but that’s the side of things people don’t see.

“We live in a microwave society where everything has got to be now. How many times has this club been promoted in its history?

“There are only so many hours in a day and to get a team physically, technically and tactically primed. It doesn’t just happen in two to three days, it takes months and months and months.

“There will be a lot more things I will be able to affect next season than I have been able to this season.

“Pre-season is the only time when you can spend some quality time with your players both on the training pitch and the classroom.”

And when quizzed about his own contract at the club, Boothroyd – who took over at the beginning of last September – added: “I’m here until I’m told different; I think I’m on a rolling contract – whatever that means.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying it and I’m looking forward to the next few games and whatever comes after that.”

– Full Colchester United v Tranmere Rovers match preview in Saturday’s EADT.

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