Date:Friday September 15 2006
Steve Bruce has asked fans to get off his and the teams backs and get back to the atmosphere that St Andrews is known for.
In a couple of articles Bruce has highlighted the change in atmosphere from one where everybody was behind the team to a ground filled with tension.
He says he understands why and one of the articles points to higher prices, relegation and the fact that a lot of fans expect us to thump our opposition now after being in the Prem.
But he still wants us all to look at the table and be happy about it.
'It feels like that some of the times, especially after Saturday against Hull City.
'I can understand fans' frustration, of course I do. I always knew the hangover from last season was going to be the biggest thing we had to deal with.
'I spoke to umpteen managers at various clubs who have been involved in relegated teams, and they said how difficult it was to try and lift everybody - from players, staff, people who work at the club and more importantly supporters.
'As I keep beating on, we have a new team and we need their help.
'We have got a lot of young players - Jerome and Bendtner, Sadler and Kelly, Larsson, Danns - and they all need that home support, that's what gives you the advantage.
'At the moment, if I was a visiting manager, I would tell my team 'listen, go 15-20 minutes without conceding here and the crowd will get restless'.
'The teams that have been here now have all just played one striker - Michael Bridges was slightly withdrawn for Hull - but we have managed to beat them.
'Yet, if we let ourselves get frustrated and not be patient, it won't help our cause at all.
'We have maybe not played as well as we would have liked, but we have had a decent start.
'And I keep saying this because I know it to be true: we will get better.
'I can't stress enough how vital a time this is for us. Everybody must stick together. We all want the same thing - promotion - and supporters, the team, must all be going in the same direction.
'Absolutely, they (the players) are affected.
'Of course, we have strong players who can take the ball and all the rest of it regardless.
'But when there's a restlessness and criticism, it puts people on edge. Everybody likes a pat on the back. I don't care who you are, people like to be encouraged.
'One thing that most of us don't enjoy is when people are rattling into you and abusing you.
'I can understand the frustration but I plead with our supporters to get behind the team and move this whole thing forward.
'We are at the top of the league, it's a difficult league, and we're in the early part of the season.
'Hey, there are a few disgruntled people who don't want me here. I can understand that. But I am here, I'm not going anywhere and I will do my utmost to try to get us back to where we want to be.
'Maybe even worse in some people's eyes, I will show 'em. It just makes me more determined.
'It's the players I feel for now. We've brought nine in and they haven't seen the Birmingham crowd like we know they can be.
'There is something missing at the moment. The supporters are not 100 per cent behind me, behind us. We're not all going in the same direction.
'They are finding this, that and the other wrong, even though we are top of the league. The Championship is a difficult league and the players need their help.'
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