JOHN MCGINLAY: Show some passion and fans will get back onside

First published in Sport

IT’S not exactly been a happy Christmas for Wanderers fans with two defeats to teams low down the table.

The Boxing Day loss at home to Sheffield Wednesday was poor.

We only had one attempt on target in the first half and the next was in the 70th minute – that’s just not good enough for a squad like ours.

The fans let their feelings known and I can understand they are frustrated; I was sitting among them at the Reebok and you can sense how nervous everyone is, on and off the field.

The Wednesday fans were great – like ours are away from home – but our fans don’t know what to expect when they turn up at the Reebok these days.

And it is sure to be the same again tomorrow against Birmingham.

We just need to see some passion out there because that can get the crowd going as well.

Put a few tackles in and show desire and the supporters will get behind you even if things aren’t going to plan.

On Wednesday, without Kevin Davies, there was really only Jay Spearing (pictured right) putting a tackle in.

What you have to remember in this league, or in any game, is that you have to earn the right to play and win games. You have to win the battles before the war.

I don’t think we have been playing that well. Even against Charlton, it was the substitutes who changed the game in the last 20 minutes.

There is no consistency and we’ve not hit a vein of form. Confidence is clearly low and it seems that if things don’t go well in the first 10 minutes, it affects everyone in the ground.

I have heard players say it hurts them as well but they need to show how much on the pitch. As a footballer, it doesn’t always go the way you want with your own performance in games but that is when you try even harder.

One thing that should never wane is work-rate; it should always be 100 per cent and a bit more when it’s not going right for you.

When the chips are down, you show the fans some fight and I don’t think as a collective we have been doing that.

It is no good saying it affects you when it doesn’t go to plan; show it on the park because actions speak louder than words.

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JANUARY is going to be a big month for Dougie Freedman.

The transfer window is a saving grace because there definitely needs to be some changes made.

It is apparent we need players with more experience of this league as a lot of the current squad looks to be struggling to adapt.

Hopefully the manager can do something about that, but it all depends what resources are there for him and how much money is available.

You could get funds in by selling players, but how many of ours have shown enough to attract any interest? You could say someone like Mark Davies, but he is injured at the minute and it is unlikely someone would bid for an injured player.

I just hope we can get some new faces in to shake it up a bit. It is crucial for Dougie because this is his chance to start to build his team.

He can put his mark on it for the first time with his own players.

He has had plenty of time now to assess the squad and know what he wants. It will be interesting to see what he does in the market.

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IT’S the final game of the year against Birmingham and like all Wanderers fans I will be glad to see the back of 2012.

To say it’s been a bad one for us is an understatement!

Hopefully the new year will be a new start for us.

We have had a change in manager and not a lot has changed yet with regards to league position.

But the transfer market opens next week and we are still only eight points off the play-offs, which have to be the target for us now.

We may be nearer the bottom but I don’t think there is any danger of us going down again.

Things do need to turn around quickly, though, particularly at home.

If just a few of the draws were turned into wins, we could be up there.

The Reebok should be a fortress and we should be unbeaten at home.

If we can start by changing that in 2013, we will hopefully all have a better year.

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THE sacking of Henning Berg up the road at Blackburn just shows how crazy football has become.

How can you give someone 10 games and then get rid of them? It is madness.

I admit, I thought it was a strange appointment at the time and that there were better candidates out there.

But then to push the panic button is suicide for me. How can you question someone when they haven’t even had the chance to get their own players in?

It was almost as mad what happened with Sean O’Driscoll at Nottingham Forest – and he won on Boxing Day before he was given the push.

I think all this is linked to the increase in the television money Premier League clubs will be paid next season by Sky.

Every club is panicking about missing out on that and desperate to be pushing to be in the top tier next season to have a share of it.

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NOW I am not playing anymore, there is more time to enjoy Christmas.

People may not believe me, though, but I still miss playing at this time of year.

I got used to it over so many years.

We used to open presents at home on Christmas Day then go and train, before going home for dinner with the family and then off to a hotel or on our travels.

It was the norm for me so it didn’t bother me.

I now get to do what everyone else does at Christmas, but it doesn’t stop me missing being out there playing.

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