Port Vale 3-0 Northampton Town

Where to start with this?

The future of Gary Johnson is the main talking point this morning after a horror show at Port Vale that saw his team surrender three goals to a home side that appeared so much better in quality in every department than the Cobblers.

Bayo’s injury meant a return for Jake Robinson in the starting line-up and Nick McKoy was the man charged with adding spice to the midfield on his return from suspension and the former Kettering man replaced Sam Baldock in the middle. Ashley Corker also made way for Chris Arthur who made his first start for the club.

Whatever changes we had to make we couldn’t have expected a first half like the one that arrived though. Within twenty five minutes we were all over the place thanks to Tom Pope’s opener, a howler from Sam Walker to allow Anthony Griffith’s long range shot to go through him and a poached third from John McCombe.

The damage was done and there was no confidence whatsoever that we would produce any kind of fight back in the second half. Though we marginally edged the second half it was Terry Angus getting the plaudits for his commentary that at least gave those listening on the wireless some humour on a dismal night for the club.

Those in attendance though had nothing of the sort to write home about. The manager has come under increased fire this morning and time appears to be running out on his tenure already.

For me he has to stay and at least try and get us out of the mess we’re in. It’s financially questionable to sack another manager and you do want stability but my main argument is that I want Johnson to take responsibility for what’s happened so far. We’re getting the same post match interviews, vague and not at all inspiring anyone to keep travelling all those miles to watch their team.

When you lose the fans, the absolute life blood of any team then you’re in trouble but maybe, just maybe, if Johnson listens to people’s opinions and not immediately go into stubborn mode then he might yet survive.

He says that it’s all about what happens after the players cross the white line but when the players are out of their depth, like so many of his loan signings have been, you have to question more the man who signed them than the players themselves who through no fault of their own are playing above their level. If you were given a chance of working at a higher level you would take it but if you can’t handle it then fingers begin to be pointed at the people who made that happen.

If Johnson can listen to what’s being said and at least try to connect with the supporters of this club then there may be hope. Until he does that, though, he’ll continue to get negativity thrown his way, it’s inevitable of any club when results are going wrong.

I remember a 3-0 home defeat to a Carlisle team, which were top of League Two at the time, a few years back. Michael Bridges outclassed us on his own but you could still see the Cobblers giving it a go and it was only the idiotic minority that walked out of the ground early booing to the roof top.

Johnson needs to restore the fans’ confidence in what he’s doing…be it by changing his system, by giving the press actual answers to questions rather than clichés or whatever it takes. Because I’m afraid that if he doesn’t then more and more disillusioned supporters of our club that we love so dearly will desert him and we’ll end up back in a similar situation as we did last season.

He has time…but not a lot!

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