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Further to yesterday's abuse warning
at 20:06 7 Nov 2019

Just had another glut of abuse reports and related PMs, all regarding to the same spat between a handful of long-term users which has been ongoing for some months, probably longer, but seems to have come to a head over the last couple of weeks.

I think we've asked nicely enough for it to stop but so far to no avail. If it continues I'm not sure we have any alternative but to ban all those involved. Getting ridiculous now, the forum can't work if posters spent their time sniping and winding one another up. As much as anything else, it's not fair on us to take up our evenings with this sort of thing.

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More serious warning
at 22:25 6 Nov 2019

Not overly impressed that the earlier message re abuse was essentially ignored. Given that ample warnings have been given re abuse (and I'll add winding-up and stirring up ancient rows to that) no one - whether a long-term poster or otherwise - can have any complaints if they're banned. Not going to have my time wasted by abuse reports and related PMs.

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Supporters Club AGM Notes
at 20:15 31 Oct 2019

In lieu of a live blog, here's my thrash through of the main points (will be more details later and tomorrow).

If anyone else who was there wants to add/dispute anything I've written, feel free to add something to it.



Q How PL feels going this season, where you hope can take us.

PL: How many years have I been here? Five? Biggest thing, you’re never sure how low or high a club is. Lower than he thought when came in. Trepidation due to Norwich background Stuart Taylor urging him to take job.

First call was to get fans back on side, then met the lads and looked at what went wrong and started to build and build.

Only one way could go was up, couldn’t have dropped any lower. Had to make it exciting football, have enthusiasm for the game.

And started to build, some draws could have been wins. Going down a level has more and more galvanised support. Secret was to connect club with the town. It was too big to stagnate. Much healthier place than it was a year ago, from the fans point of view, that was huge for us.”

Q Breaks for internationals etc, upsetting rhythm, looks like it is.

PL: Not superstitious and not bothered. Would rather have best players, best team available. Want that every game because we’re a target, every team wants to beat us. I’m going to stick with that plan. I’d not blame an international break for not getting a result.

Q Was hoping for excitement on sidelines against Gills.

PL: Any fighting I leave to Jim [Henry, fitness coach]!

Q Promotion priority, thoughts on Leasing.com Trophy, assistant believes it is a good competition.

PL: He hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about! I just think we play too many games. People moan about quality. So many games, no wonder the quality goes down.

Most important thing is to get promoted, we’re in not a bad position at the moment. Cup competition not bad for young kids coming through. But would be lying if I said it was number one priority. I think it’s just to help Premier League clubs to help their young kids through.

Q 19 years since last went to Wembley.

PL: Would you prefer to win the league or go to Wembley?

Q Not in second gear yet, despite being top of table?

ST: We’ve been playing well in some games, agree not yet in second gear but that will come. Different league, not playing the same football but getting results. Sometimes have had to go more direct to get results.

Q Refereeing, is there feedback on referees and poor performances.

LON: Collectively there are marks given to referees, think we all know there is a difference in standard, as there is with players. Yes, they are marked, there are assessors at games. Would we like that to be quicker? Yes, so we need to get ourselves out of this league to get better refereeing.

Q Over summer, saw several ex-players move on, top-ups came in, money available to Paul in January?

LON: Details of those with [finance director] Mark Andrews. Always evaluating these things. Strongest squad in league, squad of 20-plus who all want to play.

We are looking out there to strengthen in every area of the pitch, finances do play a part in those things.

Marcus was generous in last window, we were able to strengthen, probably why we are where we are at the moment. But will look at it.

Q Post-match celebrations. Worried PL might hurt shoulder with fist-pumps at MK. Moto cross celeb from ST?

ST: If you buy me the bike, I’ll do it!

Q How near Teddy Bishop, Freddie Sears, Jack Lankester and Ben Morris to return.

JH: Freddie’s been training this week, jump training. A number of months until he’s fully fit. Have to be careful.

Not sure on Morris, Jack recovery between now and the end of the season. Bish, number of weeks.

Q Long-term injuries, a lot made of fitness when previous manager came in. Just unlucky, or something happening elsewhere as well.

JH Definitely happening elsewhere. Portsmouth have had six cruciates, Tranmere 10 out. If you look at big clubs.

Matt Byard a little bit under resourced in previous years, sending players to Ireland now, Matt is over in Doha with Kane Vincent-Young at the moment. In time will pay dividends.

Q Most satisfaction in the year?

Meeting you! Personally, I think the fans coming back. That’s the biggest thing. There’s no game with out supporters. Number of fans coming back. Was sad for the club, was too big, disconnect was too much.

Not just the numbers, what’s happening in the stadium, the atmosphere, fans going to away games. That’s been the biggest thing for me.

Q Asked question last year, wanted to make questioner proud of her club and PL has done that. Applause.

PL: Find it staggering that you’re saying that to us. Disconnect should never have happened. The thanks I appreciate but you shouldn’t be thanking us that’s our job. The crowd and atmosphere all the tanks we need. Long may it continue.

Q Tinkerman? Stage of settling on formation?

PL: Every time I pick a team, the day before we sit down and I say I might make changes, staff give me their opinion. I’ll analyse their system, I say we can hurt them there in this way.

Rotation unfair on players to be expected to play the job of someone who has played a number of games without having played very often. Conscious decision with Stuart and Jim, so far it’s worked out.

Q Tactics - corner - Everybody back, why not someone up? Secondly, when keeper takes a goakick everyone on one side of the pitch.

When we tried to play out from the back last year we got relegated! If I played slow football, methodical football in this league, thinks fans would be frustrated. Need to be on front foot. The higher level go up can take slower approach.

Corners: If keep one up top more risk of conceding goal. At Celtic v Barcelona, Barcelona left three up, Celtic put five back. It’s game of bluff.

We’re not good enough to leave one up, safety first. Not many teams do that, top teams leave two up.

Q How see Trust progressing over next year.

LON: Really pleasing, not just me number of people wanted to re-engage. So to have that relaunch over last few months is good, big plans over the next five years. Local, national initiatives. All things we should have been doing but have addressed that. Support from Marcus, Paul and staff and players giving up their time. Started really well but got a lot of work to do. Works alongside the football goals.

Q Thanks-you for free travel to Blackburn last season.

PL: Part of it is to connect with you, without fans don’t have the game. Big journey so suggested to Lee to help out.

Q Biggest challengers.

PL: Everybody’s dangerous. We’re a big scalp for everybody. Accrington beat us, then lose to Gillingham. Everywhere we go we’re selling out stadiums. We’re not good enough to expect to turn up and win. So far we’re played well and won in most games but everybody is a dangerous opponent.

Q Thanks club for players speaking up about mental health issues, from sufferer with depression.

Q Tendring area, meeting last night. Lee willing to put more into that area, looking to drum up more interest.

LON: Met with [Supporters Club chair] Mark Ramsay recently to structure events going forward. Players that sell these things. Have a lot of events for Trust that players are involved in on top of games. Would like to do more. Looking at a more strategic way of doing these things. Would like to engage with everyone. If we can get one or two first team players along to these events if we can. Only so many resources and a lot of things to do.

Q Smaller things you’ve done which made a big difference.

Training ground was horrendous. Keep going back to it, should never have happened. Not seen anything like it for the size of the club. What was wrong with it? Everything. I thought it was terrible. There wasn’t a recovery place for after games. Not enough blue and badges, so many things wrong, structure wasn’t right. Security of fencing. People could just come in and play on the pitches.

Spoke to Marcus and he’s been brilliant about it. I think everybody agrees it wasn’t good enough. A lot of work, not just building a team, building a club again. When first came in I went ‘Jesus!’. Was a bomb site, horrendous.

JH: Significant investment, recovery suite, £90,000 on its own. GPS system which is Premier League set-up. Heart monitors. Manager’s area we work in, ME has spent a lot of money over the last year.

Recovery suite is very important, was no spa facility that’s now in place. Chef, Michelin star chef at football club, got him from restaurant. He is fantastic. Important.

PL: First thing you see when drive by training ground. Walls were grey not blue, ITFC colours are blue. Everything was really tired. Felt never ending. We had meetings where we said, ‘this needs changing, that needs changing. Club needs an infrastructure. A lot still to do but a lot better than it was a year ago.

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Removed thread
at 14:46 28 Oct 2019

Hadn't spotted or had it reported at the time but that type of libellous accusation could get posters in legal trouble and waste a fair bit of our time - and probably money - dealing with it.
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