Last updated : 17 January 2005 By Andy Green
I’ve been a season pass holder for 17 years now. With the exception of the last couple of years it has been nothing short of heartbreaking, frustrating, disappointing and at times, damn right awful. And yet, throughout all of that time, I can say, without fear of contradiction, that I have never felt so disgusted and angry as I did on Saturday.

Is it me or have some people lost the plot? There am I thinking, we’ve just been promoted, we have what will soon be the 15th best stadium in the entire league, we have a manager (of the month for December) who is respected throughout the game and so highly regarded by the FA they are prepared to have him on a part-time basis if that’s the best they can do, we have one of the best chairmen you could possibly imagine, we have a constant transfer fund available, the top goal scorer in the league, one of the most prolific goal records, joint top of the division in our first season up… and so on and so on.

Imagine then, how bemused I was on Saturday to hear the jeers and boos ringing out from around the ground when… shock horror - we made a substitution. I mean, just what does Taylor think he’s doing? How dare he, sack him.

Look, I didn’t agree with the substitutions either, but showing your disapproval by booing one of your own players is just ridiculous. What does it achieve? Did it hinder the player’s performance? Did it upset the manager? Did it upset thousands of supporters who manage to keep their thoughts for the pub or drive home afterwards?

It’s funny, but I began to think about the regular taunt we receive from visiting fans alluding to where more than half of our current fans where when were we ‘not so good’ (or something to that affect). I would like to think that the vast majority of those fans who have supported City through thin and thin at BP, step back, consider just how far we have come, and take a more considered view.

Perhaps it is our new fans who have jumped on the bandwagon of success and thus don’t have the experiences from the post-Horton era to cope with such setbacks.

Whatever it is, it’s just very sad. Here we are jostling with Luton and Tranmere for automatic promotion in an intriguing battle, which changes shape every week. But rather than just enjoying this and writing articles about it, I’m instead having to justify the Tigers to some (and I stress some) of its own fans.

Walking away from the KC on Saturday you would have thought we’d lost 3-0. One guy was lambasting Lewis, questioning: “What has he ever done?”. Well, he has more promotion medals than anyone else in City’s squad. They quickly forget some very useful performances (like Stockport away), not only in midfield, but also in defence, when we had serious problems at the back.

Another bloke said: “That’s it, we’ll be hanging on for the last play-off spot come the end of February.” WHAT? It’s 9 games since we last lost in the league. This obviously just isn’t good enough and only a 5-0 demolition of Doncaster on Saturday will do!

The best was reserved for last when we arrived at the car park to hear someone say: “The quicker Taylor leaves, the better.” I KID YOU NOT.

What is happening to us? Many fans’ expectations seem to have gone through the roof. I fear what may happen if we do get promotion to the Championship. That league will be full of similar and bigger teams. Will these fans still expect us to win every game?

I’m going to Doncaster on Saturday safe in the knowledge that I’m amongst many of the time served fans and will enjoy the atmosphere, regardless of the result. If Lewis makes the squad I will reserve my biggest cheer for him. He may not be the best player at City, but I have never seen anything to suggest that he does not give everything he has got when he puts on a Tigers shirt, and that is good enough for me.

I now pray that someone at City can come up with a way of re-seating at the KC. The atmosphere (if it’s possible to call it that) is very poor. Huge sections of the ground are full with people who reach fever pitch with a clap and spend the rest of the time moaning and grumbling.

My mate and I like to sing, but no one else within about ten seats in all directions does. We are often drowned out by as little as 500 away supporters. Fair play to the lads who have tried to congregate in certain areas of the East stand, without them the place would resemble a mortuary.

We desperately need to do something to improve the atmosphere. I’m not sure what, but we should put some serious focus on this issue, else the ‘negative vibe merchants’ will win the day - and I for one refuse to submit.

Up the Tigers