Report by James Franklin , Reporter
Thursday, April 26, 2012
WESTON boss Craig Laird says he will consider his future at the club at the end of the season, after admitting he has been ‘upset’ with criticism from some of the club’s fans.
Laird pleaded with fans to be patient as he tries to build a team capable of winning promotion to the Blue Square Premier.
He said criticism by some fans of him and the team following their downturn in form earlier this year had left him ‘really disappointed’ but added that he was confident he was the right man to turn the Seagulls from relegation candidates to promotion contenders.
Although Weston currently sit in 13th place in the Blue Square South after Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Staines Town, they looked to be in contention for a play-off spot until January, when their form nosedived.
Since January some fans have criticised the team, while others have argued that striker Sahr Kabba should start more matches.
Laird said: “We have stabilised the club with the smallest budget in the league and one of the smallest squads.
“People were talking about us as favourites for relegation at the beginning of the season but we have comfortably stayed out of trouble and will be in this division again next season to compete.
“Some of this criticism has upset me. People need to realise that my hands are tied in terms of the money we can spend – if we were the team with the biggest budget and we were expected to win the league and we weren’t then criticism would be fair enough.
“But we’ve got to take baby steps and show year-on-year improvement – which we have.
“What some of the supporters have said has left me really disappointed as I don’t know exactly what they want.
“I’ll think about my future at the end of the season. But I really want to keep up our good work and achieve something with Weston.”
An injury-wracked Seagulls side crashed 2-1 at Staines on Saturday, despite a decent second-half showing.
Centre-back Matt Villis went off with a partly-dislocated shoulder after just nine minutes and was followed off the pitch by Ben Kirk on 29 minutes, the skipper suffering a leg injury.
They were replaced by striker Marc McGregor, who slotted in at the back, and Brett Trowbridge.
During a dire opening 45 minutes, Weston went 2-0 down, first to a controversial Ali Chaaban goal which could have been ruled offside, and then to a Will Antwi penalty after stand-in centre-back McGregor had tripped David Wheeler.
The Seagulls improved vastly in the second half, and pulled a goal back through Kane Ingram after 50 minutes.
But McGregor saw yellow for the second time 33 minutes from the end to reduce the visitors to 10 men, and Staines held on for a win.
Villis and Kirk may now miss Saturday’s final league game of the season at home to Dover.
They are also doubtful for the Somerset Premier Cup final against Clevedon Town, which will be played at Clevedon’s Hand Stadium at 7.45pm on Tuesday. Seats for the coach to the final can be booked at Saturday’s game.
Tickets are still available for the Seagulls’ end-of-season presentation on May 5, priced at £12 for adults.