Stuart promises to walk as the season comes down to eight games.

“If we don’t finish in the play offs I don’t deserve to be here, I will walk.”

The words of manager Stuart McCall minutes after his City side slumped to a fifth straight away defeat by losing 4-1 at Bournemouth. It was only three weeks ago that the City legend signed a new two-year contract stating, “my managerial ambitions lie with this club. I can see myself being here for the long-run, taking us where we all want to go.” Five defeats from seven games later and a season that was seemingly bubbling along nicely is on the brink of collapse.

Stuart’s admission comes with the City cyberworld seemingly about to crash, such is the level of criticism and calls for him to walk being aired. It’s hard to believe that the last time we all set foot inside Valley Parade we were doing mexican waves and chanting “we are going up”, with City thrashing Aldershot and climbing to fourth. Saturday’s home game with Port Vale will see the team under huge pressure and just making the play offs will now be an achievement when not long ago it looked like a failure. There are eight games left to at least secure one of those spots, it’s not dramatic to say they could be the last eight games of Stuart’s long and successful association with Bradford City.

Some will be pleased by Stuart’s promise. Faith has been whittling away for many and the idea he would have continued if the club failed was bringing rage, not to mention potentially hitting season ticket sales. Others will look at it with great sadness and disagree with the idea of us having to recruit another manager this summer. That even if this season ultimately ends in disappointment it will still be progress on last year. Do we really want to rip things up and start again?

The timing of Stuart’s announcement is arguably not the greatest. He must restore belief in a squad who’s confidence is draining quickly and who simply don’t appear to be able to find the resolve to come back from adversity. Will hearing their manager might quit perk them up into doing better to ensure they don’t lose him, or give them the excuse to play on further insecurity? If it does spell the end it will be bitterly disappointing that certain players who frankly wouldn’t be fit to lace Stuart the player’s boots should trigger the final curtain on a relationship with City stretching three decades.

As for us supporters, a line of some sorts has been drawn and if there’s one thing it would be nice to see as a result of Stuart’s statement it’s a collective getting behind the club during the last eight games. If he fails, those who want him out will get their wish, but only the most adrernt critic will be taking pleasure in him leaving. If he succeeds then he will have deserved his chance to continue and carry on the progress he has made.

Which is where the other lot of fans come in. For every email and text Derm Tanner read out on BBC Radio Leeds tonight angrily stating Stuart is a disgrace, there are many other supporters who believe him to be the right man for the job and deserving of the chance to continue. I would class myself in that group of fans and too often we are too quiet, allow others to scream loudest and merely shake our heads without making it known we disagree. Well now is the time to make sure our voices are heard and to show to other fans and, most importantly Stuart, that our opinions are just as valid and that we don’t want him to leave. It’s time to chant Stuart’s name louder and cheer the team more vigorously, doing everything we can to help his team cross the line.

The season is now condensed into eight games which will have a huge bearing on the future direction of this football club. Recent form may be dreadful but the club is still in a strong position and this present squad capable of delivering glory. Now is the time to pull together and look ahead. The result tonight cannot be changed, but the results against Port Vale, Chester, Brentford, Morecambe, Lincoln, Dagenham, Rochdale and Chesterfield can still be influenced.

Stuart has given so much to this club and to us supporters, the least we can do is get behind him for the last eight games.

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