Tall Tayls

Peter Taylor and Mark Lawn have today both strongly denied weekend rumours of a falling out. Various versions of a supposed disagreement had been banded around, with a common theme that City’s manager had apparently stated Lawn would have to pay him off in full if he wanted him to depart. Tellingly, none of the rumours featured any reason for why they might have fallen out, and the firm rebuttal is welcome at a time when City’s season is in danger of spinning down the plug hole.

It perhaps says much about Lawn’s reduced level of standing in some fans’ eyes that many – myself included – were ready to believe this speculation. Lawn of course infamously fell out with Stuart McCall long before he parted company, with a disagreement over the value of Wayne Jacobs as his assistant said to be at the heart. Perhaps we all underestimated Lawn in giving credence to this latest rumour. After all he did clearly wanted Taylor to become full time manager after a successful trial last April, and only nine matches have been played since signing that one-year deal.

The rumours of a bust-up had added to the feeling of despair and clouded over some of the encouraging signs Saturday’s defeat to Port Vale offered. For it suddenly seemed we were facing more than just a bad start to the season, but a full on crisis that the mind could easily start wandering off into believing could have all sorts of dark ramifications. But now we need to follow the manager’s lead in focusing on supporting the players through a difficult time – starting at Stockport.

A small minority of fans are calling for Taylor to be sacked, but the majority are either sitting on the fence or remaining supportive of a man universally wanted as full time manager just a few short months ago. In this current situation City appear to have exactly the right man with the right experience to stay calm and turn the poor form around. McCall’s main failing as manager came in these sort of situations, where he struggled to cope with the pressure and became too willing to blame himself. Taylor has a track record of turning around clubs and that was a big reason why we all wanted him. We have to keep our faith in that track record.

Calls for Taylor to go would clearly get louder if City lost to Stockport on Saturday, but for the meantime perhaps the best thing to do is to ignore the minority and not bother to even debate his future. It is madness to consider a change now, and instead we need to look forwards positively rather than giving oxygen to allow the madness to grow.

Much has been made recently about the poor start City made in the 1998-99 season and how well that ultimately turned out. And it should not be forgotten that during those difficult first few games there were plenty of City fans urging Geoffrey Richmond to sack manager Paul Jewell. Just imagine what might have happened if he had? Instead Richmond kept faith. The rest, as they say, is history.

So we look forward to Saturday with certain fears allayed and those of us who go to Edgeley Park have as much responsibility as the players in giving everything to the cause. It’s time to make sure we’re all on board and fighting for that cause, on board with Lawn and Taylor.