Given the topsy-turvy nature of our fans` attitudes, it`s no surprise to see Big Sam asking for a bit more calm ahead of the new season and a reigning in of expectations:
‘With every year that goes by, the pressure gets greater and greater. Until we break that barrier – a bit like England breaking the quarter-final or the penalty shoot-out barrier – and the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to crack. But we’ve got to really try to not focus on that. We shouldn’t start the season and say we are going to try to win the Carling Cup or the FA Cup.
What we have to do is say: `This is the number of points we need at the start of the season to get over early nerves or the adjustment of new players into the side.’We have to make sure we get enough points on the board early on to not have those pressures that can come down on you within the first three or four games.
If a club like Newcastle loses their first three or four games, all of a sudden it’s `wow’. It’s a different kind of pressure than there is at Bolton, and no player – no matter how cheap or expensive – can deal with that pressure on a regular basis. It’s a big confidence-drainer.
The fans here will show their anger. We know that, as good as they are at showing their excitement when things are going well, they will show their disappointment too. Instead of not turning up, like fans of many clubs do, they turn up and let their dissatisfaction be known, and we have to live with that.’
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