Board gives Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver backing

NADV 1408234AM1 Harrogate Town V Barrow. (1408234AM1)
NADV 1408234AM1 Harrogate Town V Barrow. (1408234AM1)

There will not be a “knee-jerk” reaction at Harrogate Town following the team’s poor start to the season, according to one of the club’s directors.

Simon Weaver has come under fire from sections of the club’s support with his side lying 18th in Vanarama North, and only two points above the relegation zone.

But the manager has received a vote of confidence from the board of directors.

Town have only won three of their 13 league games and their problems were worsened with a 2-0 defeat at Worcester City on Saturday, which saw the hosts play almost 90 minutes with an outfield player in goal (report page 103).

In failing to score on their journey south, Town have now gone three games and almost 300 minutes without a goal.

Following the defeat, several supporters voiced concerns on social media and called for a change.

One supporter wrote on the club’s Facebook page: “I expect Weaver to be gone by mid week, lots of new and decent players and very poor form. Blame lies with the manager.”

Another said: “We are now in a relegation dog fight and there is only one person we can blame for this. Attendances are going to continue to drop unless changes are made, soon.”

Managing director Garry Plant publicly backed Weaver and his assistant John McDermott to turn around the flailing team’s fortunes.

Plant told the Advertiser: “For the last two seasons we have enjoyed the excitement of vying for a play-off place.

“I would argue it has been the best time the club has ever had. That was under the management of Simon Weaver and Macca.

“It’s not a time now for knee-jerk reaction and panic. It’s solidarity. It’s working hard and getting there. We will get there.

“As a board, we believe and support Simon and Macca as much now as we did two years ago.”

Weaver, himself, acknowledged the supporters’ criticism but insisted the team’s performance would improve when injuries healed.

“You take the punches as a manager and say that’s fine. I’ll take it all on the chin,” said Weaver.

“I’m in a position to be shot at. It’s a job of responsibility and I put my own pressure on myself.

“Expectations went through the roof because of what we did over the summer. We are a victim of these expectations.

“We have shown we can produce good entertaining teams that can win football matches. But we have been hit for six with the injuries so far this year.

“It is our job to work as a squad, and as a board room, and work together and not against each other.”

He added: “When the going is tough you don’t just walk away.”

Plant rejected the idea of bringing an experienced football figure as director of football.

Asked whether there had been any targets set for the next month or a point where the board would question the management’s position, Plant said: “It’s a cliché, but we take every match as it comes.

“The aim is, can we get three points. We go match by match.”

He added: “Over the last two years, Simon and Macca’s stock has gone from strength to strength. Life and football is about ups and downs.

“This is our work. It’s a medium to long term plan. We want to get into the Conference. If anyone doesn’t believe that, think again.

“We are looking at how long is it before we can do a York City and get into Division Four, as it should be called.

“That is the plan and ambition, and Simon is at the head of that plan.”