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Brass on relegation
Brass on relegation

City's manager talks about the last few days

Re-living City's nightmare

by Chris Brass

I BELIEVE the only appropriate use of my column this week is to serve as a chronicle of what has happened at the club since the final whistle blew at Doncaster on Saturday.

I did not realise we had got relegated when I came off the field and was just disappointed with our performance. I clapped the fans as I left and got a great response which afterwards I found very moving as they must have known that I had just relegated their football team.

I just hope that means they know how hard I have tried to bring them success. Our director Sophie (McGill) then told me in the tunnel that results had gone against us and Richard Hope, who had not been playing because he was suspended, confirmed that we were down barring a mathematical miracle and I was just numb.

There's not a lot you can say at a time like that and I looked around the dressing-room and it was hurting some more than others in my opinion. It was a horrible feeling.

I then faced the media, as I always will. I will never walk away from problems as I also did not blow my own trumpet when things were going so well.

I then got on the coach and had already agreed to present awards at a Duke of Edinburgh function in Selby. I toyed with the idea of not going but I have never let anyone down in my life and, even though, it might have been a false smile on every picture, they understood.

It was actually nice to see the talent there in the room and that they had got off their backsides and actually achieved something. That was going through my mind all night. I thought to myself that I have got to stop feeling sorry for myself, get on with it and make sure I still achieve something my way. I suppose that's when the planning started for next season.

I then went back home. I had told my wife earlier and she had cried down the phone because it hurts and she knows what it means and what I had put into it.

It has been hectic times for us because, while all this has been happening, my wife has fallen pregnant and we had the first scan yesterday. That puts things into perspective but it's also why I've been running around like mad on the football pitch to do as much as possible because I know I have to provide for my family.

I don't want to give up my opportunity to be a football manager and, equally, footballers should also do everything to prevent them losing their professions because of their families.

I did not sleep on Saturday night and only got my first night's sleep on Tuesday. My mind has been racing in bed.

On Sunday, I shared a few drinks with a couple of old footballing friends at a christening party which I needed. They understand me as a person, knew what it meant and tried to pick me up.

I then went to a family barbecue and got more support which has helped me ahead of a tough and hectic week. I think success comes with people pulling together like a family. That has not happened as I would have liked this season and when a team I put out is labelled passionless that hurts me more than anything and I will make sure next season that is not the case again.

Monday then started with a tough meeting with the directors. First of all, they reassured me that they still thought I was the man for the job which was pleasing.

They also asked whether I was happy to play in the Conference and the answer was a short, sharp no - but that is where we will be and I won't shy away from it. All I can ask for is to be given the opportunity and I don't think there will be any mitigating circumstances next season. I will be doing it my own way.

We also talked about the different rules of the Conference regarding things like non-contract players and the cup competitions, as well as discussing whether we will carry reserve and youth teams which is still being considered. I came out of the meeting feeling the club is a lot stronger in many aspects so now we have to make sure that everything on the pitch is right.

I was also told that we had to cut costs straight away and then had to sit with the squad and, for various reasons, players were told they would be paid up and their services no longer required. I discussed things with every player but it was mainly the eight we are releasing, who came into my office.

It was difficult because one or two would still be here if we had stayed in the division. Those were players who I felt had not let the club down and was reluctant to lose. It was hard to tell all of them but, more so, those players.

I have learnt from March onwards more than I have all season about the players which would have been the same if we had been challenging for automatic promotion because certain players could not handle the pressure and that has not helped the backbone of the team.

[From the YEP]

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