Notwithstanding that today’s match is an opportunity for a top six finish and European qualification again, I am conscious that on this, the last day of the season, we are reflecting on what might have been.
The new signings in the summer had the effect of raising expectations and we all started the season with high hopes, yet the players undoubtedly needed time to adapt to a new league. We were also forced to make managerial changes, which is far from ideal mid-season.
Such is the competitive nature of the Premier League, no one team can guarantee a top four finish. However that’s not what it’s just about - our sense of falling short, felt by all, including the players, is based on some poor performances during the season and knowing we have not performed at the level we know we could have done. Even in games where we gained maximum points, our football was not always what we have come to expect and associate with our Club.
I firmly believe we have a quality squad with many players from whom we have yet to see their full potential and players who have individually shown great form this season. We also have a healthy mix of experience and youth and over the last two seasons particularly we have seen Development Squad players move up to the First Team and put in promising performances.
Our challenge now is to ensure we are in the best possible position for the start of next season - a season in which we shall look for a new level of commitment and performance from all.
We are in the most exciting, watched league in the world. You, our fans, are our lifeblood and we see a huge increase year-on-year in our supporter numbers. This season we celebrated the opening of our 100th Official Supporters’ Club.
So an increased capacity stadium is also a priority. We are currently waiting for the Government’s decision with regard to purchasing the last remaining property necessary to complete the site assembly. In the meantime the pre-commencement works on site are ongoing and we shall continue to keep you updated.
Tomorrow we host a Testimonial match for one of the Club’s true legends, Ledley King, and we are delighted that the Lane will be filled with thousands of you joining the celebration. With so many former players returning it looks like being a night to remember.
Today, let’s get behind the team as they look to put in a winning performance and ensure we compete in Europe once again.
Thank you for your support this season. I wish you and your families a healthy and happy summer and I look forward to welcoming you back for the 2014/2015 season.