At times they have been excellent, at other times poor, but the most common feeling felt by the average Aldershot fan would be one of frustration. However, despite a mixed first half of the season it is important to point out that the Shots still lie in a healthy position overall.
Terry Brown's men had an excellent pre-season and the new-look squad appeared to have strength in depth, quality in spades and an air of confidence about them that pointed towards a successful campaign ahead.
Unfortunately, the reality of life in the Conference has been very different and the scintillating football of July and August has only been evident in snatched glimpses, such as the 4-0 mauling of Stevenage on September 12 and the 2-1 away win at Grays seven days later.
Instead, Shots fans have had to endure a strange season that — although they are just five points off the play-off spots and in the third round of the FA Cup for the first time — has left some fans underwhelmed and calling for the head of the manager.
Brown was under intense pressure during the tail-end of September and much of October, a period in which his side completely failed to fire, yet he has battled through and his side seem to be coming back to form when it matters most.
“I can understand the fans' frustrations because I've been frustrated so far,” he told the Mail. “We did a lot of planning during the summer, much more than we have ever done before and we took great care in bringing in the right players.
“I would have expected to be another nine or 10 points up by now. It's been frustrating with the number of injuries we've had as well because we went through the whole of pre-season without any problems.
“Then as soon as the season started, there's been loads of players out. I still haven't been able to select my best side because I've had the likes of Andy Edwards, Rhys Day, Marcus Gayle and Mark Molesley out for long periods.
“I've been under pressure but I can understand that. I am just the temporary custodian of the club, but this is the fans' club and they are very passionate about it.
“As manager I have to stand back and realise that the criticism I have received isn't personal — the fans aren't happy with the team's performance and we have to take that on board. When we pick up points I'll probably win a lot of them back again.”
With thanks to the Aldershot News.
For the full article, see the latest issue of the Aldershot News.