Yeovil Town manager Terry Skiverton has admitted that the club needs to be more engaged with supporters, and that he is doing his bit to try to improve things. The Yeovil boss makes a frank admission that there has been a distance in the relationship that needed to be closed off, and that more effort needed to be put in to make supporters feel wanted at the club.
The Yeovil boss has since the turn of the year been adopting certain things within his playing squad - in particular the post-match huddles that have been on display at away matches, that have broken up with a mass run down towards the travelling supporters. This has allowed both players and supporters to show some appreciation, rather than both sets disappearing from view on the final whistle.
Skiverton admitted that there was less of a bond between the club and supporters during 2010, and told BBC Somerset that part of it was down to their league position and a feeling that they might not receive a warm reaction to their position in the league:
"I think we lost that (relationship) - I think we lost it last year, and I was ashamed because it happened under me. We stopped doing stuff with the fans and we stopped going into things. You get into that little run thinking 'Well I don't want to do that because we're in the bottom four and they might not appreciate us'. But they do - everywhere I go we are appreciated and everywhere the players go they are appreciated."
The Yeovil boss said that there needed to be more things done in order to build up club-supporter relationships and added that although he and his players were doing their own bit that there were more things that could be done. He said that there had been a definite need for action:
"It got to the stage where we'd distanced ourselves from the supporters, and we can't do that. So we're trying to do that, and we're trying to embrace the supporters a lot more, make them feel wanted. There's a lot of stuff that could be done better - I know that, I think the club know that and I think the supporters know that. But we're going to work as hard as we can on every element."
Skivo's views and actions in recent matches are to be welcomed and are already being embraced by supporters. The numerous 'boat' references in his post-match interviews have led to a running theme, and Skiverton has said that he has noticed the response in the form of banners on the terrace. Skivo though, is just one cog in the wheel of Yeovil Town - other areas will need to buy into this philosophy of valuing supporters to ensure it ripples out beyond the first team manager and his fine efforts.
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