League One club Perfidious Albion haven’t had a very good start to the season, having lost each of their opening ten matches by three goals to nil. The club’s chairman, scrap metal dealer Sir Sidney Clodd, has taken the decision to sack manager Mick Tupper and bring in a new man, the journeyman Terry Muggins. Today is his first match in charge of his new club, and we are thrilled that he has chosen to share the managers notes from his first match against Ronseal Villa, which is due to be played this afternoon.

Good afternoon everybody, and I’d like to issue a very warm welcome to the players, officials and supporters of Ronseal Villa, who have made the long journey down from Glapfordshire to Gruff Park for this afternoon’s match. Of course, this is my first match in charge of the Runts, so I will today try to give you a taste of my managerial philosophy and how I hope to turn around our disappointing start to the season. As those of you with long memories will remember, I spent six happy weeks here as a player in 1993 and I am delighted to be back here at Gruff Park, although the place has changed a lot since I was last here! For one thing,  The Reg Hollis Stand is now open again after the unfortunate incident with the duck and the fireworks that left it closed for safety reasons.

I have run my eye over the lads and they are a good solid bunch of pros, but it is important that I stamp my authority on the club so I have released fifteen of them. Obviously, because of the transfer window this leaves us a little thin on the ground until January, so I have brought in two new players that I think have great potential to do a job for us. Rex Chigley is a solid midfielder who was out of contract after being released by Klaxon Barbarians. He’s got a great right foot and an even better left foot, and I can’t believe that no-one else picked him up just because of that incident with his housemaid. It’s political correctness gone mad!

Our other new signing is the former German international defender Ludo Glopp. “Ludo” has got a right foot like a combine harvester and, although he is forty-three years old, I still feel that he has a lot to offer. Some people may be concerned that he now only has one arm, but I don’t think this affects his game and it also halves the chances of him handling the ball. Considering that we have already conceded eleven penalties this season, that can only be a good thing! There will be more new players joining us soon, but until then Ray Flange (who you know better as the groundsman here at Gruff Park) will continue to double up as our substitute goalkeeper.

The first thing that we need to focus on is our fitness. Now, I understand that giving up smoking is difficult so my first target for the players is to cut down to ten slim panatellas per day. I also intend to improve the players’ stamina by having them run down to William Hill’s every morning to put my accumulator on. One thing that I know for certain is that our results will improve if we increase our fitness levels. As I am sure you are all aware, we conceded all three of our goals last week in stoppage time. If we can stop conceding these late goals (and twenty-three in the last five minutes is definitely too many!), I’m sure that we can turn our season around.

I should also take a moment to thank our sponsors today, Otterby Guttering, the number one guttering suppliers in Perfidious. They have asked me to remind you that you will get 5% off your guttering if you mention The Runts when you visit them. Today is the first day of the rest of the season, so enjoy the game get behind the lads and cheer us home this afternoon! Forty-seven years is too long to spend in the same division, but we don’t want to get relegated either!

Yours In Football,

Terry Muggins