Steve Cotterill on the Board's backing

Steve Cotterill salutes the fans at Sunderland
Steve Cotterill salutes the fans at Sunderland.

They (the Board) have always been supportive since I have been here.

Steve Cotterill

Steve Cotterill says the unequivocal statement by the Board of Directors pledging him their '100 per cent backing' comes as no surprise.

And the Blues Manager insists that he will continue to strive hard to build on gradual improvements.

Prior to the Sunderland game, the Club issued a statement for the avoidance of all doubt surrounding the Manager's position.

It alluded to the pre-season preparation and key injuries, signposting the fact that Cotterill had to come in and sort out various issues with a group of players none of whom he signed.

And the key message was that everyone at the Club - from the Board, staff, management, players to the supporters - need to pull together in testing times.

“They (the Board) have always been supportive since I have been here," Cotterill said.

“What happens is the media can whip things up a bit, then all of a sudden you get social media that has been brought into our game now – and it’s just part of life, part of society.

“It’s not nice if there are bad things being said about you. But I would never look at that anyway.

“It won’t influence my work ethic, it won’t influence what anybody thinks about me.

“The only thing I would say is for those who are not quite sure about me is I hope I can change their minds."

“They (the Board) have been in it, they have seen it (the situation) before I got here," Cotterill continued.

“And this hasn’t been a short-term thing, this has gone on for a little while.

“I understand that people don’t always want to hear about what’s gone on and they want to know about the here and now, which is why you can get the reactions you can get sometimes.

“But, look, I can just assure all our fans that I am working as hard as I possibly can to get points for the team. I am passionate about the Football Club."

Cotterill added: “We haven’t had a good start to the season. We know that, but you have to work yourselves into credit and everything is building here.

“We are getting better but it is inch by inch and not massively noticeable. But I would imagine the supporters who came to Sunderland would be happy with how they saw their team play.”