Tate asks Vetch fans to keep faith in Swans - 11/08/2004
SWANSEA CITY defender Alan Tate last night pleaded with fans not to lose faith as the club set out to erase the misery of their opening-day defeat.
Almost 10,000 Swans supporters left the Vetch Field feeling let down on Saturday after Kenny Jackett's new-look side slumped to a dispiriting 2-0 defeat at the hands of League Two favourites Northampton Town.
The poor start to the 2004/05 campaign was bitterly disappointing for Swans fans optimistic that the club's final season at the Vetch will result in promotion to the new League One.
Tate, part of a defence that came under fire from boss Jackett after leaking two soft goals against Colin Calderwood's side, admitted Swansea ran out of ideas during Saturday's match.
But, ahead of the Swans' first away clash of the new campaign at Spotland tonight, the former Manchester United defender has urged supporters not to panic.
"What I'd say to fans who left the Vetch feeling this isn't going to be our year is look at the start we made to last season," said Tate.
"We made a great start, winning something like seven of our first 10 games, but then it just died off.
"There's no reason why we can't have a disappointing first game and then pick things up.
"A start is not one game, it's the first 10. As the club found out last year, one game certainly doesn't make a season."
However, Tate admitted that Swansea, now with just one win from their last 10 League outings, did let the fans down against Northampton and will need to show significant improvement on that performance when they tangle with Rochdale.
"The fact there was such a big crowd at the Vetch on Saturday made it all the more disappointing that we couldn't get off to a bright start," said the 21-year-old.
"The fans are great at Swansea, they'll support you forever more, and it's about time we started getting results on the pitch to make them proud of what we do.
"With the games against Rochdale and Macclesfield, we've got to make sure we start playing."
Tate, whose team-mate Paul Connor returns to Rochdale five months after leaving the north-west club to join Swansea, went on, "We'll have to try to pick something up from both of this week's matches.
"As for the season as a whole, no-one needs to be reminded what a big year this is for the club.
"The target is top three or the play-offs at least. Nothing else will do. No-one will accept anything less than a place in the top seven."
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