THE McFALL YEARS: Casement calls for unity in bid to salvage season

Chris Casement (left) and Ronnie McFall.
Chris Casement (left) and Ronnie McFall.

Chris Casement accepts the fans’ frustration at performance levels but is calling for unity around Shamrock Park on and off the pitch tomorrow (Saturday) when Coleraine come to town.

The former Northern Ireland international has expressed his personal disappointment at the decision by manager Ronnie McFall to resign following the Irish Cup exit to Lurgan Celtic.

The burden of responsibility now falls on the sole shoulders of the playing squad to rescue the campaign by virtue of enhanced results.

“If there was one single reason we could pinpoint it but certainly confidence is low and that makes it hard to turn things around at any level,” said Casement. “Personally, I agree 100 per cent with the comments of the club chairman and fans about how a lot, if not all, of the blame for how things have developed is on the players.

“I can understand the disappointment and frustration felt by the fans.

“It is wrong for fans to think, however, that the players just forget about everything once a game is over and we hurt too when results and performances go wrong.

“I can promise the desire is there to turn it around and we face a massive game now against Coleraine so need everyone sticking together.

“It is about unity now and, although it is a sad situation and one no-one wanted to see, we have to focus on moving forward, starting with Coleraine.

“You could see the reaction of the fans and how they backed us on Saturday once we got it back to 2-1 and then 2-2.

“That does give the players a lift and we will need that backing again for the rest of the season.”

Casement also offered a personal tribute to McFall.

“When he signed me I was probably not playing that much at Linfield so it could have been considered a gamble by Ronnie,” said Casement. “I am grateful he gave me that chance and consider him a friend for life.

“I hold him in the highest regard, as do my family, for the support and advice he provided, not just about football.

“We may have had our fall-outs but never held a grudge and I could have talked to him about anything.”