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The 1-2 Podcast
The 1-2 Podcast

Episode 46 · 5 months ago

Episode #46 Paul Simpson Talks Tangerine

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Host Tom Johnson speaks to former Blackpool player Paul Simpson on his playing and mangerial career to date. Including his time at Blackpool where he helped the tangerines secure promotion to the Second division and a LDV Vans Trophy win in 2002. 

Welcome to the one to podcast by you TMP. We had great camera. I think the fan player relationships incredible. It's the best changer in by mile that I've been in. Even kind of things made the team stronger, made the bomb stronger, made kind of playing for the club that kind of strange a little bit more enjoyable, a small, unbelievatality group who was just absolutely think like a tangently unstoppable force. What come back to the second season of YOU TMP pods. Just let you know we still have plenty of prints and mugs available. Telepows improve our content further and keep us running. Thanks you continue support so far. Welcome to episode forty six of the UTMP podcast. Today's episode we're drawn by former player Paul Simpson. Balls, a key man in black balls promotion in two thousand and one. I scored in a for two playoff final against later in one. He also helped Black Pall secure the ldelevans trophy in two thousand and two. Tom, how you doing? That's an employee. I'm good. Thanks to you all right. Yeah, very well, thank you yet. Thanks a lot for coming on. I really appreciate the time. No problem. How things been going and I guess we're good to obviously capturing about your health. I know you had a bit of a scale last year. Obviously had to leave Bristol city, so mad be good to start there in terms of how you getting on recently and through lockdown as well. How was how was NOT MEA couple years? It's it's been a strange couple of years really. I mean I left Bristol City, to be honest, nothing to do with the nothing to do with my health. I just left. The manager wanted to change his staff around, so that was that was way football is really. But know in the summer I had had I just went for a health check, really and LMA health check just to I'm getting fifty five. There's things start going wrong when you get to my aid. So I went for an annual health check and they, thankfully, they found a tumor, cancer, tumor on my kidney. I was in for surgery within I don't even know what it was for five weeks. I was in for surgery with me left kidney out, checked a few lymph nodes around, which were all clear, and I'm perfectly healthy now. I feeling real good shape. I felt in good shape before I went for the health checking. All vious sods Lore as it is found that, but not I feel really well. I went I was back at work at Bristol within about six weeks, I think it was, after advice from the surgeon. He was fine with all that and, as I say, just left there because I'm many you wanted to change his staff around, and I'm now ready to get back in and just waiting for that next opportunity really. Yeah. So where about your base now? You're back in Carlisle or no? No, I'm in the I'm in the Midlands area. I live right are we so? or in the Ashbourne area and I have been here now for I think about seven eight years. We've had this house, which is really unheard of, in it with me and my wife Jackie, because we've been married thirty three years and we're on about our twenty three or twenty four house moves. So it's been quite manic really, but we've kept this is a base and it will obviously I bought this one I moved to Derby County as a see Steve mcclaren's assistant. I kept it when we went up to Newcastle because I didn't expect that that place to all that job to last very long, and it's right. So I came back here. Thankfully, it was ideal for when I was at the FA because I'm only half an hour from St George's parks. Of that work well, and what I found is that being here in this area, it's so central for everywhere. I'm just in a really good spot for getting about and get into places that I need to be. Yeah, totally agree. Yeah, so what we've been up to out of football and because obviously, like I say, you had a few changes, a few different jobs and things, you must have to find things to do in between as well. So they were goal for or you into your TV. What's no, I mean I like golf, but I've one of my probably the only sort of downside of my length of time playing as a football and the knees wrecked. So I mean a long pain with my leftne when I'm playing golf. So I've not played for a couple of years and I need to make a decision. I need to get my Nie sorted out or I just need to get on with it and play golf and deal with the pain. I keep myself busy. I like being at home. To be honest with you, I enjoy being at home and Jackie always has a list of jobs for me to sort out, reluctantly doing them. I'm not into DIY or anything. I Love Garden. I'll do me garden and stuff like that. But no, I just keep myself busy and keep myself occupied at go out to the odd game. I have to say I don't. I don't go out to loads of games because I you know, it's always find it a bit a bit tricky really when you're going out to games,...

...because people think you're going up with a purpose and the managers and pressure and I don't believe in all that. I don't like doing that. So I'm just sitting tight waiting till the next opportunity comes up and looking forward to getting my teeth into something again. Yeah, and I'm interested actually to what is like, because you're a lot of manager saying the way, if the next opportunity of things, obviously you've been you've not had a number one job for for a few years. You've been more coaching and obviously I'll be England set up as well. So what kind of what is the what's the process of wit around. You apply for things? Do you get contacted? They have interviews? WHAT'S THE END? Intend to get contacted for them? To be honest. Yeah, I think I found that if if you have to apply for it, the chances are it's already gone. Yeah, I think it's probably a real downside of the football management world is that normally when a manager struggling, there's people behind the scenes who are already weaving a little web to try and get the next manager sort of lined up, and it's something that I'm I'm a bit uncomfortable about really. I mean I know when I did a management Diploga with the LMA years and years ago, one of the lecturers said that if you're out of work you need to find out which managers are under pressure and going make a beeline to get in the director's box and get around chairman directors and get yourself in for the next role. And I actually stood up and said, well, now, I don't agree with that. I don't think that's right, because I've been on the receiving end of that and I just don't think morally is the right thing to do. And I was told, well, if you don't, they'll be half a dozen others who will and you won't get the job. But I still to this day, would say I'd rather not get a job if those are the circumstances that I'm going to get it in. I'd rather sit and wait and just wait for the right process to go on. And you know, we all know that managers are going to lose their jobs and I'd rather just sit and wait and see. And so that that's my view on it. But I have been contacted about a few jobs that have that have been coming up, and nothing's sort of been really right for me, if I'm going to be honest with you, and I'm in a fortunate position that I can sit and and just wait for the right one to come up and hope that I don't turn too many things down and leave myself without any work. But we'll see, we'll see what comes up. I'm I feel I feel ready to work. I feel as if I've got something I can offer two people, whether that be as a number one, as a manager, head coach, whatever tightly is, whether that be as an assistant. I was asked about going in as an advisor. If a club we're going to appoint to young, a young coach and going this like I don't really know what the title would be director or football or basically just as a manager's advisor, and that interests me as well. So we'll wait and see. We'll see what comes. Yeah, I'm really openminded and I'm keen to work again and I do think I've got something to offer. It's just whether anybody else does. Yeah. Well, black poor in for a number two at the moment, because I know that we're all sue mccaul, who's just left as well, so I'm sure we welcome you back. Yeah, yeah, but they seem to be going well. Black looming, I got a good win at the weekend as well, do yesterday, so it wasn't so they're yeah, and he's I think he's done a great job. Rich is it really has done well there. Yeah. Well, also touch on that a moment as well, because if we great to get your view on black pool, but the goods, take it back, are well. Since you left really in two thousand and two, which is nineteen years ago, can you relieve you had any involvement with Blackpool? I know that you were on Sky Sports quite a few times when you are up under a blue foot a few times. I also remember you coming back with Darby and with McLaren. So how much involvment I you had really are and in the runing for a job Orle you you know, watch your dealings been with with it. It was there was a slight chance. I don't know who, just Blackpool, but was when I was manager at Carlyle and we'd we'd actually just been relegated to the conference. Whatever year that was on rubbish when it comes to years, to be honest with but we just got relegated. We were playing our last game of the season away at doncaster and on the Friday night I've got a call from Carl Oyston to see whether I would be interested in going and having a chat with him to become the new manager. I don't think he actually offered me the job, but he just said would you come and have a chat with us? And Black Pool in league one at the time. They've got rid of the manager before the end of the season. I don't know if it was Steve McMahon who left. It will be in yeah, I think it's going to be imputed. Hendria right. And so anyway, as I say, we just taken Carl I just I was the manager took Carl our down and there was a bit of me that sort of I had a loyalty to carlyle that I couldn't walk away. I mean I knew that we've made a big change to the club in the six months before we got relegated. We'd come out of CBA,...

...were brought a put a squad together that I'd had a really good run. But we missed out and I just felt an obligation to stay with carlile out and loyalty because with it been my home city, I just didn't feel as if I could walk away after getting them relegated and jump into one job. I thought that I just thought it would have been wrong and I really prayed that I didn't live to regret that decision and thankful it worked out well. We had a we got promotion back up and every one league to so it with hindsight is the right decision, but it was really, really tempting to take that pool job and then since then the only involvement I've had his when I've been out of work I was doing work with the Radio Lancashire and doing some Sky TV stuff where I'd go back to the ground and do some work there in the season that they're in the premier league. I did I did a lot of the commentary games for Radio Radio Lancashire and I really enjoyed it and it was really good to go back and to see how the club had developed, how the stadium been built up as it went on through the years. And that's been about it really. I'm in fact, funny enough, I'm doing the radio commentary for the Cup Game Against Hartlepool as well, as long as the normal glipping restrictions get brought in in this next week. It's another that's really all my involvement, but I always follow them. I mean it's it's a club where, you know, I had such a good spell there as a player. I really enjoyed it. You know, I would go so far as the saying, you know, even though I've had a long career and played at some some real good clubs, that time, that particular one season, my first season there, has to go down as one of my most enjoyable seasons in my whole career. It was such a good time and and I was at a stage where I felt as I was coming towards the end of my career, or I knew I was coming towards the end of my career and it was the first time I'd sort of had to go down the league's to get foot ball and to play and I absolutely loved it. Just gave me a new lease of life for football being involved in it that year. Yeah, that's great. Great to hear that because obviously from a from fans when it was great to watch you. You know, you were quite a big name from you know, you played at higher level, whereas we was coming to watch it in the twilight any career. But you can tell that you had the enthusiasm for it, your love being part of it and you were kind of you were giving your role, which you know you would expect, but not necessarily all players coming to the end of the year. Some of them come for one final paycheck, you might say, whereas as coming actually grasping thing. You know what, let's make it, make a go of it. Yeah, well, that's why I did. I mean it was it was a bit of a strange scenario really, because I was at wolves and I had, I think I had a year left on the contract at wolves and it became really clear that I wasn't going to be involved with the first team at wolves and and I was. I lived in Derby. I was driving over to Wolverhampton and back each day because that my family were all settled at the schools in the area and I was starting on the coaching journey. I was doing a sport science degree, so mid days were really full with looking after all the family stuff, going over and training, doing my coaching with Darby County, doing my sports science degree, which I was coming I think I was in about my third or fourth year of a five year degree. So I was really busy and I just lost all enthusiasm for driving over to Waver Hampton knowing I wasn't going to play. So before the season started I went to speak to Colin Lee as the manager, and just said look, called, this ain't going to work. It's this is no good for anybody. Let's just terminate my contract, let's let's get me out with it and I'll go away and I can just crack on with trying to get a career in coaching. And we agreed everything on. I think I remember I was driving. I drove over to Wolverhampton on the thirsty and got the contract terminated side everything off and on my way home I got a phone call off mark see grades, who had played with that Man City and Ziggy, called and said look, the Gaff as asking what you're up to. I'm right not to nothing now. Why? You said. Well, are you still playing on you? I said, well, I'm literally driving home to Derby. I've just terminated the contract at wolves. I'm out of it, and he's like, well, you too young to finish. I was like, I don't really know, if I am to be honest with you. My legs are starting to go and I'm knackered really. So he said, well, let me put the gaffer on. So I spoke to Steve McMahon and he said, look, will you come up and just give me one chance? Let us just sign a short term contract, see whether you fancy it or not. If you don't after a month, will shake hands and you can walk away. So I said right, okay. Well, let me go on speak to my wife first and then I'll come up and if I'm going to do it, I'll come up and train tomorrow. And he said no, no, no, I don't want you to come up and look at the club before you sign. He said don't, I don't want you to see the stadium. I'm like, why, you said you've just come from Mollin. You he said, this is this is an building site. We're a wreck. So he said, I don't need you to train if I know you're going to be fit,...

I'd like you just to turn up for the game on Saturday and we'll sign the paperwork and have you play. So anyway, up with I didn't come up and look at the stadium. What I didn't look officially, me and my wife drove up went into a hotel on the Friday night and we sneaked and had a little look at the ground and I've got what he said because it was an absolute state. But I played on the Saturday, really enjoyed it and the rest is history. As I say, I end him say staying. We had a little bit of an issue. I played in there. I think I might have played in the first game or the first two games, and then it was the cup and I'd said to Steve, look, I'm really enjoying it, but I might not stay here at Blackpool if you don't offer me a contract. I'm end up going somewhere else and I don't want to cup time self, so can I don't want to play in the in the League Cup game, and he said right, let's sit down and Cheefo and sort of contract out. And so eventually, after a lots of haggling with Carl Oyster in the usual way that you would do, and I've got to say Steve was brilliant because he really back me and studies ground and I ended up signing. I did walk out of our negotiations and and said right, forget it, you can shove it, I'm not coming. I'm not going to be spoken to like like I have been by cary and to go. And Steve Said No, no, please, just trust me, I'll sought it and they ended up staying signed for that season and one more and, as I say, I absolutely love that season. It was brilliant for me to get back playing football again and I just got a new lease of life and new lease of enthusiasm to carry on. Yeah, absolutely. So you scored. He played fifty three games that season. After saying you're going to pack it in, potentially scored twelve, include on your dabut against fall so that's one of, if not the most prolific year of your career but also, as you can tell, you enjoyed it and it didn't you know, you sort a couple of goals early and I think you were became a fan favorite quite quickly. That's a surprise. You only only played sort of eighteen months or so, because it felt like a longer at a time. But yeah, that journey, I was such a an amazing season in a way, because we had such a steady, mediocre first half of the season and that run, the classic wool run that we seem to always go on and and culminated with the Wembley. So I was how was the when you came in, when you're speaking to mcmam? Was the plan to go up it? Was it to win the League? Was it just to enjoy your football again? What was a kind of brief and ambition of that season? Steve Plan was always to go up, that that was what he wanted to do. My my plan was just to come in and play football. To be honest with you, I just wanted to come in and enjoy the football and, as I said, I thought I was coming towards the end of my career. I ended up playing on for quite a few more seasons afterwards. But I think if it wasn't for Blackpool, I mean I've no idea if anything else would have come up, but if it wasn't for Blackpool coming in for me, I probably would have finished at that point. But Steve was really good with me, the way the way he looked after me. You know he it was quite an awkward one because he used to we play on a Saturday and it's are I don't want to see you till the Thursday. Like what do you mean? Said just gone. I need you to rest. So just need you to play all the games for us, and I'm like, well, I can't really do that. I need to train. So what I would generally do is maybe I'd maybe stay off on a Monday and then I'd go in on the Tuesday and do the training. Would Have Wednesdays off and then I'd do the Thursday Friday and play on the Saturday. And I think that's the reason why I ended up playing so many games that years, because of the way he looked after me. So on a Monday, if I stayed at home, I was living over over there to on Brock or village, I would go to the gym on a Monday on my own and do some physical stuff, but I wasn't doing all of the pounding and taking the hits like you would in training and choose. You would go in and do football. Thursday, Friday was all football, and I think that's how I ended up playing fifty odd games and even you know, say we had a game where will quite comfortable. It was like a three nil or four knill or whatever. Steve would take me off at the end and say right, done your job, I've a rest. Don't need you to do anymore today, and he really looked after me that way. So I think that was the reason why I was able to play so many games and I just felt fresh going into the games and to be able to, you know, to get fifty three games, fifty three appearances that season was was huge for me. So, going from a point of thinking my legs had gone, it was it was really good in each an. He just trusted me, Steve Trusted me and you in you, that I would look after myself properly and so long as I was able to play in the Games, and the fact I got goals really helped me settling. I think fans always like to see far players who can who can score goals and who can create, and we had strikers there with with Murf and Brett, who would just really effective together. And it was good for me because if ever I was in trouble and I looked as if I was surrounded by a...

...few defenders, I always knew that I could just clip aball far post and Murph was going to be there, or I could clip a ball down the channel and Brett was a willing runner to go and get on the end of things and it just wor worse. Yeah, amazing. Look at I've got the pictures that the results in front of me now and there's so the amount of goals that we scored and continued that season is ridiculous. So obviously we have the one of the sticks out of the early ones was the Kidiaman's to game on sky, which you scored a couple of goals in is a lot of people look back on that as the turning point in terms of you know, mcmn have come in wasn't able to save us a previous season and there was a few questions potentially being asked up with our start to that season and the Kilimans, the game we won for one on sky was did you see that as at any point in the squad? was that like a big thing for the tag team at the time or was it just an if I if I think of one game that I felt was a turning point, and I don't know when it was in the season, was barn it away when we got absolutely smashed off them? And think I think it was, if I'm remember rightly, I think Tony Cotty was the manager and Tony's cottie scored a hat trick for them and we lost that game. I mean I've got it in my mind. It was something it was it about a seven nill or something like an El? yeahcause it's seven. I remember getting absolutely battered off them and Steve was quite aggressive in and mark's eagers are both quite aggressive in in the change room when things haven't gone well and they would hammer us. So after this game they absolutely slaughtered us. Everybody got hammered and we went away and we came back in on the Monday morning and Steve got us together and he just came to everybody and just said we're a disgrace and you know, I bet none of you have even thought about it over the weekend. I've had a horrible weekend of you don't even care, you lot, I bet you. I bet you've never even given it another thought. And I actually said now, I'm sorry, Gough, for I said I've never lost seven mill in my career. I said I've thought about it all weekend and I'm embarrassed by I said I didn't enjoy that. And he said, well, you know, gone then what you lot of to blame? You tell me what the problem is. I said, yeah, I accept we were to be we were to blame. We weren't good enough on the day, we didn't do things right. And said, but I'm going to stick my neck on the line here and I think you need to take some responsibility for it as well. And he was like and got quite aggressive with me and as any so gone and tell me why. I said, well, my opinion of it, whether you believe me or not, is that you don't organize us. You've never done anything to actually get US organize. You just throw us out there and expect it to happen. I said, now we have got decent players and when it goes well, it's brilliant. We are a good site to watch but when we don't, when it's not happening, we've got no organization to go back to. And I think we need it because we're at this level, because we've all got flaws in our in our game, we've all got weaknesses and we need you to help us. But the way that steam was brought up been at top, top clubs with top players. They probably didn't need coaching, but we did. We were in. We were in I think it was it called division three at the time or whatever it was, but we were. We were in the fourth level of English football. So we needed some help and to be fair, I sort of put my neck on the line and I could have either got punched off Steve and left out or whatever, or it might have struck a chord with him and it pulled me afterwards and said look, I accept what you're saying and we will do a bit more. Organization, will get organized for set plays and all this sort of stuff. And we did a little bit, but we put the good players came through as well. We had good enough football as to be able to deal with it all and we with then sort of went on a run and ended up sneaking into the playoffs. Right at the end and we were good enough. We I would have backed us on any on a good day. I would have backed backed us against any team in that league. Yeah, and so I knew that when it came to playoffs, if we were right, we would come out on top in those, and we did with the Hartlepool Games in the in the semi finals and then with the final against late more. And I knew that we were good enough to go and do it on the day. If we were if we had a good day. That's how it turned out really. Yeah, I was going to ask as well about how why that seemed never clicked on and got another promotion. Really because it like you say, there were some good players. That was richie well and who went on to play higher, and there were John Hills who played in the championship. Danny Kyd was obviously highly rated, all his injury problems, but you know Murphy and Ormrod and then Scott Taylor who came in afterwards. Well, and twenty goals in them as well. So we have to be had goals and it was there anything stood out to you as as why we were so I guess what you have to call mediocre in League one after that promotion season. That maybe is never quite built on it, unfortunately. No, I mean I didn't have any effect in League one and I think that was that was probably the signals to me that my legs were definitely starting to go, because at league one level,...

I mean I picked up an injury as well, which didn't really help me, but at that stage in my career I probably wasn't fit enough, wasn't effective enough to play at league one level and it became quite clear and Steve Sort of lost faith in me a little bit because of it. So I was in and the team as well, and I just think it got broken up a little bit. There was lots of changes went on. We know Steve was always bringing different players in, trying to change it around, loan signings and all this sort of stuff, and I've got to be honest with you, are sort of lost. I lost faith in the club a little bit in that season. I was in a position where I was coming towards the end of my contract and Steve said he wanted to keep me around it because of my experience and wanted me to sign another year, and I said yet, no problem at all, I'll sign another year and be happy to do that. And he said it's going to have to be performance related. I said, yet, not a problem at all. I totally get that as well. I'm an old get and I realize I'm not going to you know, I can't expect to get a guaranteed earnings the same if I'm not going to play. So he said to me, right, will, I'll go away and speak to Carl and I'll come back with an offer for you. And the offer he came back with was like a massive reduction in wages, but it was based on appearances and effectively it meant that I would need to play fifty, fifty games at league one level in a season to earn the same money as I was earning before. And I said, look that I think that's really unreasonable to expect me to do that. I'm getting older, I'm not going to be able to do that. Said let's do it that. If I played twenty five games, then I can earn the same money, but otherwise it's just not it not really worth me doing it because I've already taken a massive to cut, leaving wolves, obviously to come to Blackpool, which is understandable, and then he went away and it come back and he went. Now carls actually rescinded the offer. Now he said you're not getting any offer. You can wait till the end of the season. So I said right, okay, whatever you want to do. If that's the case, I'll wait till the end of the season and I'll leave then. And then before I don't know whether the exact timing of it is maybe about ten twelve games before the end of the season and we pulled me and said look, Rochdale want to take you as a player. They're having a push for the playoffs. That want to take you in. Would you be interested? And I just said yeah, I would. Actually I'd like to go and go and play again. Left to go to Rochdale. We played at the Millennium Stadium in a football league trophy final on the Sunday. So look, I want that to be your last game. Don't leave until you've been part of that. I went. I was subbing that game and I did get on in it. I don't remember for how long. Not for very long actually. I got on in the game and literally got off the coach at to Haydock hotel on the way back from Cardiff and that was me leaving black bill to go and join Rochdale and went there, played the last whatever games of the season, scored a few goals, got the playoffs and ended up getting the manager's job. So it was a good it was a good opportunity for me to go and the way it or turned out with me getting into management where it are all worked out well. But that that last season was really hit and miss for me and I couldn't really put my finger on I think the step up from league, the division three to division two was probably just a bit too much for some of the players who are in the squad. Yeah, and yeah, you touched one. So before we gon to the just slipping back to the promotion season, the obviously scored in the the ore in game venue as well. What what was the club what was the squad thinking when Phil Bar and slipped in the opening minute? was that it was a horror start. Was Name? was only panic or was everyone thinking, will be all right, we've got golden us? No, I think there was a there was a panic, definitely, when that's how you start, you know, in what is a major final for everybody. But again, we had so much time to be able to turn it round. It was. It was probably, if you want to make a mistake like that, not for Barnes obviously, but for the team, it was probably the right thing that it happened that early and it probably just calmed everybody down a little bit. I mean the whole build up to the game was done really, really well. Steve had this idea from his experience of going to Major Cup finals with Liverpool. He said, we're going to approach this game like it's a major final. We're going to do it right, we're going to go down a couple of days before and we stayed it really Nice hotel down. Can't remember the name of him now. was about an hour away from card if, really smart place, and he did it all right. He got us all kitted out in suits and stuff like that and it was his big thing. You know we're going to arrive in suits, they'll probably be in track suits and straightaway with one the psychological advantage there because we've gone smart and and he tried to do it all really, really well.

And then when that happens, you think or bloody l what we had for ear but thankfully well, as I said earlier, we were good players and we were able to be able to pull through with, you know, the likes of Tommy Yashen and hills and Breton Murph and we just had some good players in there who were experience enough to be able to deal with that setback and to be able to come through. Yeah, you scored the third goal in you which I believe put us three two up, so felt out the winner at the time. I know we went on and got one more, which we were also involved in, but you can tell I watch that go back when I know I was going to be speaking to you, and you can tell it it was a big goal for you. You celebrated as though it was, you know, the winner and it was a big goal for you personally. was you must have enjoyed that. I think any goal you score is a big moment. You know, it's I was never I was never one for big, extravagant celebrations or anything, but I think it just it felt as all we got over the line with that and it's yeah, you know, when you score a goal it's is a great feeling any but when you think it's going to be a goal that's sort of got your promotion after a forty six game season and then to playoff games and everything that goes with it. It's such a long slog as just a massive relief. So it was a I mean I was a huge game and again probably you know, I look back on my career and think, well, have I think I've had five appearances at Wembley and lost them all, whether I be as a player or as a coach. But the Millennium Stadium seemed to be good for me. We had a football league trophy when I had a an appearance, say with Carlile. So that it's been really good for me and to be able to sit now at fifty five and say, well, I've played at Wembley, which is what your dream of as a kid. I've been to the Millennium Stadium, which took over Wembley for a few years, and I look back on those sort of games with real pride that I was able to be part of them. Yeah, there was a much of a party after that. They was a quite a good group. That other celebration. After all. What was a yeah, for that I don't remember a hell of a lot about it. I think because I lived over Blackburn Way. I think we we got the coach back and there was there was quite a lot of drink on the coach and we all had a bit of a celebration then. But I think I was going on holiday because the way there it used to work out where my wife's a school teacher, so the boys are at school, Jackie was teaching. So we were only ever allowed one week of the year to go away on holiday together and that was that Half Term Week and the playoff finals always were on that Sunday, Saturday, Sunday or the Monday of the weekend of when half term comes. So I think, if I remember rightly, I got off the coach because me, Jack and the boys were going over to Portugal on holiday. So I literally got off. We missed about two days of are that week's holiday because of the playoff final, so we ended up going away and having a five day holiday instead of a seven day holiday, which wasn't looking. The boys probably weren't to shoot it. I was quite explains a relief ekpally relief when you scored then yeah, these holidays in which you're but so anyway we went on holiday and I do remember that when we came back there was a some sort of civic reception planned, but half of the lads are away on holiday so we wasn't really a hell of a lot went on and I think I did go out for a drinking black pool, but I can't say it was a great night that I had. That meant it was bred. It's more just the relief, I think, when you win a playoff finally, it's just sheer relief that the season hasn't been wasted and you've been able to go and achieve something. And in fact, I think behind me is my medal from from going up that day as well. So Nice, a nice feeling. Then the fourth goal you sums up your partnership on the left hand side with John Hills as well. I think you mentioned Tommy Ashen. The three of you, they had a great rotation and you are hills a good playing out the position. Yeah, when you were able to just give him the ball, you know, you got the ball of him, gave it him back and he threaded it through to Brett score there before them to had the legs. I was able to play the passes and to do that side of it and see their runs, but they had the legs to be able to go and getting behind heels. Is One of the fittest players I've ever come across, and Tommy Ash and, although I didn't have like blistering pace, it could run all day long and then took down that left hand side. Were great and if both of them played, I tended to play a bit more inside, like as a second striker, as a number ten sort of thing, and we did have a real good understanding there and it was it was a really good season to be involved in it, to be honest with it. Yeah, Great. And then just flicking towards the ldv then as well, you touched on the preparation well from the previous final with McMahon, obviously having been involved in the top, top games himself. Was the LDV trophy taken seriously from the start, or was it one of those things that sort of started to gain real serious as you went along, because we want it twice, we want it in two thousand and four as well. You've gone.

So yeah again on the mcmam, was that something that he took quite seriously and try to wit every game? Yet he did take it seriously because he knew it was a good opportunity to get to a final. You know, a lot of teams treated it disrespectfully early on in the competition, but Steve was always of the view always rested players and made sure that people were, you know, fresh for League Games. But he always had this view that it was a really good opportunity to get to a final. So, although we didn't go to the same levels as we did for a playoff final, all of the preparation has done right and we went down and stayed in a really nice hotels down there and he did it it. Tried to do it all properly. I think for the the final, the Cup final, I think we stayed at the vailable Morgan and we trained down there on the Friday, not Friday the sat to Dix. I think it was played on a Sunday. But he tried to do it or properly. He just tried to do it right and he took every game series. HEIES. I mean whatever we did, even in training playing fither side, and he was involved in it. He was nasty and had to win. He was like really ruthless and he would smash people in train and he would came them if they weren't doing things properly. He just had a real desire to win everything. So when it came to that LDV or football league trophy, whatever it was called, he was really keen to win those competitions and win those games and that's what he drilled into the players every single day. It surprises me that he's not been involved since. Do you have any you know why I might have stepped away from the game? May perhaps that ambition to get to the top of the fact in it might have realized that it wasn't going to happen for him in terms of being a lot lowly manager. I don't know if I had any any bearing on him. Yeah, I've no idea what happened because he's record was decents. Record was okay at Swindon. I think he was up before as well, and it was really surprising that he never came back into it a whether he wanted to, I'm not sure, but the last I heard he had gone over to the Far East and he was doing a lot of media work. I think the fact that he was an ex Liverpool player sort of stud him in good stead and he got himself a really good work in the media and as far as I'm aware, I think he's stayed over there and carried on doing it and I think he's living a really good life over there now. Yeah, yeah, fair enough to you have to say as oppose better off without the stress, some might say as well, or definitely, especially when you're as enthusiastic and as determined as he was. You know he he was so passionate about it. Either keeled over one day. If you'd carried on in the same way. You didn't. Knows that eighteen months that I was at the club. Yeah, and football change, isn't it in since those days? But is there anything that you sort of in your particularly early days in management that you took from Steve mcmone in terms of preparation, in terms of that getting the best out of the older players and things like that? Is anything that you latched onto and thought I'm going to take that with me and my manager real career? Definitely, I mean it. One of the things that I saw from him was that he he really looked after senior players and it was something that I tried to do myself when I brought players in, because I always had this thing in my mind that as you got older you needed to work harder to stay fit and I've heard other people have said, well, the reason I've played so long is because I've worked that bit harder than everybody else. But Steve Changed my view on that in there. Know you as long as they do things properly, you need to come off them a little bit and let them have a little bit of extra time to recover, because that's that's the hardest part, and especially playing in the lower leagues where the Games are coming thick and fashion. In the Premier League you have thirty eight games. It's and you know, unless you're at the top clubs, way Playing Cup games and you're in Europe and all this sort stuff, and then they have internationals. You've just got to be careful. Bring in the Lower Leagues, where you got forty six games and then you've got a few cup games and then the football league trophy games come into it, or Pappa John's now it's called it. There's so many games to play. So you have to come off the older players a little bit and you've got to look after them a little bit more than that was certainly something I took from him. But the other thing I realize is that players need coaching. We've got to be coached at level. You've got to organize them. You've got to give them a place to drop back to when things aren't quite going well, and that's those are the big things that I took out of it. And you're always learning things as you as you're a player, if you want to go into coaching, you're always trying to pick things up and and those are the big things are picked up from Steve. Yeah, it's works Martin a harder is what they say, isn't it? So maybe that's it the other players. That's right. Yeah. So did you get any from touch only where you'll let when you're left the day after the ldv win, you you must have known it was your final game then. You only got I think it was actually six minutes. You came on the fourth minute. So we when you're run around the pitch celebrating. Did you know that was your goodbye? And though no one at not none of the fans new, and also in the squad. Did you get a bit of a send off from from the lads? No, to be honest,...

...there's no send off because I didn't want any send off. It was nobody knew about it. It was only me and the staff. Knew that I was leaving after that game and really the truth is I didn't want it to be about me. It was more about the yeah, and I didn't. I got to be honest, I didn't really feel part of that game because I knew I was leaving, I knew I wasn't starting. I got six minutes, whatever you say it was. So I was really pleased for everybody else, but I didn't really feel a part of that, to be honest, because you I've known what what the club had done regarding the contract and you know it was. It was all. It was a little bit of a strange situation for me. But but saying that, I was appreciative of the eighteen months that had had. I was. I also appreciated the fact that Steve didn't stand in me way to let me go and carry on playing at Rochdale. And you know, he was good for me because towards the end in that final season there, I knew that my days were numbered as a player. So I'd asked Steve that if any jobs come up, for a manager's job or a coaching job, would you allow me to apply for them? Because as a player you never have to fill in a CV you never have to go for an interview and I knew that that was the next stage of me trying to develop myself as to do a CV and to go and have an interview. So I said, if any jobs come up, would you, would you allow me to apply for them and put my name forward to see if I can get an interview? And I said, I'll be really honest with you, I don't think I want to do it. I don't want to go and finish playing and just get a coaching job, but I'd like to learn how to go through an interview. And he said, yeah, no problem at all, I'll allow you to do that. Just keep me informed. So I did that and I did my CV, which had never done before, and I applied for jobs and to do cover letters and all the stuff that you do as part of that. And, to be fair, never actually got me anywhere. I didn't get a job from I didn't even get an interview from it, but it was the start of learning how to do it and again, thankfully Steve, Steve Allowed me to do that, which was really good for my own development. Yeah, that's good. So, touching on your managerial career then to your about spell of player manager at Rochdale and then went home to Carlisle's. Touch on the relegation, but then the backtoback promotion which was going on them up really up. From my managerial standpoint, your stock was quite high. A ledger to the championship job of the Club we won't talk about. How did it go with Carlyle and how how do you see yourself looking back now? What were you like as a young, young manager paving away in the game and how have you have both you and the game changed in that time as well? Yeah, it was. It was all very strange really, because I went to Rochdale as a player. John Hollins took me in and, as I said earlier, I was done normal coaching badges or I was in the process of doing my think I was doing my a license and I was I was coming towards the end of my sports science degree. And job we lost in the playoffs. John Hollins was trying to organize a new contract and he didn't get it and the chairman just said to me, look, would you, would you be interested in becoming the manager being a player manager as well? Wow, wasn't really expecting that, but I sort of thought to myself that I might never get another opportunity to do it again, so I thought I'm going to go for it. I did explain to the club that I needed a lot of help because I still want to play. I've never managed a group of people before, a group of staff, and never managed a group of players or as a player. I've just have to look after myself. But I would give it a go and I did it and I saw, I realized quite early that I wasn't able. Well, I wasn't able and people, other players, weren't prepared to take responsibility if I was on the picture as well, to go on lead themselves. So I came out the side and I enjoyed having that little period out the team where I was able to to just manage the group and not have to play as well. So I did that and then got back in the side. But come to the end of it I'd had a it had been a bit of an up and down season in a way, but I'd learned a lot from it by learning how to do the job and I made a bit of a stand at the end of the season because they offered me a new to contract and said that they were going to pick my assistant to work alongside me and I wasn't prepared to do that. So I sat dub me heels in a little bit and said right now, forget it, then I'll just leave. I want to pick my own stuff. So I learned a lot in that first season. I then went to Carlisle again, just as a player. The manager asked me to go in and I really fancied the idea of having one final season at my home city, just playing and not worrying about the other stuff. He got this sap quite early and I was asked to take over and sort of threw myself back into again, and I'd say was it was good. But again that season, I would I was injured and I ended up spending a lot of time on the sideline where I was able to just manage...

...the team and I was learning a lot from it. So I think it was a really good introduction for me to get into it. I learned to hell of a lot from it. I mean I dealt with a football club like Rochdale where hardly any money at the club at all, barring the fact that we had a good fa cup run and made some money, but I had no, no real budget to work with. So that was good to learn how to do that. And then went to Carlisle where we were working under CBA, so we had absolutely no budget whatsoever to work with and nothing that could be done. I have to just work with the players. Are Hard site to learn how to try and deal with all of that stuff until Ceba got lifted and then we had I was I was decent in the recruitment side of the players were brought in there, so that was a real plus for me and because my recruitment at Rochdale wasn't particularly good. So I was learning all the time. But I think the game has changed now. I think there's at all levels the players, there's a there's a different way that you have to deal with players. I think society is changed the way that that people think now and players think and and you've got to just learn to adapt and I think I've been able to do that over the years and that's a said I probably said at the start. I hope that the next opportunity comes up and I get the chance to be able to go and put it all into practice. Yeah, absolutely. So, how much is a managerial role change as well, because you were player manager, which probably wouldn't happen for now anyway. But then it must change a lot of for different clubs. But generally had coach now, isn't it? And it the situation change must be less involvement in the club side a more involvement in the coaching side, I would guess. But what what do you see? Whereas what you the role you had at Carlisle, I'm a bit a lot of that you wouldn't be expected to do now. Who is that? There's okay, yeah, I think that's probably the case, especially the higher up that you go. There's more that it is solely focusing on that. But even you know, when I was working as assistant to Steve mcclaren at to Derby County and at Newcastle, my job was he's a he's a top, top coach, Steve, and I know he's doesn't have a good public image but as a coach he is one of the Best I've ever come across one at one of the best stuff worked with. So He's strength is on the grass and he any likes that side of it. So my role was the organization and the planning and that sort of stuff and dealing with staff relationships inside the football club and trying to deal with, I supposing, a way, the management side of it. So I was still having to do that at Newcastle undert Derby, but you now have people in place who deal with the transfers are. You know, my job was to speak with agents and try and get players out on loan. But when it came to the money side of it, Rochdale and at Carlisle and probably at Preston to be fair, I dealt with the money side of it. But there's now a different layer that they go into the money and at Newcastle and at Darby I had no idea what sort of wages people were earning and in a way I quite like that because it's gone to a different level now the money. So I didn't really need to know what players are earning and just try and concentrate on the football inside bit, which was good and I think that's the that's probably the way that a lot of clubs working now. So you you do have to just focus on the football. You focus on the planning of the coaching sessions, of the of the match that you know, match day stuff. There's a lot more things come into it now. You know, we didn't have we had no analysis type of work going on when I played, and certainly are at Blackpool and at Rochdale and Carlyle who was no analysis, there was no fitness coaches. You basically just had to do it all and I enjoyed that side of it. I do enjoy all of those things, but I also have got a good relationship with agents as well, and you know, they're not all as bad as people want to make out. There are some good ones out there and some fair ones. So I'd I like all the sides of it. To be honest with you. There's no I can't say. I know as a lot of people are speak to. So I just hate dealing with agents. I don't mind that. I think there's some decent people out there and and I like that side of that. I like the wheeling and dealing that you have to do. It's just part and part as a part and part on the football I think nowadays. Yeah, so you know, it sounds like you'ren like to be quite hands on them and hmm, hopefully there's a role out there for you that allows you to do that as well. What to John Black Pool and calm connelly is one that you've worked in the past. I believe it under some teen level. Can't. I couldn't think of anyone else from a currently a blackpool you'd worked with or come across in the time. You may correct me, but, yeah, what was what was commonly like as a person, as a character and watching so impression of the block wle squad being, even if you haven't work with him? Yeah,...

...no, column was a good lad. He's a really good prose a bit unfortunately didn't play a lot of games in the year in the World Cup squad, but he was a really important part of the group because he was although he wasn't a starter, he pushed everybody in training. It was probably only towards the end that he lost his head a little bit within the group because he wasn't playing. But he was always a good pro and I've spoke about this before that we had a really good group of players in that World Cup squad where column was a big part of it. But we had we had a group of Everton players that was calumn John, Jill Kenny here and Dal dominict Calvert lewing and those, those four lads were really strong in pulling all the rest of the group together. I mean John Joe, Kieren and Don was starters. So they had a they had a sort of a pull in the group anywhere. But calum was a real top pro who worked hard all the time. As I said, it was only towards the end where he started to lose his head a little bit because he knew he wasn't going to play. But it was a real toss up as to whether him or Kyle Walker Peters played at left back. And it really was a toss up when it got to semi finals and final and I end up going with with Kyle Walker Peters to play instead of calumn. But it was very close to being him. But he was a good lad. I've I've watched a lot of Josh Bowler and when he was at Everton because he could have been in one of my squads later on. Richard Kio I've worked with a good times, working with keysy up at Derby County. He was another real good pro to have around. But I've got to say I look at the squad that black pool have gotten, I think I think there are decent group. I think the play good football. The got wide players who cause problems forward, players who can get goals and with lovery and with Medine and I think they've done really well so far this season and hopefully they can carry on and worked odd to come across. You'll chrichally much any time, because I know he's been involved in I was a little pool and crew and such like in the other come into the olden to them at all. Yeah, I have with it. When he was at Liverpool I used to have quite quite regular conversations with him about the players that they had there, because obviously Liverpool had some really good young players coming through. So I always like like the way he come across and our conversations will always have the Liverpool or a difficult club to work with with England international young internationals, because they didn't really want to release them. But kritch was always really good. He understood what was what, you know, what we needed and what we wanted to do. And you know, many a conversation with him because there was a lot of good young players who were coming through the Liverpool Academy, theens and twenty three. So now I've always found him really good, really really decent. Blow to speak to and always was very helpful towards me as well. Really, and just touching on Saturday as well, I believe your son's at harlet pools at the head of sports science as the SIS coach there. So it's going to be, I've actually said to Radio Lans is going to be the split loyalties. are going to be honest with you because I'm commentating for lengths on Black Pool, but I'll try not to celebrate if there's a real burst in fitness run that comes in here the cool players for score, but I'll be claiming the credit from his son if that happens. Yeah, brilliant. I should be a good game. Will obviously played against all the pool in one of the big games in the playoffs in you so happy members from there already and I'll be at the game as well. So now he's a game. are a good football team Hartletpool as well. They try to play properly, they are passing side, so I think it would be a real decent game of football. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And finally, just touching on the future, then you said, you know, if you're not necessarily sure exactly what it is that's next, but you're in you're hoping to get something. You're hoping to be number one ideally, or a number two or the different kind of role. Watch her wasn't dream as opposed to two thousand and twenty two. I'm really open minded. That's the problem I've got with it because after after stock port, I decided that I needed to come away from being a manager and and trying and had to learn on the job in everything that I done that at that point and all I done am a coaching courses and everything, but nothing prepares you for management. There's no real training school you can go to. So I'd had to learn on the job and I totally accept that. I made mistakes along the way, which was inevitable. So I realize I needed to come out of it and I talked about coming out for five years and seeing how other people work and doing it, and I've had really good time of it been a lot longer than five years. I've had time working with Steve McLaren and learning at a good level there, about four years working at the FA with real top players and development myself through that. I've done lots of Lama courses and FA courses to give myself a bit more knowledge. I've worked over in Portugal in an academy for about sexy sixteen and...

...seventeen months, which was great experience, and I've done media works. I've had loads and loads of different things that have gone into I really fancy see another chance of being a manager. I'd like like an opportunity, whether it's this time or whether it's somewhere further down the line. I enjoy the number to roll because that's good. There's less pressure on me, but I'm able to I'm a bit not Bolshit, but I'm quite willing to give my opinion and, you know, give given an honest appraise. Love what it is now. Then when the manager Says No, this is what we're doing, I'll back them a hundred percent and that's how I do it. So I'm interested in either of those. But I'm also interested in going in as an advisor and helping younger coaches and seeing F I can just add a little bit to them. So I'm really openminded about where it's, where it is and what I'm going to do, but I just hope I get another chance. I still think fifty five I'm still very young in terms of management and coaching. But I've now got probably twenty odd years of experience. have been involved at every level, you know, going from Premier League right down to conference level. I've got experience of that. I think I know what's required, but I've just got to be given that opportunity somewhere and hopefully it'll come up soon. Yeah, I saw that you will intro the doncaster jail, which is the first job, but I mean with no involved and whatsoever from myself. You know it's a first job. I've seen your link to it. There's a number one job in the football league for probably ten years. So is that I've done? If there's any truth in that's all. But is that the sign of you know you are in the running for these things and you are been talked about. So is that something new? Actively pursuing and you see, as I said earlier, I think if you're active, actively pursuing it, the chances are it's gone. Ye, don't cluster. was was a one where I was asked would I be interested in it, and I think that's where I'm I must be. I've never actually seen my name in any media linked with it, to be perfectly on. So I know that there's been a few times where book makers have had me named down for things and there's never been any truth in it but that this is probably the first time where there was talk of it but nothing else came of it. There's, you know, nothing more said. I am being spoken about in quite a few jobs but until it happens, a lot of it's just talk. A load I don't even know where bookmakers get their odds from and how they put names to it. I think they just guess a lot of the time. So we'll wait and see. I mean, I'm I'd like to get working. I really wanted to get working before Christmas, but then when it didn't happen leading up for I was quite happy to have a calm Christmas at home with my family and to enjoy that. But as we're getting into the new year, I'm now looking in thinking right, where's the next one coming from? Me, two thousand and twenty one one. I'm really refreshed after having an having my time out, and hopefully the next one will come along and it would be an exciting challenge for me. Yeah, absolutely. It's one of those in it when you're waiting for you don't want it's going to call me and never know how far it's going to be. So it's frustrating in a way, but you'll look back and them things happen really quickly, don't they in the end, and you'll ring in a few weeks and they'll be like wow, yeah, I wish I could have a little that time I had all those months an so these things said that. I said that to people because the you end up wishing your life away, thinking come and where's the next one coming from, and then when it comes, you don't your feet don't touch the ground and and it literally is a phone call out the blue from somewhere that you think, wow, I didn't see that one coming, and I'm probably a little bit better at enjoying the time out of it and I was in the past, but I'm still getting itchy feet want to get out. Yeah, absolutely well, wishing you all the best in that. Obviously will be looking out for you from a black pooperspective. Always had an eye on how you getting on. So except where you're up. That up for that team and I'll do them fifty five. But yeah, we should all best with it and good luck in your next role and the other future as well. But thanks a lot for chatting to us. asually appreciated. I'm sure that pool fans will enjoy listening to you again and great the year you holds happy memories from the the talent of club as well, good memories, to be honestly. Had A great time at a great time, and so we're always, always a special place to go back to. So who knows, one day to certainly enjoy watching him in the cup this weekend. Exactly a good man. All right, well, all, best time. Speak to you later. Chose balls. Thanks a lot. To get more involved with fan reaction, Paul News and further competitions, make sure that you sign up to our Bob Page and also for social media page. It's on twitter and facebook.

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