At The End Of The Day
But does it remind Wellington Phoenix assistant coach CHRIS GREENACRE to wear the right jersey?
I knew I’d made it as a player in the latter stages of my career. The game can be taken away from you quickly and if you allow yourself to rest on your laurels, it could bite you on the back side. I never let myself get carried away with anything. I went about it with a day-by-day mentality and if you do that, you can actually look back and say ‘I did make it and I was fortunate enough to make a living out of football’. I was happiest when we were winning something. We had one promotion in my career at Mansfield Town. We got promoted in 2001/02 to League One . I was the top goal scorer, we finished third and won 24 games. My hero growing up was Alan Shearer. The way he used to hold the ball up and bring other players into play was something my game seemed to resemble. I tried to model myself on him and he has the most goals of all time in the Premier League despite enduring two serious injuries in his career. The funniest thing was when I was on the bench for Manchester City and we played Bradford City in the FA Cup at home. I was coming on with minutes to go and on the touchline, I had my shorts on and I went to take my jacket off and I still had my warm-up shirt on. My jersey was still hanging up in the dressing room! The gaffer, Frank Clark, was in mid-conversation with the fourthy and I’ve literally sprinted back in to the rooms. You can imagine the manager was like ‘where’s he going?’. People who’ve played at Maine Road will remember how long the tunnel was and it took me a solid 40 seconds to get up there and back. I eventually got on, we won and I got kick up the backside post-match. The day football broke my heart was when I got released by Manchester City. Joe Royle came in and the club was going through a huge transition period. I immediately went out on loan with Blackpool which was probably a bad move for me. I’m not sure if the coach there actually wanted me, so you can imagine turning up to training, the coach doesn’t really know you’re there and I ended up only playing four games. When I got back to City, Joe decided he didn’t want me at the club anymore and I had three years left on my contract. To be fair, the players Joe signed did a very good job. My proudest moment was when I scored 21 goals for Mansfield Town in 2002 and I just missed out on the Golden Boot. We had a cracking team that season and even had a few players that went onto play in the Premier League. If I could change one thing I would punish defenders for tugging on strikers. I’ve heard a lot of criticism on the VAR, but what I’ve liked about it is that when there’s a defender tugging on a striker, they get punished for it. If it wasn’t for football I probably would’ve gone down the physiotherapy route just to stay in sport. Three words that sum me up Honest, hard-working and happy.