Play-offs? Just re­lax and go for the glory


The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - Gra­ham West­ley

The Football League play­offs be­gan on Thurs­day as Bur­ton beat Brad­ford Northamp­ton beat Chel­tenham. Ev­ery fan wears their heart on their sleeve and gives it their all to push and drag their team to vic­tory. But what of the man­ager? What is it like to stand in a dugout and lead a play­off cam­paign?

More so than ever, there is an over­whelm­ing sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity on your shoul­ders.You know that you have to do all you can to help the club to win. No stone can go un­turned. Ev­ery­body is un­der ex­tra pres­sure; the chair­man is at the heart of all the me­dia and com­mer­cial plan­ning and he and the com­mer­cial peo­ple are in­un­dated.

So you have to be un­der­stand­ing. And, in the midst of all the ex­tra de­mand for me­dia and com­mer­cial time, you have to main­tain your fo­cus on the football job. There is a lot you have to get right.

At my best in the play-offs, I was able to treat things se­ri­ously but re­lax and smile as well.You can­not take your­self too se­ri­ously or de­velop too strong a sense of self im­por­tance. If you lose, you are soon for­got­ten. If you win, you are soon for­got­ten too! So don’t get too car­ried away with it all.

In the game, it pays to re­mem­ber that you have to dare to win. You get noth­ing for noth­ing and you have to ad­ven­ture. There is noth­ing worse than de­feat when you haven’t been brave and gone for it. Play-offs are there to be won. Have no re­grets I say.

Bold se­lec­tion, bold sub­sti­tu­tions, bold tac­tics. Stand in that dugout pre­pared to at­tack, ready to win.

Brent­ford lost au­to­matic pro­mo­tion when a last minute penalty hit the bar. Those are the mar­gins. To get them in your favour in the play­offs, you have to get a lot of de­tail right over two or three weeks.You need to know who takes what kind of penalty.You need to know their keeper’s weak­nesses.

I can re­mem­ber play­ing-off in the Con­fer­ence know­ing that the prize for Steve­nage was a life chang­ing place in the Football League.You don’t want to get it wrong.

Pro­mo­tion has to be won. Even in the play-offs. To win it, you have to let loose, go for it, fear noth­ing and rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

ar­ti­cles I read many

that made me this week They

sorry for my­self. feel a lit­tle Bay­ern

Bay­ern Mu­nich. were all about ex­traor­di­nar

y fit­for their were lauded or­gan­i­sa­tion

, the ‘team’ ness, their su­perb de­fence and

for at­tack and to at­ti­tude to

for­ward mo­tion. their re­lent­less for hav­ing

are of­ten crit­i­cised My teams my dis­quiet! at­tributes, hence

that ex­actly those the same at­tributes

so It is funny how

can gen­er­ate much praise gen­er­ate so much neg­a­tiv­ity. the Ger­mans

sure is that One thing for ef­fi­cient win­ning

to pro­duce know how be more

football may ma­chines. The than

and less pa­tient pur­pose­ful it

but right now, Barcelona’s

be more seems to

ef­fec­tive. GREAT ACHIEVE­MENT: Phil Parkinson leads out his Brad­ford City team for the League Cup fi­nal

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