The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

I TRAV­ELLED up to Sh­effield to watch the first leg of the semi­fi­nal at Bra­mall Lane on Fri­day. Hav­ing beaten Yeovil twice at home early in the sea­son (once in the FA Cup) I have been sur­prised by their rise.

Then again, Gary John­son is a great man­ager at our level and Terry Skiver­ton has done bril­liantly to step back into the coach­ing role hav­ing held the man­age­rial reins.

Be­cause I was sat im­me­di­ately be­hind the dugouts on Fri­day, it was in­trigu­ing to study the way in which the two dugouts worked.

I watched the dif­fer­ent ways in which they in­flu­enced of­fi­cials, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­cesses that led to de­ci­sions, the way in which in­struc­tions were con­veyed and by whom; I looked at the fu­elling strate­gies, set-play de­ci­sion mak­ing, and be­havioural pat­terns at key times.

I must ad­mit that I have never re­ally been that close be­fore and able to in­vest so much time in learn­ing how oth­ers work in the heat of a vi­tal bat­tle. It was in­trigu­ing and gave me loads of food for thought.

Yeovil could eas­ily have gone back home level on the night and I doubt that the tie is over yet, al­though United are cer­tainly tough to break down.

GREAT BOSS: Gary John­son

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