NO RECIPE FOR SAV­ING BAD AP­PLES

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

YOU have to feel for Mark Cooper at Swin­don, try­ing to keep Nile Ranger on the straight and nar­row.

The striker was ar­rested this week af­ter breach­ing his bail con­di­tions, the lat­est of sev­eral brushes with the law.

As a man­ager, it can be very ful­fill­ing to turn some­one’s life around. But there’s only so much you can do.

I re­mem­ber I had a lad at Sh­effield United, Ash­ley Ses­tanovich, who I thought could be a re­ally top player. Mick Jones wasn’t sure be­cause he’d been in trou­ble, but I said: “Come on, Mick, let’s give him a chance”.

I tried like hell, but I couldn’t fight his na­ture. I even re­mem­ber say­ing to him once: “Lis­ten, son, you’re go­ing one of two places. You’ll ei­ther go all the way to the top or you’ll end up in jail”.

Un­for­tu­nately, it was the lat­ter. I even­tu­ally let him go to Ch­ester and a cou­ple of years af­ter that, he ended up get­ting eight years for his part in a rob­bery.

You can try your best, but if a player can’t stay out of trou­ble, there’s very lit­tle you can do.

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