The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

I HAVE had my fair share of run-ins with Gary John­son. When I was a younger manager, we locked horns in a lit­eral sense. And more re­cently, it was he and his Yeovil team that put the fi­nal nail into my Pre­ston cof­fin.

But my healthy re­spect for Gary reached an all-time high when he in­cred­i­bly took Yeovil to the Cham­pi­onship in that same sea­son in 2012-13. That achieve­ment re­ally shouldn’t be un­der­es­ti­mated. Yeovil were not a big bud­get League One club when they won pro­mo­tion. Gary did a sen­sa­tional job.

Rel­e­ga­tion was al­most in­evitable. Yeovil were never go­ing to be able to com­pete with the Cham­pi­onship big guns un­less they got re­ally lucky and sensed that their phi­los­o­phy was to ac­cept that, to do their best but to take a long term view on the cash that pro­mo­tion had cre­ated.

Af­ter suf­fer­ing that rel­e­ga­tion, it was then in­evitable that Yeovil’s bet­ter lads would move on, which they did, so there was the dou­ble whammy of de­mo­tion and dis­in­te­gra­tion.

Be­fore he knew it Gary was at the bot­tom end of League One while his for­mer player Luke Ayling, for in­stance, topped the ta­ble at Bris­tol City.

But if there is one thing I feel re­ally sure of it is that Gary John­son would have worked the an­swers out. He has proven time and again that he is a bril­liant manager. He would have turned the cor­ner given time. It is a tough, tough job to sort out los­ing. But you just know he would have got there.

There will be a for­tu­nate club in the League that will ben­e­fit from Gary’s sit­u­a­tion.

Be­cause who­ever takes him on next will em­ploy a wounded an­i­mal steeled with de­ter­mi­na­tion to bounce back stronger than ever, but also a won­der­fully tal­ented manager who knows the game in­side out, who has the re­spect of his peers and who makes pos­i­tive things hap­pen.

There are times when you know a manager will be ready to an­swer back. Gary John­son will be.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.