ADEN, PAUL AND RONNIE WIN IN HONESTY STAKES
IN AN age of media-trained footballers and social network-wary clubs, brutal honesty from Premier League players is pretty much a thing of the past.
So thank goodness that Football League players – and managers – aren’t afraid to tell it how it is – even if it does risk upsetting people.
After Carlisle manager Keith Curle gave his players a rollicking last Monday, Bristol City defender Aden Flint let his tongue tell the truth on Tuesday night as well.
Saying before their game that he hoped former club Swindon could win promotion alongside the Robins from League One, he had a sudden change of heart.
After a tetchy encounter in front of the Sky cameras, his old employers clearly got under his skin.
The League One player of the month for March was asked by the pitchside reporter if he still wanted his former team-mates to join City in the Championship – with a shake of the head he simply replied: “No…… no!”
Steve Cotterill’s City won the game 3-0 – it’s a good job the clubs probably won’t be meeting in the play-offs next month!
Another defender who pulled no punches this week, but this time towards his OWN fans, is Birmingham City skipper Paul
The 36-year-old bore the brunt of fans’ frustration as the Blues surrendered a two-goal lead at Bournemouth to lose 4-2, with Robinson sent off on 77 minutes.
His contract is set to expire in the summer, but the former Bolton defender has hinted he is set to remain at St Andrew’s – whether the Birmingham fans like it or not.
“I don’t believe I am at the end of my playing days,” said Robinson, capped three times at England Under-21 level.
“I am going to be at this club for another year, so they better deal with it. I will lead this club in whichever way the gaffer wants me to lead it, off the pitch or on the pitch.
“These people don’t realise what I do behind the scenes and if they are not interested in what goes on at the club, then they are obviously not fans anyway.
“I believe in this club, I came to this club for a reason and that was to take it forward. If people don’t see that, they are not fans then, are they?
“Negative people have negative lives. I am a positive person, I accept my responsibilities as captain. They are welcome to their opinions. It doesn’t bother me. I have got broad shoulders.”
Meanwhile, Hartlepool manager Ronnie Moore has also got in on the act, expressing his disappointment at being overlooked for the Manager of the Month award for March.
Pools were nine points adrift at the bottom of League Two before Moore guided them to four straight victories over Morecambe, Oxford, Mansfield and Cambridge. But he was overlooked in favour of Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth.
“People say you don’t want to win because of this and that, but that is nonsense,” said the 62year-old.
“I want to win it and there is nothing better – not just for me but for the staff and the players.
“I said if we were going to be safe, then at some point I’d have to get manager of the month somewhere down the line.
“Any recognition as a manager is nice and if anybody says they don’t want it, then they are lying.”
BLUNT: Bristol City’s Aden Flint and Birmingham’s Paul Robinson
SNUBBED: Ronnie Moore