The Football League Paper - - INSIDE -

JOHN MOUS­INHO knows what it takes to win back-to -back pro­mo­tions, and the Bur­ton cap­tain says he can do it again af­ter mak­ing a fly­ing start to the sea­son, writes JOSHUA RICHARDS.

The 29-year-old was one of Graham West­ley’s ini­tial sign­ings made back in 2010 ahead of Steve­nage’s first sea­son in League-Two, and the midfielder helped guide Boro to League One at the first at­tempt.

Mous­inho is now at­tempt­ing to re­tread those steps at the Pirelli Sta­dium with Bur­ton who, af­ter blitz­ing their way to the League Two ti­tle last term, are tak­ing their first-ever sea­son in the third tier by storm.

The for­mer Pre­ston schemer is aware of the chal­lenges that lie ahead more than most, but Mous­inho sees no rea­son why the Brew­ers won’t be toast­ing another pro­mo­tion come May.

“I’m not sur­prised by our start, at the end of last year I knew how pre­pared we were as a squad,” said Mous­inho.

“The end of last sea­son gave us a nice plat­form to build on in League One, and things have worked out pretty well.

“One of the dan­gers you can fall into af­ter get­ting pro­moted is set­ting your stan­dards just to stay in the league. Hav­ing had that pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence at Steve­nage it def­i­nitely helps in this sit­u­a­tion.

“His­tor­i­cally teams that have been pro­moted to League One have done quite well, just look at how Ch­ester­field and Rochdale did last year.

“You have to re­mem­ber you are in this league for a rea­son, you de­serve to be here and you’re not there just to make up the num­bers.”

West­ley cer­tainly in­stilled that belief dur­ing his sec­ond spell in charge of Steve­nage when he took the club from the Con­fer­ence to the brink of the Cham­pi­onship in three sea­sons.

The 47-year-old now faces the task of re­viv­ing Peterborough’s pro­mo­tion charge and Mous­inho, who has signed for West­ley three times in his ca­reer, be­lieves Posh will be a force in League One.

“He’s a great char­ac­ter and I know about all the suc­cess he’s had in the game and I know he can repli­cate it at Peterborough,” added Mous­inho.“I cer­tainly wouldn’t be sur­prised if they did kick on and they did well this sea­son with Graham in charge.

“The mantra we had back in the Steve­nage days was all about hard work. There were some long days in train­ing but we made sure we were hor­ri­ble to play against, and no one rel­ished it. There’s not any se­cret to suc­cess, it’s all about hard work.”

Boy­hood Spurs fan Mous­inho spent much of his teenage years at White Hart Lane and re­mem­bers – not very fondly – the im­pact Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink had on his week­ends.

Nowa­days he lis­tens to ev­ery word the for­mer Chelsea striker says and he has backed the Bur­ton boss to match his il­lus­tri­ous play­ing ca­reer.

“He com­bines hav­ing all that ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing at the top level with be­ing down-to-earth and able to con­nect with play­ers at this level – de­spite scor­ing against Spurs ev­ery time he played against us!

“It can go both ways, but for ev­ery­one at Bur­ton the op­por­tu­nity to work with some­one like Jimmy is just in­cred­i­ble.”

BACK-TO-BACK: John Mous­inho knows how to dou­ble up

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