GREAT IDEA THE TROTS
night before,that wasn’t at all pleasant.
But the hardest was probably Spartak Trnava, a Slovakian team we played in the Europa League when I was managing Sligo. The heat, the atmosphere, the logistics of getting there. It was about a six-hour journey in total, on planes trains and automobiles.
We lost 3-1 on the night and 4-1 overall. They were a decent side. Dennis Bergkamp. I was at QPR when we played Arsenal in the FA Cup – it was probably about 2001. I’d loved Arsenal as a boy and I was thinking ‘This is the biggest day of my career’. In the end, it turned out to be one of the worst.
They had Vieira, Wiltord, Henry. They all ran amok that day, but nobody was as impressive as Bergkamp. Right foot, left foot, sublime balance.You had no idea which way he was going to go. He could turn on a sixpence. His awareness of others was frightening, his weight of pass was perfect.
And that was just his set-up play. His finishing and movement were deadly as well.
He scored one and had a hand in five more as we lost 6-0.
Looking back now, it was a pleasure just to be on the same pitch as someone like that.
At the time, though, I wished I
wasn’t. I really enjoyed Goodison Park. Like Loftus Road, it’s an old ground where the stands are very close to the pitch and it makes for a great atmosphere. A real cauldron.
It was the same with Maine Road, Man City’s old ground. I played there for QPR the day Jamie Pollock scored that famous own goal.
Before the kick-off, Vinnie Jones and Razor Ruddock had threatened Georgi Kinkladze in the tunnel. It didn’t work – he scored after about 50 seconds. But then we equalised and Jamie put us ahead with that crazy goal. It was hilarious but, at Born: Leicester, 1970 (age 45) 1988-94 A trainee at Leicester, Baraclough formed a prolific strike partnership with Paul Kitson in the youth ranks but was scarcely used in the first team and, after loan spells at Wigan and Grimsby, left to join the Mariners in 1991. He played once before joining Fourth Division Lincoln City in 1992, scoring ten goals in 72 appearances. 1994-98 Baraclough joined Mansfield in 1994, scoring five goals in 47 games and helping the Stags reach the Division Three play-offs in his only season at Field Mill. He then spent three turbulent seasons at Notts County, suffering a Division Two play-off final defeat to Bradford in 1996, relegation in 1997 and winning the Third Division title in 1998. 1998-2008 After ten goals in 111 games for the Mags, Baraclough joined QPR in March 1998, spending three years at Loftus Road and scoring 12 times in 125 matches. Following relegation into the the time, just a huge relief. The 2-2 draw we got that day effectively kept us up and sent them down. Just to stay involved in the game. When I retire, I want it to be my choice. I love coaching, trying to improve players. I love everything about the football environment, which is why I played for so long.
I’m scouting for Darren Ferguson at Doncaster now, while actively looking f or a full-time role in the game. Coaching, management – I don’t care. As long as I can work with players day in, day out, that’s what gives me the buzz. third tier in 2001, he rejoined Notts County – by then back in League Two – and made a further 101 appearances, scoring 18 goals. 2004-08 Aged 34 when he joined Scunthorpe in 2004, Baraclough nevertheless enjoyed the most successful period of his career, winning the League Two title in 2004, League One title in 2007 and, following relegation from the Championship and retirement in 2008, the League One playoffs in 2009 as part of Nigel Adkins’ backroom staff. 2008-present Named manager of Scunny in 2010, Baraclough was sacked after winning eight of his 34 games in charge. He then joined Irish side Sligo Rovers, winning the League title in 2012 and the FAI Cup in 2013, before a surprise dismissal in June 2014. Baraclough joined Motherwell in December 2014 and staved off relegation from the top flight with a playoff victory over Rangers. However, he was dismissed eight games into the current campaign.
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