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Coaches need time

Posted on 27 October 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

John Gorman has offered an insight into the pressures facing young tracksuit coaches who take the leap into the managerial hotseat and insists that all most need is time to prove their worth.

A number have taken the leap from the training pitch to the bosses' desk since the back end of last season and John's former Southampton colleague, Stuart Gray, has already paid the price for a faultering start.

Others to swap the tracksuit for the pin stripe include Glenn Roeder and the manager of Saturday's opponents Middlesbrough, Steve McLaren. More recently, and for completely different reasons, Phil Thompson is, for now, front man at Liverpool.

John himself took his turn in the spotlight following Swindon's elevation to top flight status during the 1993-94 season after Glenn departed for Chelsea, so he is perfectly positioned to assess the pressures facing the latest crop of managerial prospects.

"It's hard work, but it's something that everyone want to have a go at," said John.

"I would never regret even the time I had at Swindon. The problem is that people demand success and unless you're a big name, that's what they talk about, 'big names', it is difficult.

"I kept on saying that Harry Redknapp wasn't a big name until he took over from Billy Bonds. He became a big name through time.

"Unless you're Kenny Dalglish who can walk right into a top job from being a player, most of the managers have had to start off at lower levels and break through."

John, understandably, is sorry that Gray did not get a longer period to prove his worth at Southampton.

"Someone like Stuart Gray got his chance because Glenn and myself came here to Tottenham and he deserved his chance - and he should have been given his chance. No one deserves to be judged as quickly as Stuart's been judged, but that's another story.

"It's a hard job and you need time."

So why do coaches who thrive on the banter and less pressurised environment of the training ground opt to put themselves in the firing line? Would they not be better off sticking to what they know are their strengths?

"No, because you get paid better, that's why so many coaches do it. Why do you think even youth team coaches go and become reserve managers? Why reserve managers become assistant managers? Because they've got a family to feed and are ambitious as well.

"If I wanted to be a youth team coach all my life I'd still be at Leyton Orient or Gillingham, because I'd have just been happy picking up a wage and staying out of the limelight with no pressure and all the rest of it."

By Richard Hubbard