IT didn’t surprise me to see Greg Abbott sacked by Carlisle. And I’m sure it didn’t surprise him either. When you get battered four in your first three games, you’d have to be stupid not to see it coming.
By the end, you’re almost relieved when the sack comes. You feel like you can get on with your life again because when things are bad like that, you take it all home with you.
When you have a bad run, you can’t see where a win is coming from. Sometimes, you can’t even see where a goal is coming from. You don’t get the rub of the green. The bounce doesn’t fall for you, the ball hits the post and comes out instead of going in.
You try to come across as calm and controlled for the players, but inside your stomach is erupting. I’m sure they can sense it.
It’s all about the confidence of the players. The only time I ever felt that I could win every game, home and away, is when I was at QPR. After four games, I knew I had something special.
The fact is, every one of us who goes into management knows we’ll get the sack. The only thing that varies is how it’s done.
I’ve been sacked by text, I’ve been told on the phone and I’ve been told the proper way, sat behind a desk and told to my face.
But at the end of the day, what does it matter? You’ve still got the sack. For a few days, you’re a bit numb. It does hurt your ego. You feel a bit of a failure. But then you realise there are far worse things.
Instead of moping about thinking about his mistakes, Greg should look back and reflect on all the things he achieved, like winning the JPT. I remember I got the sack at Notts County six months after turning down Chelsea and having taken them up two divisions in two years.
To say I was peeved is an understatement. But instead of being disappointed, me and my assistant, Mick Jones, bought a case of Champagne and invited all the local papers down to help us celebrate our achievements.
Even then I said be careful what you wish for. Lo and behold, a few years later Notts County were only one game away from dropping into Non-League. I hope Carlisle don’t end up missing Greg the same way.
ENGLAND ARE SO PAINFUL
THANK goodness the Championship is back. I wouldn’t want to watch England every week!
Manager Roy Hodgson will say the 0-0 draw with Ukraine was a great job done in a difficult place. Qualification is in our own hands, and that’s all you can ask. But for the rest of us watching, it was like extracting teeth.
And I’ll tell you what – if Frank Lampard had scored with a header from Kyle Walker’s long throw in the last minute, everyone would have celebrated like mad.
But can you imagine what would’ve happened if Stoke City had done that? They’d have been panned for playing ugly!
COV HAVE GREAT ATTIUDE
DOWN at Coventry, the manager Steven Pressley must be feeling like he can’t go wrong.
They’ve got the young lad Callum Wilson scoring sackloads of goals in a young team who are afraid of nowt.
Steve will be going into every game thinking ‘Come on then – if you score four, we’ll score five’. What a great attitude that is.
They’ve already got their ten points back and now they’ll be looking to really push on up the table. Long may it continue.
ARGYLE CAN GO ALL THE WAY TO PREM
AFTER a rocky start, it’s great to see my local club Plymouth doing well. I was down there a couple of weeks ago and was really impressed.
They asked me to do a talk for the Senior Greens, the older generation of Plymouth Argyle fans. It was the first time I’ve been at a lunch for a very long time when I felt young!
One of the questions was ‘What can this club achieve?’ People were talking about the top end of League One or a return to the Championship.
But I genuinely believe they can do more. They’ve got a £50m project in the pipeline, incorporating a new grandstand. That will be starting in September and it will be a fabulous stadium when it’s finished.
With the financial backing that will bring and the fanbase they’ve got, I really do believe the Premier League is within reach.
If you look at Blackpool and Palace going up in recent years, it just goes to show that money isn’t everything. If they can get in the Championship, they’ve got a chance.
Of course, nobody at Plymouth is even dreaming about that yet. There were times last year when it looked like they might drop out of the League entirely and if that had happened, I don’t think they’d have come back.
But they survived and with fans like theirs, the sky really is the limit now. I remember when I was manager there and we travelled up to Hartlepool.
I was outside the gates signing autographs and there was a Plymouth fan with his young son, who must have been about seven.
I said ‘By, you must’ve had an early start, what time did you set off – 6 o’clock? He said, ‘No 2 o’clock in the morning,
He came from Penzance’. That’s dedication, that.