Michael Duff interview: Cheltenham boss discusses their League Two rise, Sean Dyche and Burnley

He waited to get a first win and Since the matches ticked by, there must have been instances when Michael Duff wondered why he did remain at Burnley.
Duff arrived at Cheltenham Town last September, and had to wait until his League Two game in charge for a first win. Now, just the team are at the top seven and also looking up.
His departure from Turf Moor is looking like a decision.
I probably had a job for life at Burnley, Duff, a two-club guy who spent his whole acting career in Cheltenham and Burnley before joining the Clarets training staff after indulging in 2016, tells Sky Sports. I had an incredible relationship with the team and the manager and that I had access to the very first group, so it wasnt like I was just with all the U23s.
However, a great deal of things lined up for me. The family needed to come home and the children were to take action. I had two nightclubs at a very long career and it felt like the point to return to where I started. I didnt apply for it Cheltenham came to me personally and I knew at some stage have a go and I needed to stick my head above the parapet. I didnt wish to arrive at 50 or 55 and thinkI might have done that. I understand now , even if I fail, I have had a go in it, although I never get a different job and may find the sofa next week.
You will find a few soul-searching moments during that poor run of why I had come here, and I will always be appreciative of just how small pressure there was on me from the club. I know at clubs, managers are sacked in just eight or nine games, particularly once youve come from an U23s background. But any tension I felt came from inside.
Cheltenham had grabbed a few cup wins from EFL Trophy and the FA Cup under Duff, however it was his first success in the league at mid-November that saw things start to come. Their home form, in particular, has been especially impressive and theyre unbeaten in their past 16 games in the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Duff arrived 13 months back with his own training and management principles, but has discovered when youre the main man at a bar, that those things can quickly change.
I believed I had my own thoughts of how I wanted to come in and perform, he explained. I wished to go 4-4-2 and nearlyBurnley-fy the place, if you want, getting them organised and difficult to beat.
But then I did not win a match in my first 10 and you realise you will need to try something different. We ended up going the other way, because it satisfied the players we 17, enjoying 3-5-2. We perform with a very grand fashion, normally with about 550-600 passes.
I thought I would get them more at a reflection of me, but I am actually quite enjoying watching them play. Although I am not stupid enough to think that if you play 500 moves and get beaten every week you are going to keep your work!
They may play style and a different formation into Sean Dyches Premier League outfit, however there are different ways that Duff hasBurnley-fied Cheltenham. The guardian has trimmed a bloated squad to make sure they are a unit prepared to fight and work together.
We had 29 players when I arrived and then I introduced in Luke Varney to ensure it is 30, said Duff. It was too many and you cant keep everyone happy. On my day we did an 11 vs 11 and we had seven players sat on the sidelines! How are you likely to maintain them motivated?
Obviously when that occurs, whether you want it or not, there will be a few unhappy faces and theyll be sucking the life from the dressing room. It will be having an impact on the people alongside them even if they dont mean to do it. It is just a thing.
It was a bit of a risk because we had a few accidents at the beginning of the season and it abandoned us down to the bare bones, but it merely makes it more manageable. How do you keep players living and inspired when they can see four players before them? Youre asking them to do things but there is not any point if they know theyre not likely to play. Having a team the players that werent beginning will understand they are only 1 injury, a defeat that is terrible or somebody losing form away from getting into the group, so they need to be on it all the time.
It keeps them living in training and keeps the professionalism and criteria better around the area. The most successful teams I have been a part of a player normally came when there was a core. Its tricky to do this if you have too many.
Duff worked closely together with Dyche at Burnley for years and it is apparent that his supervisor, both as a trainer and from his time as a participant, has had a huge effect on his or her
He was brilliant because 10-game run and that he rang me more than anyone else, said Duff. Ive got a brilliant relationship with him, not only as a participant, in which we won two promotions, but also when I stepped across the opposite side.
He brought me to his coaching installment and demanded me in all. I had half an hour every Saturday in his office when the training staff goes outside, and I would pick his brains nuggets of information, that were invaluable because he is so open and fair. In that run that is lousy hed constantly call me up and find out whether he could help me at all, and even today he still does.
Our very first home game of this season was in the exact same time as Burnleys, and I went to my office only after the game and saw a message on my phone , just after they had beaten Southampton 3-0. It simply shows what type of man hes that theyd won their first Premier League game of the year and he text me off to say on us beating Scunthorpe. Hes a bloke who is obviously very good at what he does, and gets it.
There were other people too but I have probably spoken to him more than anybody else in the past 12 months.
But can Duff find himself copying one day handling and Dyches achievements at the highest level? Into the flight he rose from non-league as a participant, and he hopes that he could do something .
I know I am not going to get Cheltenham to the Premier League, he said. Ive got my own aims of everything I need to accomplish and where I want to be, but the primary method of doing that is to continue nicely with Cheltenham. The club does the players get more money and we get improved attendances, When I do . It reflects upon everybody, When the players are doing on the pitch then.
I know Ill never get to where I need to be if the club doesnt keep winning another game. Anyone who says that they do not wish to handle in the Premier League is a liar but the aspiration was there, although it took until I was 30 as a player.
I clearly did not go crying from the rooftops when I had been playing in the Hellenic League because folks would have thought I was mental, but it doesnt mean its not in you. You only need to keep working and trying and hopefully get a bit of luck on the way.

Read more: https://www.pical.it/tyson-fury-backed-to-win-the-wwe-royal-rumble/


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