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Word Of Honour: The Perfect Fit For Pools

12 December 2018

Brian Honour Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Pools legend Brian Honour

Pools legend Brian Honour shares his views on the appointment of Richard Money and also pays tribute to the Club's former physio Tommy Johnson.

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest Blog here on the Official Website.

I want to start by welcoming Richard Money to the Club. The merry-go-round with changes at the top seems to be happening every season now but I just think we need some stability and I am confident that Richard will bring that.

Having heard his interviews and read about him, he seems very focused and, crucially, he knows the league and what it requires to do well at this level. He’s had success in the National League and also won the FA Trophy so his track record is excellent.

I honestly think it’s a fantastic appointment and I think he will do well. He’s got something old school about him, which I like, and he’s obviously a very good coach and manager. He looks like the type who will be hard but fair – he must be because the last time I saw him he kicked me all over the old Showground when he was playing for Scunthorpe and then actually apologised for doing it at the end!

He just strikes me as a good fit for the Football Club right now. I know there are younger managers looking to make their way in the game and plenty of them probably applied for the job but I think his approach, his CV, his experience and his knowledge will make him perfect for the role and the Club.

I think back to the successful managers I had and it was one extreme to the other. Alan Murray was laid back most of the time and he would just let you get on with it, to a certain extent. Then before him it was Cyril Knowles – who was the type of bloke that when he stepped in to the corridor even the cockroaches went running! As soon as you heard his voice you hid in the Kit Room!

Looking at Richard, I feel like he might be a little bit in between those two in his style, though admittedly I am only coming to that conclusion based on what I’ve seen and read about him over the last few days.

He’s obviously much more than just a motivator and a disciplinarian – he’s tactically astute as well. We have all seen how hard and tough this league is to compete in and Richard has got promotion from it once and been close on other occasions too and you don’t do that unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

The other thing that strikes me and impresses me is that the clubs he’s left have often been in a much better state than when he arrived – I mean, look at Cambridge United who are now an established league club once again. That has to be down in no small way to the grounding and foundations he put in place whilst taking them up and keeping them there.

It’s obviously horrible to see anyone lose their jobs, particularly with Christmas coming up, and I really feel for Matthew Bates. I suppose he knows as well as me that it’s the way the game is though and if you’re the manager and you’re losing games then the pressure will build. I do wish him all the best though because he’s a great bloke and a talented coach who has much more to give, I’m sure.

Looking forward and I’m excited about the new era now and what is to come. Richard looks like he’s got a bit of everything so I’m looking forward to seeing what difference he can make and how he can impact on the performance of the players.

I’m also looking forward to meeting him again – the amount of times he kicked me that afternoon in Scunthorpe, I might try and get one or two back on him!

Getting that win last week at Maidenhead was crucial. We had to end that losing run we were on and to get the victory and a clean sheet, whether it was scruffy or not, was important and I think it gives the new Manager a base to build upon.

I reckon not having a league game this weekend will give him a great chance to look at things without the big pressure of playing for points.

Having said that, I know he will take the FA Trophy seriously having won it in the past and tasting the experience of glory at Wembley. It’s a competition we want to do well in – I think I speak for all Pools fans when I say we dream of being able to walk down Wembley Way with our blue and white scarves having never done it previously in our history.

But if we can go to Leamington and get another win and make it two in a row going in to the busy and important Christmas period then we could really get on a roll and see where it takes us.

On a sad note, it was upsetting to hear the news that former physio Tommy Johnson passed away this week at the age of 92. I know it’s easy to trot out words when somebody passes away but Tommy was genuinely just a proper nice fella, definitely one of the good guys.

If you look back, he didn’t have much equipment to work with back in those days. His treatment was basically to take the lads in the North Sea – so maybe he was ahead of his time with all the ice baths and everything we have now! He also had a big heat lamp so it was either hot or cold with Tommy but he always got you fit quickly, he was brilliant.

He had a famous magic sponge as well. If you went down and needed treatment during a game it didn’t matter where your injury was, the first thing he did was come on and slap a sponge on your head. I think that usually startled most players back to their feet!

The biggest compliment I can pay him is that I never once saw him have an argument or even a disagreement with anyone. He got on with the managers and all the players loved him because he was a superb bloke and I can’t speak highly enough of him.

Right, that’s me done for this Blog. I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and let’s hope we have a prosperous New Year in the FA Trophy and in our chase for the top seven.

All the best,

Brian.


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