Boss on 'new manager syndrome'
By now we’ve all come to know that John Still doesn’t believe in luck, and that he certainly does not believe in, or care for curses or jinxes or any other phobias when it comes to receiving the manager of the month award.
Tomorrow, top-of-the-table Town, and a travelling army of 2,000 supporters, make the journey to Burton Albion, aiming to a) stretch an unbeaten sequence in League 2 to 12 matches, and b) spoil new Brewers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s first home game in charge.
Former Chelsea and Holland striker Hasselbaink will hope his side can pick up from where they left off from after beating Wycombe on Monday night, live in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Was Hasselbaink’s appointment and subsequent presence the reason for their win over the Chairboys?
“I don’t believe in this ‘new manager, everyone plays better’. They can only play to their maximum potential, that’s all they can do, they can’t play above that,” explained Still at his Thursday press conference at the training ground.
“Possibly a new manager coming in might be a good thing for them. Their form had lowered a little bit and the new manager syndrome can give everything a lift. It may well have done and they got a good result against a decent Wycombe side, which they deserved.”
Albion will be buoyed by their win over Wycombe but go into Saturday’s game looking for their first win at the Pirelli Stadium since 27th September after a run of three defeats and one draw in their last four home fixtures in all competitions.
Still, though, remains unfazed by what promises to be a great atmosphere as the home faithful welcome their new manager.
“Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was a fantastic player, a great player. He’s been trying to get a job in English football and now he’s got it,” said Still. “Maybe it has that little bit of razzmatazz to it now. That might affect them, but that won’t affect us.
“We will be completely unaffected, so it might work in our favour. But we will train properly, we always prepare properly, and we’ll make sure the players get the best information of who we’re playing against.
“We’ve done that for the last 18 months and more often than not, that’s been enough.
“Sometimes things come up and we have to be adaptable as well, but our formula is tried and trusted and we won’t go too far away from that.”
With a new man at the helm, you could argue that the Town go into the unknown against Burton. But although there is just one Albion performance under Hasselbaink to scrutinise, Still will trust his side to do the business.
“We might not know what he’s going to do…but he might not know what we’re going to do,” countered the Hatters boss.
“We just look at the opposition as just another team. We look at their strengths and then we decide how we’re going to play.
“We don’t much change how we’re going to play – we might tinker slightly – but what we’ve found is that if you match up with teams, I’d pick our 11 against most 11s.
“We’ll be ready.”
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