03-Mar-2018 10:01:15 | The Guardian
Manager’s straightforward style has helped his players deal with the nerves and rigours of Premier League football
To the outside world, a manager’s decisions are the only way to judge their work. But to the inner circle, to the players and staff that make up the daily life of a team, it is not just the decision but the way it is imparted that tells you so much about a person’s true management style. Steve Sidwell was hitting his 35th birthday, with a long and varied career behind him, when he was called in to have a chat with Chris Hughton. Sidwell’s frustrating season – he broke an ankle in a freak accident just as he was almost fully recovered from surgery on a prolapsed disc – was about to take another hit. Hughton sat down with the midfielder and began to talk.
“He pulled me in before the transfer window shut and said: ‘I am looking to bring a striker in and if I do there might not be a space for you,’” Sidwell recalls. Being withdrawn from the Premier League’s 25-man roster, in effect cutting off any chance to play once he finished his latest rehab, was an obvious blow, even if Sidwell fully understood the logic behind a decision in the club’s best interests.
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