Colchester United manager Aidy Boothroyd has refuted a received perception of him as a long-ball merchant as inaccurate, calling it an excuse invented by embittered losing opponents.
Following his arrival in Essex at last week`s press conference, Boothroyd said then he felt his reputation was not a put-down, instead a source of great pride, because the 38-year-old sees himself as aligned with a successful past with Watford.
Yesterday, speaking on BBC Radio Five Live during their regular Football League slot, he explained: “Somebody somewhere has lost an awful lot of money betting on me to be getting jobs! I`ve been tied down a little bit with the stigma of a long-ball merchant, that`s not perhaps helped. People sometimes don`t even see the games and put a label on a person without giving them the opportunity.”
Having dwelt on the issue throughout his sabbatical of almost a year, Boothroyd added that the job of a coach is to fashion a team which plays to its strengths, saying: “For me, a coach is somebody who goes into a place and sees what he can get at his disposal and what he can recruit and gets the best out of those guys. That`s what I thought I did and that`s what I think a lot of other managers do.
“They`re the ones that tend to win but of course when a little club wins, which plenty of people think isn`t supposed to happen, so you get comeuppance for that in a different way.”
Boothroyd also said he was slightly taken aback by how long it had taken to climb back onto the managerial merry-go-round, yet relieved in choosing what he had previously called “the right club at the right time.”
“I`d be lying if I said no, I wasn`t surprised. I thought being a manager that had gone okay, I`d be alright, wait a little while and then come straight back in,” he said.
The Yorkshireman continued: “I was a manager that had got Watford to the Premier League and then a play-off semi final and an F.A. Cup semi-final and made a few pounds for the team.”
“But it doesn`t work like that, not at all. In the end, I went in for one or two jobs, was very disappointed not to get them and I thought, well, okay, if football doesn`t work perhaps how it should, I still need to work.
“I`m 38, I love football and it was time for me to come back. Colchester presented itself as a great opportunity to do that.”
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