Paul Dickov column: Pressure is ‘the nature of the beast’

The result at Walsall was hard to take
The result at Walsall was hard to take

Having pressure piled upon you is the nature of the beast in football.

When results aren’t going your way or you’re on a bad run, people will immediately talk about the pressure mounting on the manager’s shoulders.

As a manager, I’ve been there before and, for some supporters, I’m there again now.

People will have heard me say this before but it never changes from my perspective: no one puts pressure on me like I do myself to perform to the best of my ability.

It was pointed out to me recently that my demeanour rarely changes after games, no matter what result we have picked up.

It wasn’t always that way. Whether it’s down to me learning I don’t know.

When I was first in the job, whenever we won I thought we were getting promoted and you had to scrape me down from the ceiling.

Whenever we lost, you had to pick me up off the floor and I wouldn’t want to speak to anyone for days. I wouldn’t speak to the missus, I wouldn’t speak to the kids and I’d want to kick the dog.

This game is difficult because every week you face a test of your principals. You just have to try and believe what you are doing is right. And that is not always easy.

You see your staff and players working hard all week, Monday to Friday, but that is not appreciated when it’s followed by a poor performance or result.

I take no joy from coming out after a game and saying things like I’m embarrassed about the players or that they should have done this thing differently.

All I want to do is come out and let everyone know how hard they’ve worked but it’s difficult sometimes to justify that.

And very quickly I’ve got to get all that out of my system. If I came in for training after a game and I was still down, that would have an impact on the club.

I’m a positive guy and I’m very upbeat. I like to have a laugh and a joke but I also like to work hard and surround myself with people who are the same. I believe I’ve got that here.

I know people won’t be happy with the result from last weekend at Walsall, I’m not stupid. No one is more unhappy with that result than me and I’ve got a massive determination to put it right.

All through my career I was told I was too small, not quick enough, not good enough and I didn’t score enough goals. There’s always people out there who are desperate to tell you that.

The best way to answer them is not to prove them wrong, but prove yourself right.