HAPPY New Year to all Examiner readers and let’s hope it’s a really good one.
It was a great 2012 for Town, gaining promotion from League I, and they had a great start in the Championship, although it’s fair to say the reality of the higher division and the extra quality needed is now starting to hit home.
The wonderful thing is, though, that it takes only one win to turn everything around.
You only have to look at QPR beating Chelsea the other night to see what a win can mean. Suddenly the confidence returns, everyone wants the ball and people have smiles on their faces again.
As a former player, it’s now enjoyable to be able to relax at Christmas and, for me, that means reading a good book.
This time I was given a copy of Bounce, by Matthew Syed, the journalist who was also a top table tennis player.
It’s been out a couple of years but I found it a compelling and fascinating read.
He writes brilliantly about how stars are not born, they are made.
All sorts of elements are included, but the big one is motivation – and that’s not money, but the people who drive them forward.
In football that’s the managers, and he explains how the very best – like Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and David Moyes at the top of the Premiership – demand the very best from every player for every moment of every training session.
That’s when players become comfortable with producing their best all the time because it’s black and white – there are no grey areas.
It’s all down to motivation and the best managers get it from their players week in and week out.
I found it engrossing and it’s a terrific read for anyone interested in sport and the psychology of sport.