Tates Tales 2

The next season wasn’t as successful and Kenny lost his job, did you feel it was the right decision at the time?

Again it is hard because at that time then. Me and Kenny had grew to like each other and trust each other. Results weren’t great, looking back it probably was the right time, it was the right time for Kenny and for the club, Kenny was getting stick even when we were winning games and so you are struggling: where do you go from there? if you win one-nil at home and you are getting booed off. So yeah I think it probably was the right time and looking back now, Kenny has gone onto bigger and better things and so has the club.

How hard is it for a young player to see a manager go? I imagine that when your 30 and you’ve had 5 or 6 managers then it’s not such a big issue but when your career is on the up and then a big change like this happens then I guess it is a worry?

It s hard especially when it is the manager that has brought you in. Someone like Darren Pratley, he’d brought him in at a young age and it was tough for him as he was only a kid at the time. For me it wasn’t as tough as with Brian because me and Kenny didn’t get off to a great start but as I said, we trusted each other at the end but it is one of those things which happen in football and  you just have to get on with it.

The rest is history though as Martinez got the post, how well did you know him then? Again, I know you played with him but you’d have been a teenager and I assume you wouldn’t have been that close back then?

Yeah we were, we were all close to Rob. Obviously me and Leon were there (when he was there as a player) and we all lived quite close to each other, none of our girlfriends had moved down and so we sort of lived in each other’s pockets, we’d go out for food, see each other regularly. Leon used to room with Rob and so we all knew Rob quite well and so when he took over, the first thing he said to us when we played Yeovil was ‘it’s a bad thing for you that I know you better than any other person would’ and so straight away we were like right, we better knuckle down here. He knew us and we knew him.

Was it more like the United way? Going right back to when big Rog told you to ‘f*ck off upfield’ you were now being told to take the ball off the keeper again?

I think in that sense it was yeah, Rob knew how good we could be and he knew the players who could play football and he knew who couldn’t and he still has that philosophy today. The club have a lot to thank Roberto for as he was a massive influence, I think the club owe Roberto a lot.

I regularly bang on about Leon Britton and I think that he played a huge role in our progression as not many people could do what he did and allow us to play the way we did in those leagues. Do you agree with that or do you think that Martinez could have just picked someone else?

Could he have picked another one? I don’t know because he never needed to. Obviously we had Joe Allen coming through but he was only 16 at the time but whether he could have gone out and picked someone else? He picked Ferrie and so….. I imagine that he probably could have yeah. For me Ferrie was a Premier league player playing in league one, his ability was ridiculous, he is probably one of the best midfielders which I have ever played with. On his day and when his head was right then he was brilliant. How nobody else had spotted him I have no idea, he could pick, a pass, control a game, score a goal, he wasn’t afraid to put a tackle in, he had a nasty side; Ferrie could have been a Premier league player for years, it baffled me that nobody had spotted him before and it was a league one club coming in for him.

We just missed out on the play-offs that season after losing the final game 6-3 at home to Blackpool. Many of us fans will remember that game for one thing and one reason only; Joe Allen. Do you remember that? Were you aware of how good he was before that game?

Yeah, I remember because I didn’t play. I’d been kicked in the eye in Carlisle away and they said that I needed four weeks because something had come away from the inside of my eye and they said that it needed to heal and I remember obviously watching the game and Joe coming on and we trained with him and knew he was a good player but he come on, the top looked way too big for him but he done ok yeah.