Here is the third and final part of the interview with Bees boss Darren Currie, all questions coming from the Only Barnet fans messageboard:
Were u surprised that the opportunity to become a head coach came as quickly as it did? (Sam_BFC)
DC: Yes, I wasn’t expecting John’s reign to go the way it went, but credit to John we had many a conversation when he came back to Dagenham that I felt he was giving me enough responsibility as a number two that would help me further down the line when I did become a number one. So I kinda knew where I was heading but it definitely came round quicker than I expected, I thought John would be here for the duration and then I would get an opportunity after that, but I was excited for the chance to manage here and I still am.
Whats the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a manager and what has surprised you most about the role? (Chesbee)
DC: It’s amazing when you’re a player, I really cared, I super cared but the majority of that care can be very selfish despite being in a team game and although you have jobs within that team you can affect the game because the ball’s at your feet and you can have that impact on the game itself. As a manager I’ve not got just myself to think of, I’ve got sixteen players, I’ve got six or seven also sitting in the stand, I’ve got my staff to consider, my poor wife who has to put up with me at the weekend when the result hasn’t gone the right way, so there’s just more people to consider than just me.
Sometimes as a player, and I’m not gonna lie, all players will tell you this, sometimes you can walk off a pitch having lost the game but thinking ‘I played alright out there’, but you can never really feel that as a manager, win and you can be happy and dissect the game, and look at what went well but when you lose a game as a manager it hurts more because you’re solely responsible. You pick the way the game plays out, you pick the team and the tactics and in a funny kind of way I can say now I care more as a manager than I did as a player but I know I did care as a player but that kinda how it feels.
Can you give an insight into our first relegation in 2001? How did a team full of talent who competed in the play-offs the year before and were in and around the same place at Xmas go down? Was it all down to Tony Cottee or did the players just not care? (Simples169)
DC: Oooo! It definitely wasn’t the players didn’t care, I haven’t been in one changing room in over 20 years where players didn’t care, I can’t however speak for individuals, there may be one or two along the way that have maybe looked after themselves but as a group collectively I’ve not seen it. I can’t solely put it onto Tony Cottee I can’t because that’s not fair, we’re in a team game, that’s it!
No, I agree, I agree. It can’t be all his fault and it wasn’t although as a manager as I said earlier you have to take responsibility for what goes on around you. What does interest me though is after that job he’s never been in a dug-out again so you can read into that what you want.
Will we be getting a tall replacement for Alfie (Pavey)? (Simples169)
DC: I am working and am constantly! Do I want a centre forward to come in and get on the end of what we create and score goals, play with a smile on his face and be the one who grabs the headlines, of course I do! And in a positive way it would actually help Josh Walker because at the minute he’s shouldering all the responsibility of being the only fit striker at the club and he was playing the Isthmian Premier only two seasons ago. Listen, don’t get me wrong he’s a good player with a very big future, there are bits he can improve on and we think highly of him, but at the minute all the pressure is on him because we don’t have another centre forward available to us.
What we have in Simeon is a wide man who’s doing a very good job up top on most occasions alongside our one striker? Am I trying to get another one in? 100% I am.
We need two wingers to attack defenders and put in crosses, do we have any? (Simples169)
DC: Dan Sparkes and Ephron no? I think the modern day attackers aren’t those type of players, Sparksey is a bit of a throwback, bit of an old school winger who wants to go outside his man and whip the ball in, whereas Ephron is more of a dribbler and wants to cut inside, go more direct if you will. There aren’t that many old school ones around who want to cross it rather than take the man on and beat them with pace. Until we brought in Alfie we didn’t have that one who we would expect to bullet a header past the keeper from a cross into the box so I felt we had to play to our strengths like little slide passes down the side of people but the way I played and with players like (Scott) McGleish and (Ken) Charlery I wanna see the ball going into the box for the striker to rise and head it home.
Bringing Alfie in was to compliment what we already had, Shaq who likes his twists and turns, gaining yards down the side of people and getting his shot away, Josh who wants to muscle his way through people and hitting the target with both feet and Pavey I wanted getting on the end of crosses so we have a different mixture for different games.
The craft of effective wing play doesn’t seem instinctive for those coming out of the Academy, given the artistry you showed as a player how can this be improved? (Hoofer2)
DC: I think I touched on it earlier about decision making, and that is the best players in the world make the best decisions, that’s how I see the game. And if you are the top players and the top teams they just make the right decisions. That comes down to ‘I’ve got a 1v1’, or ‘if he’s tight to me am I trying to dribble past him, where am I dribbling past him to’, there’s gotta be a reason and a purpose to that decision. If he’s off me five or ten yards and I’ve got the yard of space for my cross, it’s all about the quality of the delivery and ultimately it comes down to the decision making.
The work we try to do with all of our players is to recognise when is the right time to dribble, on the outside or coming inside and when is the right time to get the ball into the box, so it’s how you break down those moments in the wide areas to get the final product.
I’ve got a saying for our players and it’s what I lived and died by as a player, ‘you’ve got to be predictable for your team-mates but unpredictable for the opponent’. Sometimes though you become predictable for the opponent and unpredictable for your team-mates and that for me is the wrong way round.
So when I played, I might do my little chop, a change of direction but nine times out of ten my team-mates knew that ball would be coming into the box, that’s me being predictable for them.