Michael Duff interview: Cheltenham boss discusses their League Two rise, Sean Dyche and Burnley

As the matches ticked by and that he waited to get a win, there must have been instances when Michael Duff wondered why he did stay at Burnley.
Cheltenham Town, his very first job in direction was arrived at by duff and had to wait till his 10th League Two match in charge for a win. Now, just the club are in the top seven and now looking up.
His departure from Turf Moor is now looking like a choice.
I probably needed a job for life at Burnley, Duff, a two-club guy who spent his whole playing career at Cheltenham and Burnley prior to linking the Clarets coaching staff after retiring in 2016, tells Sky Sports. I had an incredible connection with the team and the director and that I had access into the first team, so it was not like that I was just with all the U23s.
But a whole great deal of things lined up for me. The family wanted to come home and the kids were to take action. I have only had two nightclubs at a career that is long and it felt like the right thing to go back to where I started. I didnt apply for it I was come to by Cheltenham and that I knew at some point have a go and I needed to stick my head. I didnt wish to get to 55 or 50 and thinkI might have done that. I never get a second job and may get the sofa, but I understand now that if I fail, I have had a go at it.
You will find several soul-searching moments during that bad run of why I had come , and Ill remain appreciative of just the way little pressure there was on me from the club. I know at other clubs, managers are sacked in just eight or nine games when youve come in an background. However, any tension I believed came from inside.
Cheltenham had caught a couple of cup wins beneath Duff from EFL Trophy and the FA Cup, however it had been his first success in the league at mid-November that saw items quickly start to develop. Their house form, particularly, has been especially impressive and they are unbeaten in their last 16 games at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Duff came using his own coaching and management principles, but has learned when you are the man at a center, that those matters can change.
I believed I had my own thoughts of how I wanted to come back in and play, he explained. I wanted to go 4-4-2 and nearlyBurnley-fy the place, if you want, getting them organised and hard to conquer.
But I did not win a match in my first 10 and you realise you want to try something different. So we ended up going the other way, since it satisfied the players we 17, enjoying 3-5-2. We perform with a grand style, normally with about 550-600 moves.
I thought Id have them more in a manifestation of me, but Im actually rather enjoying watching them play. Although I am not stupid enough to believe that in the event you play 500 moves and get defeated every week youre likely to continue to keep your work!
They may play style and a different formation into Sean Dyches Premier League outfit, however there are other ways Duff hasBurnley-fied Cheltenham. The prior guardian has trimmed a squad to make sure they are a inspired unitprepared to work and fight together.
We had 29 players once I arrived and then I introduced in Luke Varney to make it 30, said Duff. It had been too many and you also can not keep everybody happy. On my day we did an 11 versus 11 and we all had seven players! How are you supposed to keep them motivated?
Obviously when that occurs, whether you like it or not, therell be two or three unhappy faces and theyll be sucking the life out of the dressing area. If they dont mean to take action, it is going to be with an impact on the people alongside them. It is just a thing that is human.
It was a tiny danger because we had a few accidents at the onset of the time and it left us down to the bare bones, but it just makes it more manageable. How can you keep players alive and motivated when they can see four players before them? Youre asking them to do things but there is not any point should they know they are not likely to perform. Having a team that is smaller , even the players who nt started will know they are just 1 injury, a defeat that is terrible or someone losing form from getting into the team, so that they need to be on it all of the time.
It keeps them alive in training and keeps the professionalism and criteria better around the area. The teams I have been a part of since a player normally came when there has been a good core of players that all were pulling in exactly precisely the exact identical direction. Its tough to do this if you have too many.
Duff worked with Dyche in Burnley for years and it is clear that his supervisor, both as a trainer and by his period as a participant, has had a huge effect on his or her
He was fantastic in that 10-game conduct and that he rang me more than anyone else, said Duff. I have a brilliant relationship with himnot only as a participant, where I won two promotions, but also when I stepped over the opposing side.
He brought me to his training setup and involved me in all. I had half an hour every Saturday in his office once the coaching staff goes out with him, and I would pick his brains nuggets of advice, which were consistently invaluable because he is honest and open. In that terrible run if he can help me in any way he would constantly call me up and see, and even now he does.
Our very first home game of the season was in precisely exactly the exact identical time as Burnleys, and I went into my office just after the game and watched a message in my phone , just after theyd conquered Southampton 3-0. It simply shows what type of guy he is that they had won their first Premier League match of the year and then he text me straight off to say on us beating against Scunthorpe. Hes a good bloke who receives it, and is also very good at what he does.
There have been other individuals too but I have probably spoken to him more than anybody else in the last 12 months
But can Duff see himself replicating a single day handling and Dyches achievements at the highest degree? Into the flight he rose as a participant, and he hopes he can do something as a supervisor.
I understand Im not going to get Cheltenham into the Premier League, he explained. I have my own aims of everything I need to achieve and in which I need to be, but the major way of doing this is to keep doing nicely with Cheltenham. If I do better, the club does the players get more money and we get greater attendances. If the players are currently doing well on the pitch then it reflects on everybody.
I know Ill never get to where I want to be if the club does not keep winning another game. It took until I was 30 as a player but the aspiration was not there, and is a liar.
I obviously didnt go crying from the rooftops when I had been playing in the Hellenic League because individuals would have believed I was psychological, but it doesnt indicate it is not inside you. You only need to keep working and trying and hopefully get a bit of fortune along the way.

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