Revell determined to restore Boro’s ‘unbelievable community club’ feel
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Regardless of what the final outcome to the League Two season is, it is vital that the lessons are learned according to Stevenage boss Alex Revell.
Boro were cut adrift at the bottom of the table when the decision was taken to suspend fixtures in wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The poor form had cost first Dino Maamria and then Graham Westley their jobs in the managerial hotseat, leaving the rookie Revell to take over the reins of the struggling side.
It wasn’t exactly how the former striker envisioned his fledgling coaching career going but it is one he has thrown himself into with typical gusto.
But he is well aware of the enormity of the task at hand and determined to put things right when football finally returns.
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Speaking to Boro’s own Jay Drackford and Hendon manager Lee Allinson on the All Things Football podcast, he said: “We always have to plan ahead because we cannot let a season like this happen again.
“It’s hard as this is such a difficult time for everyone and it is changing so much.
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“The most important thing for me is that we prepare a way of playing and the players are fit and hungry and ready to prove a point.
“Hopefully they’ve had time to reflect on their own performances and we’ve had calls on how to change that.
“I want the whole club to learn from this experience and when we come back we are a club full of people ready to die for the shirt.
“This is an unbelievable community club and we have to get that feeling back.”
His style as a manager reflects him both as a person and a player – tough, demanding and honest.
And he wholeheartedly feels that those traits can bring the best of the current Stevenage squad, something people have not seen fully over the last 12 months.
“When [the offer to be manager] came it was the best moment in my career,” he said. “It was now down to me and the biggest thing for me was making everyone enjoying it.
“The biggest thing is to create an environment of good people who want to make a difference every day.
“Players know how I want things to be.
“It’s not easy to break it and get over the slump and I’ll help all the players.
“It depends on the group, you have to get the best out of them and that’s the job of the manager and all the coaches.
“We haven’t seen the best out of the players this season and that’s the major disappointment for all of us.
“I genuinely feel that I have their respect as I was always honest with them. The one thing that players want is honesty.
“I made sure whenever I coached, from the very beginning, I was certain in what I wanted from people, hard work, aggressive and giving absolutely everything.
“The talent will always come out.
“If you demand that from the very beginning then people will do it as they respect you for it.
“That’s how I am and as long as you are respectful and put sessions on that are fun and make players think, then they will enjoy it and that’s how you get respect.”
The podcast looks at his whole career and while it is obvious there were some very happy times as a player, most notably at Braintree Town and Rotherham United, he is certainly feeling at home at the Lamex.
“I pushed to get out at Northampton,” he said. “I liked Darren Sarll and when I saw the training ground I just thought this was the right place.
“I wanted to settle here and we deserve to get success and I wanted to be part of that. I felt we were on to something.
“I played a lot of games when Dino came in but towards the end of that first season I had an injury in my calf and I couldn’t get back to where I wanted.
“When I felt that I wasn’t playing to the standard I wanted then I thought I was cheating the club and the people who are paying their money.
“It was a big decision [to go into coaching] as I could have carried on. I’ve always been able to run, I still run now, but my game was never based on that. It was based on heading and being aggressive.
“I am new age in terms of learning but the biggest thing I felt I could bring to the U18s was what it takes to be a footballer.
“None of what I bring is about talent.”
To hear the full interview go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJkYeDfzzbo