Mark Sampson coaching Q&A: ‘I’m hugely passionate about people, I’m hugely passionate about football’
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Stevenage caretaker boss Mark Sampson sat down with CometSport’s Dan Mountney to talk coaching, as he continues to impress in the Boro hot seat. Read on for the Q&A.
What made you want to get into coaching?
"Not being a very good player unfortunately. If I could play I'd play. We are going to Port Vale on Saturday, a nice playing surface, a big surface, a big crowd. Everyone gets involved in football because they want to play. Deep down we are all supporters, but ultimately I'm hugely passionate about people, I'm hugely passionate about football. To be involved in a role where I can do both, helping people and helping them improve play football is exactly where I want to be."
Who do you look up to and idolise in coaching?
"If you ask my other half, she'll tell you she has to drag me off the laptop. There's so many I couldn't name one, it wouldn't be fair on them. One thing for sure is that there isn't a week that goes by where I won't watch at least one game in five different leagues in five different countries. It's important to be up to date with what's going on, the modern trends, but ultimately I've had to do a lot of work around this level and what it takes to be competitive. Bringing in people like Revs (Alex Revell), Ashy (Jon Ashton), they are just brilliant because they know what it takes to win at this level. The leadership in this football club is strong, from a playing base with the likes of Cuthbert, Farman, Soares, Byrom, they've been their and done it so engaging them on a daily basis, understanding what they believe it takes to win, where we are short, what we are not doing that we need to do to get ourselves winning. Using that experience around me is important, and I've also got a chairman whose been there, seen it and done it, so we have to make sure we are all on the same page, which we are."
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Would you say you are more of tracksuit manager in terms of you like to be out coaching on the training pitch?
"I love the training ground. Any manager wants to be with the players on a daily basis, out there on the grass, impacting performance, or sat down one to one watching some clips, talking about what they can do better. I think that's one of my big identities as a manager. Getting on the grass, interacting, developing relationships with players and making sure we have a positive work environment. I want to see the best in people, I want people to come into work excited about what we are going to do, I want to work really, really hard and if you want to get people to work hard you've got to inspire them. We've got to make sure they feel inspired by the journey we are on, at the moment I feel they are which is why we are working so hard."
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Most of your management experience has come in the women's game. Have you noticed any differences?
"I don't think so. The game is the game, people are people. You get the same challenges. Ultimately it's about creating an environment where people feel inspired to work hard, get better everyday and commit to making it a better environment. If we all commit to doing that as individuals from the supporters to the players you'll be in a good spot."