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

That he waited to get a win and as the matches ticked by, there should have been times when Michael Duff wondered why he did stay at Burnley.
Duff arrived at Cheltenham Town, his first job in management, last September, also had to wait before his 10th League Two match in charge for a win. Now, just under 12 months after, the club are looking up and now at the top seven.
His death from Turf Moor is looking like an excellent choice.
I probably had a job for life at Burnley, Duff, a two-club guy who spent his whole acting career in Cheltenham and Burnley prior to joining the Clarets coaching staff after indulging in 2016, informs Sky Sports. I had an unbelievable connection with the club and the boss and I had access into the first group, so it was not like that I was only with the U23s.
However, a whole great deal of things lined me up. The family needed to come back home and the kids were in the right age to do it. I had two clubs at a career and it felt like the thing to return to where I began. I didnt use for it I was come to by Cheltenham and that I knew at some stage also have a go and I needed to stick my head. I didnt want to arrive at 55 or 50 and thinkI could have done that. I understand now if I fail, Ive had a go at it, although I never get a second job and may get the sack week.
There were some soul-searching minutes during that poor run of why I had come , and I will always be appreciative of just the way little pressure there was from the club. I understand at clubs, managers have been sacked within nine or eight matches once youve come in an U23s background. But any pressure I believed came purely from inside.
Cheltenham had caught a few cup wins from EFL Trophy and the FA Cup under Duff, but it had been his first success in the league at mid-November that saw things quickly start to come. Their home form, particularly, has been especially impressive and they are unbeaten in their past 16 games in the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Duff arrived using his own coaching and management principles, but has learned when you are the main man at a center that those objects can change.
I thought I had my own thoughts of how I needed to come back in and perform, he said. I wanted to go 4-4-2 and almostBurnley-fy the place, if you prefer, getting them organised and hard to conquer.
But I didnt win a match in my first 10 and you realise you will need to try out something different. We ended up going another way, since it suited the players we had playing with 3-5-2. We perform with a expansive fashion, normally with approximately 550-600 moves.
I thought Id get them more at a manifestation of me, but I am really quite enjoying watching them play. Although Im not stupid enough to believe that in the event you play 500 passes and get beaten every week you are going to keep your work!
They can play with fashion and a formation to Sean Dyches Premier League outfit, however there are other ways Duff hasBurnley-fied Cheltenham. The prior guardian has trimmed a team that is bloated to make sure theyre a inspired unitwilling to fight and work together.
We had 29 players once I came and then I introduced in Luke Varney to ensure it is 30, said Duff. It was too many and you cant keep everybody happy. On my day we did an 11 vs 11 and we all had seven players! How are you supposed to maintain them motivated?
Naturally when that occurs, if you like it or not, then there will be two or three unhappy faces and they will be sucking the life from the dressing area. It will be having an impact on the people alongside them, if they dont mean to take action. It is just a human thing.
This was a small risk because we had a couple of injuries at the onset of the year and it abandoned us down to the bare bones, but it merely makes it more manageable. How do you maintain players inspired and alive when they could see four players before them? Youre asking them to do things but there is. Having a group that is smaller the players that werent starting will know they are just a bad defeat, 1 injury or somebody losing form from getting into the group, so they need to be on it all of the time.
It keeps them living in practice and retains the professionalism and criteria better around the area. The most prosperous teams Ive been part of since a participant came when was a fantastic core. It is difficult to do that if youve got too many.
Duff worked closely with Dyche in Burnley for many years and its apparent that his boss, both as a coach and from his time as a participant, has had a enormous influence on him.
He was amazing because 10-game conduct and he rang me more than anyone else, said Duff. Ive got a brilliant relationship with himnot only as a player, where I won two promotions, but also when I stepped over the other side.
He introduced me to his training setup and included me in all. Id half an hour every Saturday at his office once the coaching staff goes outside, and I would pick his brains nuggets of advice, that were consistently invaluable because he is fair and so open. In that run he find out if he can help me in any way and would always call me up, and even today he does.
Our very first home game of the season was at exactly the exact same moment as Burnleys, and I went to my office just after the match and saw a message in my phone , just after theyd beaten Southampton 3-0. It simply shows what sort of guy he is that theyd won their first Premier League game of the season and he text me away to say on us beating Scunthorpe. He is a good bloke who so it is also very good at what he does, and gets it.
There were other individuals as well but I have probably spoken to him more than anyone else in the past 12 months
But can Duff watch himself copying the accomplishments and one day handling at the highest degree of Dyche? To the top flight he climbed from non-league as a player, and he hopes that he could do something similar .
I know Im not likely to get Cheltenham into the Premier League, he said. I have my own intentions of what I need to reach and where I wish to be, but the most important direction of doing that is to continue nicely with Cheltenham. The club will better, the players get more money and we get greater attendances if I do better. It reflects well upon everybody When the players are doing on the pitch.
I know Ill never get to where I really want to be if the club doesnt keep winning another game. The aspiration was still not there, and is a liar although it took until I was 30 as a participant.
I clearly didnt go shouting it from the rooftops when I was playing at the Hellenic League because individuals would have believed I was psychological, but it does not mean its not in you. You only need to keep working and trying and get a little bit of fortune along the way.

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