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Match Previews

Johnnie: There’s no blame culture

In-depth update from the gaffer

16 September 2022

Match Previews

Johnnie: There’s no blame culture

In-depth update from the gaffer

16 September 2022

With a long trip to Cumbria on the horizon, our manager highlighted the togetherness within the camp as we bid to get back to winning ways against Carlisle United.

As part of an extensive interview following Thursday’s training session, Johnnie Jackson lifted the lid on his biggest challenges in coaching, seeking advice from those closest to him and what he feels are the key strengths of our squad.

In addition he also provided a fitness update, gave his thoughts on Chris Gunter’s international call-up and outlined his opinion on the current state of the third and fourth divisions of the EFL.

You can read the full transcript of the conversation below, and you can also watch highlights below from Thursday's training session.


We need to remain upbeat and positive. We want to keep smiles on faces whilst the group works hard. I truly believe that if you maintain certain behaviours, sooner or later you will come out of tough runs.


Friends and family are good people to speak to. My dad and my father in law are always there if I need a chat. There’s a lot of people in the game that are in similar situations to me in management and coaching. But a lot of it you have to deal with on your own, you have to fight your own internal battles alongside utilising the support that you have.


Losing. Dealing with defeat. Dealing with the fallout from it. It hits me as hard as anyone when we lose, but it’s my job to pick everyone up. You have to make sure you keep your own emotions in check. I have to project positivity in order for it to pass through to the players.


I’m really pleased with the make-up of the squad. We’ve managed to get a really good blend together after initially inheriting what was a very young team. I spoke a lot about getting the right characters in and I feel we’ve definitely done that. There’s a good camaraderie, the young ones get on with the old ones, and vice versa. We win and lose together, there’s no blame culture.

We’ve got experienced, exciting young players, and we need to bring that together. I don’t feel like our points tally reflects how we’ve played. I know for a fact that the lads feel that way as well – there’s more to come from them.


From an emotions perspective, there aren’t too many differences at all as it’s like a constant rollercoaster! You go through the same ups and downs at whatever level you’re managing at.

I don’t see too many differences between the bottom half of League One and top half of League Two. I think in years gone by, the lower down the levels you went, the style would change but now a lot of teams are looking to play good football by building out from the back. It’s happening at every level. There’s more money too, which means there’s higher paid players and overall, better quality players.


Nathan (Young-Coombes) has gone for a scan today. He was sore after the game on Tuesday. When someone comes off with a knee injury it does make you worried. I haven’t had an update yet. We’ll decide our plan of action once we hear back on it.

PK (Paul Kalambayi) has a niggling problem which he’s had for a while that he needs to shake off. We need to get it sorted, it’s an issue with his knee that just needs a bit of time, otherwise it will get worse. It’s disappointing for us and disappointing for the lad as he was competing for a place.


I’m not surprised at all as he’s been a mainstay in the national set-up for years. We knew when we signed Chris that there was a chance he would miss the odd game here and there. There’s also a World Cup coming up and if he’s fit I think he has every chance of going to that as well.

It’s great for him and it’s great for us to have representation at international level and maybe at a World Cup. We’ll miss him on the pitch later this month, but it gives an opportunity for someone else to stake a claim.

PICS: Stephen Flynn and Ian Stephen (Pro Sports Images)

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