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Flitcroft: Connection is Key

16 January 2013

Reds boss on taking charge

Following yesterday’s press conference at Oakwell, which officially unveiled David Flitcroft as the new First-Team Manager of Barnsley, ‘Flicker’ gave Barnsley Player an exclusive interview.

Having won two of the three games he took charge of, with the most recent win over Leeds seeing the home fans chant his name, Flitcroft is appreciative of the support he has received.

“It was nice to hear my name appreciated, “he said. “As a player you get it and there’s an admiration and respect level to it. It was nice.

“Your life experiences bring you to a point where you either sink or swim and when I first took the job against Peterborough, you don’t know how you can lead that group; you don’t know if they want to be a part of what you’re doing, part of your message or if they’re going to follow you. And I think as a number two you always have that fear, a lot of numbers twos have failed and don’t want to make the step up.

“When I made the step up and realised I had a reaction from the players and a positive one from the staff, then I found that I could lead this group and I wanted to lead the group and I enjoyed it. Now that honeymoon period is over I’m sure I’ll be judged on what I do from this moment onwards.

“The word I’ll be using quite a lot is a ‘connection’. That connection is key to the success and the battles ahead that we’ve got.

“In a battle you can’t have one person going off on a tangent, a battle is won by men who are fixed together. That’s what I s saw, from the board to the management, to the fans and players. I have to make that, as manager of this club it is my duty to do that.”

Although performances on the pitch is key to winning over the Barnsley public, Flitcroft admits that he and the players will need to engage with the community.

“We need to find the happy medium between getting out there to be seen doing the right thing and getting fans into the stadium,” he added. “The football players are responsible for what they do on the pitch, what they do on the pitch - the message will go out there – that will bring supporters in in itself.

“The board have made a stance to bring ticket prices down. Times are hard, times are hard for all those people out there in most towns and cities and Barnsley’s no different. If it gives a helping hand, once we’ve got them into the football club, we have to make sure they enjoy the football product and that’s something we’ll be working tirelessly on.

“We’ll sit down with a team of people and try and decide on fresh projects. If we keep trying at new projects and initiatives and new ways of trying to excite fans, that’s something we’ve got to look into.”

With already more than half of the January transfer window gone, the new Barnsley boss had already identified targets he would like to recruit.

“I think for every recruit you bring in, if we need two or three you’re going to be looking at at least 30 targets. There’ll be reasons why we can’t get targets; one – you can’t afford them, two - they might not want to come, three - their agent might want them to go elsewhere, four – the manager of the club might not want them to come here. So, you’ve all those barriers to break down, once you’ve done that and narrowed it down then you cans tart talking and I can wax lyrical about this challenge we’ve got.

“We’ve got to make sure that we are recruiting in every area, because we just don’t know what’s going to happen. We might get some late ones who are available who weren’t before. We are short of strikers, having just Danny Rose to put on is quite worrying.

“I’m not expecting to lose key performers, but I’ve got to be planning that.”

Flitcroft’s message to the fans is clear and simple, “Let’s hear that support and we’ll give you something to shout about.”

Barnsley Player subscribers can watch this exclusive interview by clicking here.

Photos: Thanks to Brett Carr.

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