Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney explains the thinking behind his animated touchline presence

Some managers are quiet and conservative in the dugout while others are loud and energetic – Antony Sweeney is certainly the latter.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 7:00 am
Antony Sweeney during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barnet at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 26th October 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News )

The Pools caretaker joked that he’s covered more distance than the Pools players while watching the last three consecutive victories from the touchline.

Sweeney’s animated presence has embodied his obvious passion and excitement for the club – though there’s more to it than that.

On his conduct on the sidelines, the 36-year-old explained: “It’s two fold. It’s for the players to try and get that intensity and tempo to keep them alert and switched on but it’s also a bit of nervous energy on my part as well, just trying to be involved in the game to try and drive it and not let it pass by.

“Everyone likes a pat on the back sometimes, if it’s something simple like blocking a ball, I reward that because if you don’t make that block then chances are you’ll be on the back foot defending. It’s an important part of it and I try to do it with the players.

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“As a player, I liked encouragement. It drives how we want to go about it but I believe that the fans play a massive part too.

“I’ve been at this stadium when the fans are on side and singing behind the team it’s a difficult place to come.

“Too often, it hasn’t been the case so it’s trying to generate performances that engage the fans which in turn engages the players and everyone benefits from it.

“Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t.”