Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney on why he 'isn't recreating football' with his messages to the players

Antony Sweeney is striving to bring out the best in the Hartlepool United players and his methods can’t be faulted so far.

Friday, 1st November 2019, 6:00 am
Nicke Kabamba 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 )
Nicke Kabamba 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 )

Pools go into Saturday’s National League match away to Notts County (3pm kick-off) on the back of three straight wins since Sweeney took temporary charge.

As a novice, Sweeney admitted he’s always learning about the type of manager he is and wants to be in an attempt to ensure the team are capable of continuing to move up the table.

When discussing if he’s more likely to adopt an ‘arm around the shoulder’ or ‘hairdryer treatment’ method, the 36-year-old’s approach looks to be more pragmatic.

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“Every player is unique in themselves, some will listen and put advice into practice, some won’t, it’s just the nature of football,” he said.

“That’s the nature of having 22, 23 different characters in the squad, it’s important you find out what makes each on of those characters tick.

“Some like an arm around them and some want more of a volley if you like so it’s just finding those personalities and finding what makes them tick and hopefully that gets them confidence and gets them on side and winning games.”

Looking at the players as individuals in regard to training and the messages they’re given as well as the squad as a whole has proved to be successful for Sweeney so far.

“The players want to feel appreciated and feel as though you’re doing the best by them,” he added.

“Whether it’s Josh [Hawkes] at 20, Nicke Kabamba at mid 20s or Raynesy into his early 30s, you can still learn and it’s about the players embracing that.

“With Nicke, telling him to get in and around the six yard box isn’t recreating football, it’s just about reinforcing that message that those are the areas where you’re going to score the scruffy goals.

“I know Josh has goals in him but he’ll tell you himself that we’re working hard on his out of possession game because he needs to bring more to the team out of possession.

“I’m not trying to be clever or anything, I’m just doing what I can to give them the tools required to succeed.”