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Star pupil Johnson

19 March 2013

New manager bids to be top of the class


New Latics’ manager Lee Johnson remains an avid student of the game.

The 31-year-old, who has become the youngest manager of any of the 92 League clubs, has revealed the steps he has taken in his bid to be top of the managerial class.

Johnson (pictured) explained, for example, how he seized advantage of the international breaks during his five years as a player at npower Championship club Bristol City.

Instead of putting his feet up and relaxing, Johnson was busy venturing far and wide and spending thousands of pounds to broaden his horizons.

Johnson said: "I would go on each break and spend time at the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Feyenoord and Skonta Riga (Latvia). And at home I visited Tottenham and Arsenal to learn.

"I would speak to the top people and take little bits of their philosophies and build it around mine."

Johnson added that while in Spain he noticed how well their players used their shoulder positions better than footballers here.

"I have brought that into my philosophy when players can use their bodies and shoulders to get further advantages in attacking situations," he continued.

Johnson also pointed out that he may be a novice in some respects, but he is a veteran in others.

He continued: "My dad has been in management for 20 years and we have discussed every decision he has made.

"I don’t feel a total rookie and I have a lot of experience, albeit second hand.

"I think management was in my blood and I was picking my dad’s teams at the age of nine/ten.

"When your dad is a carpenter, you find the kid is usually good at woodwork. I have been around management so long it is a natural progression and it doesn’t seem a big step."

Johnson is also inspired by the success achieved by AFC Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe who was in his twenties when he cut his teeth in management.

He said: "I had a chat with Eddie on Saturday and he is a success story for younger managers and he told me to give him a call if I wanted a chat.

"Steven Pressley also did a pretty good apprenticeship at Falkirk before recently joining Coventry.

"There have been a few younger managers I can lean on and get an opinion."

Johnson is also looking forward to going head to head with his father in the technical area next month when Yeovil Town visit Boundary Park.

He joked: "The only reason I got the job was that my dad guaranteed us three points from that game. All the tricks will be coming out and I will be exposing my dad’s skeletons.

"What a media story that will be! I don’t know if the Ferguson’s or Clough’s ever did it? There cannot be too many experiences of master and pupil."


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