There´s a very good piece from experienced Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray in the Coventry Telegraph about how he wants to get the best out of his players but he has to be very careful about playing them too much.
Tony talks specifically about Newcastle United 18 year-old loanee Adam Armstrong who has started every game he has been available but Tony had to be very careful he doesn´t overplay him – because that generally ends up in players picking up injuries.
Adam Armstrong in Coventry colors
Here´s the full interview from Tony and we usually only show the bits that are Newcastle related, but this is an excellent interview from Tony – about how managers have to be careful about how they use their players during a season.
It´s a long interview but worth the read with Tony making some great points:
“You have to look after players and employ a degree of rotation, especially in the final third because that’s where you need to be dynamic so there’s more danger of players picking up injuries.
“More experienced and better managers than me have pointed out that you’re only as good as your goal-scorers. There are a lot of tight games in this division and a player like Adam can turn a defeat into a draw or a draw into a victory in the blink of an eye.“
“But we have to be mindful that Adam Armstrong isn’t a robot – he’s an 18-year-old boy who will break down if we push him too hard and Newcastle wouldn’t thank us for that,”
“But the temptation is always to start with Adam and even leave him on the pitch when he’s looking a little bit jaded.“
“If 20 years ago you’d have told me about players wearing tracking belts I wouldn’t have known what you were talking about, but now it’s a great tool for us because it helps you monitor exactly what they are doing and how their bodies are coping.“
“Intense training is important, but if you keep demanding more and more you have players breaking down.“
“In my first job at Hibs we were doing really well but when we got to the crucial time of the season, wondering if we could overtake Rangers and Celtic, we suddenly found ourselves with half a team.“
We went into a final at Hampden Park, looking for Hibs to win the cup for the first time in a hundred years, with maybe four of our best 11 available.“
“At the time I thought it was bad luck but 12 years down the line you realise you were pushing young bodies too far, too hard, demanding more and more of them.“
“Jurgen Klopp mentioned horses the other day and it is a bit like that because, like racehorses, the trick is knowing when to work them hard and when to let them relax in the field eating grass!“
“That way, hopefully, they’re ready for The Derby on Saturday afternoon (Coventry are at home to Peterborough) when you need them to run, sweat, push themselves as hard as they can.“
“Today’s young players understand that because they have a GPS belt on every day so the coaches know exactly what’s happening with their bodies.“
“They know when players need to break off for a rest and a bath and when they need to run their proverbials off for 20 minutes because they’ve been on the bench for three or four games and they haven’t played for the Under-21s.“
“It’s easy to say ‘but he’s only 18 or 19 years old – why would he need a rest?’ But players aren’t machines and every so often they need that break.“
“They do a lot of work on a daily basis and have to constantly monitor their workload so they peak on match day. The GPS system tells you every step they’re taking in training –when they’re sprinting, when they’re jogging, when they’re walking – and it proves that after a couple of days rest their work-rate shoots up.“
“A training program can be difficult when you’re trying to develop the team, get it better, but you’re getting hardly any time on the grass because of the fixtures schedule.“
“The international breaks are affecting the selection of our team. Adam and Kent played parts of five games in three days for England so it’s hard to ask them to come back and play 90, 90, 90.“
“You have to monitor them carefully because if you don’t you shouldn’t be surprised when they break down with muscle injuries.”
Maybe Newcastle can learn from this as to why we pick up so many injuries every single season and have more injuries than any other Premier League side.
It cannot just be bad luck when it happens every single season.
Adam has already played 19 times for the Newcastle first team and 25 times for our U21 side with 17 goals and 5 assists and the local lad from Chapel House estate is very highly rated at the club.
Adam has played 12 games for Coventry and scored 8 goals and is obviously being taken care of by the Midlands club – and he´s also helping the Sky Blues.
So it´s a win-win situation and he will likely spend the full season on loan at Coventry – according to Steve McClaren.
Coventry City are currently 4th top of League One with 25 points from 14 games and are just 4 points out of second place and automatic promotion.