League 2 Manager of the Month

Friday 15th November 2013
Jim Duffy

Clyde boss Jim Duffy was awarded the SPFL League 2 Manager of the Month Award for October after an unbeaten month. The Bully Wee secured wins over Gala Fairydean Rovers in the William Hill Scottish Cup and Berwick Rangers and Stirling Albion in the league as well as grabbing a last gasp draw up at Peterhead.

The former Falkirk, Dundee, Hibs and Brechin City boss reckons that stability was the reason behind his first recognition since taking charge at Broadwood in February 2011. Duffy said: “It is a difficult to say that this award it is a sign of this or a sign of that but what it does show is that we have had a good month. The club have developed positively and this award is probably a reflection of the continuity we have had over the past few months.”

“We did not go through the same level of change that we had seen in previous summers and that has helped us. That continuity led to us making a decent start to the season and having a very good October.”

“I am hoping that the players take from this good run that we are a side that they can compete in this league.”

Duffy added: “We had good results last month especially when you consider that we had three away games on the bounce. We travelled to Gala Fairydean in the Scottish Cup and then played Peterhead and Berwick Rangers in the League.”

“We won two and drew one and then defeated Stirling Albion at home.”

The Clyde players showed their character and versatility during that spell with Duffy saying: “They were all tough games and we put in different types of performances during them. In some games we played really good football in spells but in others we had to really dig in.”

“At Berwick and in the second half against Stirling there were times when it was backs to the walls and we had to show some resilience. We did that well especially at Berwick when we were down to ten men for most of the second half.”

The 54 year old is hoping that his players reflect positively on this period as he explained: “The fact that we can dig in and be resilient is some of the learnings I have taken from this time.”

This season’s League 2 is the tightest Duffy has seen as he explained: “When I first came here it was just after half-way in the season and Arbroath were the best team in the league by then. The next season Alloa had more about them than anyone and of course Rangers were in it last season so there was has been little in the way of a tight title race.”

“This season could be different as I don’t think you ever get a surprise result in this league. Every team is capable of winning against everyone else home and away. You never look at a result and say that is a shock.”

To succeed consistent high performances will be required with Duffy advising: “This league is so open that you have to be up for every single game. If you are not at your best in this league then you have no chance. Players need to be up for the challenge if you are to do anything in this season.”

“The teams are really evenly matched and East Stirling, who had been bottom for a couple of seasons have improved more than anyone and that is why they are top. They had a touch of consistency about them at the start of the season and John Coughlin deserves praise for bringing in the players he has. “

“They brought in experience and that helped them get off to a great start in the same way that continuity has helped us.”

“They are still there and we are one third of the way through the season so they have something about them. However they have been just one result for losing the lead a couple of times and that shows you again how close it is.”

The title winners could actually be decided by full time teams with Duffy explaining: “It is impossible to predict what will happen in the next 6 months. Players can lose form, players can be injured and also more and more teams are looking at this league for players.”

“The January Transfer window could be exciting as teams from the Premiership and Championship are now recognising more and more that there is talent in this league.”

Duffy added: “You look at Partick Thistle and they have Aaron Muirhead who was at Annan and Aaron Taylor- Sinclair who was with Montrose. Dundee United have seen great success with Andrew Robertson and he is at Tannadice with his former Queen’s Park colleague Aidan Connolly with their former team-mate Lawrence Shankland up at Aberdeen.”

“At Clyde we had Declan Gallacher with us before he went to Dundee and he was one of their best players in the top flight last season. There is more and more interest in players at this level and that can only be a good thing.”

“If a team loses a couple of players it could severely hinder their chances. The league has been testing so far but the real stiff test has still to come next year but it will be close all the way through.”

“Most of the teams will be fighting for a play-off place and I am hoping that Clyde are among that group.”

After a ten year gap between winning monthly Awards Duffy was asked if he was still enjoying management and he said: “I certainly still enjoy being involved with players. Obviously like any job in football management it can be frustrating but when you don’t have a game to look forward to it is even more frustrating.”

“Football management is probably best described as enjoyable frustration. Going to games to watch them in a media role is good but it does not produce the same adrenalin.”

“Football has had that effect on me for over 30 years and it is still the same.”

by Craig Stewart

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