Shittu - Respect For Ollie Is No Joke
Centre half Danny Shittu has said that whilst manager Ian Holloway is certainly the 'character' that you expect him to be ahead of working with him, the players have already learned to respect him and wouldn't dare to not take him seriously.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard Shittu said he more than appreciated that Holloway was very honest in terms of losing the dressing room of his previous club, Crystal Palace, after playing his part in making so many new additions over the summer following their promotion, but was adamant that Ollie had already won over his new charges.
Reading between the lines given the other interviews that are doing the rounds today concerning the stalled contract talks for David Forde, and Holloway's belief that players have to prove to him they deserve one rather than simply expecting one to be handed one - he says Forde wants to earn it, and Trotter didn't - to me at least, it seems like Shittu's interview is also meant to express the feeling it's not so much the manager's way or the highway, it's more you know it makes sense to be on board with the manager's way.
'When he initially came in, a few of the guys were thinking 'wow, I've not had a manager like this before.' One minute he is telling you want he wants, and the next he's having a laugh with you. In a meeting about team structure, he'll be telling you what he expects from you, and all of a sudden will just crack a joke.'
Shittu goes on to say in the interview that underneath it all though the players know that it doesn't matter how much he laughs and jokes with them, he has already won them over because when it's game time that's time to focus. The jokes, the character help to keep the mood light, motivate everyone and help foster team spirit, but Ollie is very clear on when it's time for a joke and when it's time to do your job and listen to your manager.
'Because he laughs and jokes, some outsiders don't take him seriously, but he has our respect. There is not one person at the club who will try and disrespect him. As much as he has a laugh, he is tactically very good and has given the players confidence.'
As for earlier rumours linking Holloway with a move for former midfielder Jonny Williams of Crystal Palace, Holloway has also ruled that out.'
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