Dyer: I’ve Probably Learnt More in This Last Seven Weeks Than in My Whole Coaching Career
Tuesday, 4th May 2021 23:06
Kieron Dyer, the club’s U23s manager who has taken on a coaching role with the first team in recent weeks, took Town’s post-match press conference following the 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury and believes the Blues have one of the best managers around in Paul Cook and that fans can look forward to exciting times ahead with the changes which are beginning to happen around the club.
Reflecting on this evening’s game, Town’s ninth goalless stalemate of the season, Dyer said: “A lot different this 0-0. In the six or seven weeks that I’ve been involved in the first team, I’ve been bored in a lot of games because we haven’t created anything in the final third.
“The pleasing thing in the last two games is the number of chances we’ve created. It’s something for the manager to build on for next season with the way he wants to play.
“The worrying thing is that for all the chances we created tonight I don’t think we think we hit the target, which is a must, you have to work the goalkeeper.
“So mixed emotions. On the one hand that we created chances but not to hit the target with the chances we had is something that we need to work on.
“The manager’s been quite vocal that there’ll be a lot of players leaving, a lot of players will be brought in and I’m sure he’ll be bringing in players at the top end of the pitch that will deliver goals. And if he gets that in, then this club will be going onwards and upwards.”
The 42-year-old believes the team is starting to look more like a Paul Cook side: “Yes, 100 per cent. In a way, he doesn’t show respect to the opposition, it’s all about us, us, us.
“He wants to dominate the ball, he wants to create chances, he wants the ball put in the box, he wants people in the box.
“Like I said, for the six or seven weeks I’ve been involved with the first team, we haven’t been seeing that.
“He changed his beliefs, they always talk about managers and their identity. He went to three at the back which pained him, but he thought we still had a chance of the play-offs so he adjusted to the players rather than the players adjusting to him. I thought he deserved some credit for that.
“But then when he realised that that wasn’t working he obviously went back to what he believed. He came out with some strong words for the players. Some people say it was very harsh, but that’s the way it was.
“This guy, I’ve been around a lot of managers in my time, forget all the one-liners and the enthusiasm show, he knows his football. Tactically, I’ve learnt so much from him.
“And I will say to the Ipswich fans, you can see with the infrastructure being put in place with [new CEO] Mark Ashton and now [director of performance] Andy Rolls from my time at West Ham, this club has been praying for that kind of infrastructure and I think we’ve got one of the best managers around.
“If we get the recruitment that he wants then this club is going to be flying next season, 100 per cent.”
Asked if he’s pleased to be part of it, the 33-times-capped England international added: “Of course. I’ve probably learnt more in this last seven weeks than I’ve learnt in my whole coaching career. Just the way managers influence the fourth official, it just blows my mind. I can’t believe how much emotion goes into the fourth official!
“I’m sitting there going ‘are you actually going to watch the game you managers? You just batter the fourth official!’. The fourth official should be on about a hundred grand a week for all the stick he gets!
“Just the little things like that are priceless. The dressing rooms. I’ve come into our dressing room now and I was an outsider, I was at the club but I was an outsider [when] Paul Lambert [was at Town].
“I always used to think it was Paul Lambert’s fault or Paul Hurst’s fault, then a new manager’s come in. It can’t keep being a manager’s fault. The players have to look at themselves.
“The players are rightly getting a lot of criticism from the fans, but I feel it’s not just the players, it’s the staff, myself included. I’ve been a part of the club for two years or so on and off and it’s the staff, everyone has had a part to play in this club’s demise, and it pains me to say it, but we have.
“It’s not just the players who are worrying about the future, I’m worrying about my future, Bryan Klug’s probably worrying about his future, all these people who are part of the furniture, we could be part of the problem as well.
“So, with the infrastructure in place now, in the next week or so everyone will be finding out decisions on where they’re going to be, and who knows?
“Again, I’ve read all the quotes about the players, I would say that I’ve seen them in the changing room and they do care. But they’re fragile, they are fragile at the moment. Players play to the best of their ability with confidence and they’re fragile.
“One thing I would say to the players, and I have said to the players, is that you are in control of your destiny. I’ve seen people leave the football club, Edwina [Sesto] was a receptionist at the club for 20 years, she lost her job when we got relegated.
“She had no control over her destiny, you have control of your destiny because if you do the business on the football pitch, you’re going to be kept at the football club.
“You have to find something inside when there is disappointment and if you read the quotes from the gaffer and you don’t like what the gaffer’s said, then go and prove him wrong. You’ve got to have that attitude.
“I don’t know if it’s the mentality from academies or the academies have changed, that soft mentality. It has been a problem.
“How they’ve played in the last couple of games, the manager’s said that it’s not going to affect his decisions. I don’t know what the decisions are going to be with the players, I don’t know what my role is going to be. But it’s exciting times for Ipswich.
“It’s a cut-throat business, football. People are going to be losing jobs, people are going to be having to move on, but I’ve been in football my whole life, that’s to be expected. You can’t get out the violins all the time and feel sorry for players and that’s the bitter truth.”
Dyer’s U23s have finished second in Professional Development League Two South this season and face a play-off against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Asked about that successful campaign and whether he wants to move up to be part of the first-team staff on a permanent basis, he said: “Of course, but I wouldn’t like to be a first-team coach who just gets out the bibs and balls and does an odd box. I like to coach and feel like I’m helping players and developing players.
“I don’t know what my role is. I’m very happy with the U23s. Everyone’s talking about the success we’ve had with the U23s being in the play-offs, the U18s in the semi-finals [of the FA Youth Cup], but I do think as an academy we get a lot of plaudits but we have to be better because when I was in the academy I was going for £6.5 million, Titus went for £5 million.
“You look at the academy now and we’re saying how great our academy boys are, but I don’t see them going for £6 million. Even Flynn Downes, who we think is very good, one-point-something million [£1.6 million] was being offered [by Crystal Palace] last summer, so it’s our job, if I’m still an academy coach, and Bryan’s and whoever’s, we have to keep doing better.
“Yes, it’s great that we’re in the in the FA Youth Cup semi-finals and the play-offs but we’ve got to turn these people into assets. It can’t be great them just getting to the FA Youth Cup semi-final, they have to be assets for this football club. Assets that are going to play in the Premier League.
“I was saying to Adz [U18s manager Adem Atay], you look at all the FA Youth Cup winners. The year when I was in the FA Youth Cup it was a West Ham versus Liverpool final. Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher were playing for Liverpool, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand were playing for West Ham, Daniel Sturridge has been in the FA Youth Cup final, all these players.
“You look at our FA Youth Cup-winning team, how many of them went on to play in the Premier League? We have to be better. If we’re getting teams in the FA Youth Cup semi-final, we have to be producing Premier League players.
“That’s our job as a football club, as an academy, we get together and we have to make that happen because we can’t be happy. Even though we think we’ve had a good season, we can’t be happy because we need players in our first team to make our first team better, not just coming in because they can’t do any worse.”
Quizzed on how Kane Vincent-Young was after the game, the right-back having been forced of with a painful-looking shoulder injury in the game’s dying embers, Dyer said: “Obviously you could see it was a shoulder injury. He’s being assessed. He’s not in pain, just before I came out to talk to you the pain had gone because he was in real discomfort out there.
“He’s got to be assessed and maybe have a scan but hopefully it’s not as bad as we might think. He’ll probably will miss the last game of the season but hopefully he’s back for pre-season because in a really disappointing season he’s probably been a real highlight, just the cameo that he’s made in the last four or five games.
“When you see him going down, I just thought of myself [in similar situations], he just can’t catch a break. Fingers crossed for Kane and hopefully it’s not as bad as we all feared when he first went down.”
Armando Dobra was one of Town’s top performers and Dyer says he is a big fan of the Albanian U21 international.
“What’s so great about Dobs, I call him a street fighter,” he continued. “He’s as game as. If people boot him, he’ll want to boot them back. He’s brave, he puts a proper shift in.
“I thought that was probably his best performance since I’ve been with the first team, but as the manager says to Dobs, to all our creative players, the unfortunate thing is you’re judged by numbers. You’re judged on how many goals you score and how many assists you get.
“And he should have had an assist, I think Nors will hold up his hand and say that he should have finished that chance.
“Not just Dobs, all our creative players, they just haven’t scored enough goals. I know he’s had limited chances and I know the manager loves his attitude and he’s one that we have got to make better.
“He still makes the wrong decisions in some areas but what’s pleasing is he’s young and when you’re young you can improve. It’s when you’re 27, 28 and you’re not getting the messages.
“It’s something to build on and if he’s selected in the last game of the season, hopefully he can get a goal and put in a really good performance.”
Reflecting on being trusted by Cook to take charge of the press conference, he said: “I spoke to the manager in the game because I’ve had the experience of going with the first team observing and he’s been brilliant for me.
“We had a conversation and he said ‘go and see the press and see how they try and manipulate your words and see how you handle that’. So even this is [a learning experience].
“It is hard because I’m employed by the club and I love the players in there but I’m a fan as well, so it is hard because I just try and speak the truth and what comes from the heart, but I owe the club.
“It is good, it is a good learning experience, so tomorrow I will be picking up the papers, we’ve got it recorded if you try and twist my words!
“It’s been a horrible seven weeks in a way with regard to results and how we didn’t make the play-offs but for my own personal journey, it’s been different gear, different gear.”
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