Lee: Everything Should Be Based on Honesty and Paul Cook’s Your Man For That
Friday, 18th Jun 2021 16:35
Former Blues striker and academy coach Alan Lee says his former Burnley team-mate Paul Cook is the ideal manager as Town go into their new era.
Lee played alongside Cook at Turf Moor between 1999 and 2000 as they helped the Clarets to promotion from League One.
The former Republic of Ireland international says Cook’s honest approach will be integral to the club as it looks to rebuild under its new ownership.
“Most of all you need a really honest backroom staff and players themselves,” he said in part two of his Blue Monday-TWTD podcast.
“The responsibility needs to be shifted from we’ve got the tactics today and all this, we’re going to do this, we’re going to be so good on the ball, to the players when the cross the white line, they’re going to work out what needs to happen and dig deep to win every game, to try and win every game.
“I’d love to see them do it. Having played with Cooky and [first-team coaches] Robbo [Gary Roberts] and Franny [Jeffers], I really want them to succeed.”
He added: “I think for a period of two or three years, the whole club suffered from a lack of honesty from everyone.
“And once you’ve got that and no one’s accountable and no one’s responsible, anyone can do what they like.
“There were so many announcements, ‘listen, we’ve got new hedges and a new fence in the training ground’ and everyone would go ‘yes, this is really positive!’. What a load of bollocks.
“That money should have been spent on young players or as [former manager] Mick [McCarthy] did, spend it on the pitches maybe. I think the club suffered from that for two or three years.
“But it’s a fresh start. At the moment they’ve got Paul Cook and Gary Roberts, you won’t get people more honest than them.
“Everything should be based on honesty to get back where [the club] should be and Paul Cook’s your man for that, let me tell you.”
How did he find Cook as a team-mate? “I plead the fifth! He’s exactly the same as he was. The life and soul, loud. A really positive character. Would have fun with you, lift you if you’re down. The type of personality that will liven up a room.
“If you’re training and he’s not there, it can go a bit flat. If he’s there, it’s never going to be flat. A good guy, a really good player.”
Cook has told all but a handful of the first-team squad that they can move on this summer, but Lee believes that that was aimed at getting a reaction from players.
“Obviously recruitment is crucial,” he reflected. “It’s been well-reported what’s been said. I see that as Paul Cook saying ‘who’s really up for a fight and who’s going to prove me wrong next year?’
“If I was a player that would certainly be my mentality. If I’ve been told I can go, I’m coming back in pre-season and I’d be bang at it.
“I think that might turn out to be a clever bit of man-management. I guess Cooky’s hoping so anyway!”
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