The BIG Interview - Phil Brown

Last updated : 10 September 2005 By The Rambler
DerbyMad: Well Phil a lot has been said about the Rasiak situation over the last few days, but one thing that hasn’t been talked about much is how you approach the situation now. Do you stay with like going for a target man and playing 4-5-1 or do you feel that with the resources that you have got that maybe it is time for shuffling to a different scenario?

Phil Brown: Well I think that basically the system did work. There is no question that the back four enjoyed it, the midfield enjoyed it and the forward players enjoyed it. When you lose one big player do you affect the other ten. The fact is that I don’t think it will. We have worked on the training ground today (Friday) we have replaced one for one and the emphasis is on teamwork and shape and if that is all in place on Sunday there is every chance that we will win the game.

DM: Fans are obviously worried that they have lost their leading goal scorer. Has it had any effect on the players?

PM: I think one or two are feeling sorry for themselves. But that is my job to sort out. There is nothing better than when a new player comes through the door – then spirits will be raised. And secondly there is nothing much better than going out and performing in front of the cameras and in front of your fans, and to show everyone “well Rasiak may be gone but I am here to step up to the challenge. The challenge being winning the next game. That would give everyone a boost around here and hopefully before long in the not too distant future people will have forgotten about Rasiak.

DM: You have said that you are intending bringing in 3 or 4 players as part of the emergency loan system. Presumably one of them would be a Rasiak style forward?

PB: Yes, but you can never replace like for like. It’s not always the case. The strengths that Rasiak had leading the frontline I believe were very in place for everyone to see. However this year it has not been the case maybe with one exception, which was the Preston game on TV. He scored 2 goals in 6 games showing a 1 in 3 temperament, whereas he was scoring 1 in 2 last year. So there were sign that he wasn’t at this football club already. However you need to replace that. Do you replace it with a small quick forward or a big strong hold up player. That will be for me to decide between now and the Crewe game.

DM: What is the latest on the players that you are trying to bring in?

PB: There have been almost a dozen that have turned us down for various reasons. Because managers in the main are looking at their squads and don’t want to risk loaning them out.

DM: Presumably none turning you down because it’s Derby?

PB: No there are none in that mode. If a player has wanted to come he has said yes he does. However there is more than one person involved in any transfer saga. There are agents, the financial men at the club and of course the managers. So you have many scenarios.

DM: Looking towards the Crewe game, you are a very young manager while Dario Gradi is one of the most experienced. He is presumably someone that you could learn a lot from.

PB: I remember going to the League Managers Dinner when I was still an assistant. There was a league table of those who had managed for 1,000 games or more. You looked at the likes of Dario, Brian Horton and Alex Ferguson – all top managers and on the top table. And there was me there with no experience apart from 5 as a caretaker. I was very envious. Maybe one day when I’m old and grey who knows?

DM: If you could ask him one question what would it be?

PB: That’s a good question. Can you loan me any players (laughs).

DM: Crewe have only won 2 games since selling Dean Ashton last January. Does that make this a good time to be playing them or doesn’t it work like that?

PB: Well I think they are in a similar situation to us. Dean Ashton was the guy who held their frontline, and ran the frontline and dictated the way that Crewe played. He was a good hold up player with an eye for goal. Like Greg he expressed a desire to play in the Premiership. However I think we have more experienced players than them in other areas of the park. Dario’s’ sides do play football in all areas of the park. He’s replaced Ashton with a kid and you wonder if he will be as good as him and that is what we will be doing. Looking at it from a distance you think that it has got draw written all over it. But I think that it is a case of hard work and a little bit of luck on the day. And then with the experience that we have hopefully the team will stand the test and come through with flying colours.