Positive approach sees Mellon in pole position to succeed Flitcroft

Micky Mellon
Micky Mellon
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Micky Mellon has lost count of the number of titles he has been given in his short spell at Oakwell.

But as caretaker-manager the 41-year-old is determined that, no matter how long his tenure is in South Yorkshire, he will try to keep his footballing ideals.

The Reds may be languishing at the foot of the Championship, a position which ultimately cost David Flitcroft the manager’s job, but in Mellon’s two games in charge so far he has brought a more expansive, open approach to Barnsley’s football.

Giving more freedom to flair players like Jacob Mellis and Tomasz Cywka certainly has loosened the shackles, bringing a rare win on the road at Brighton, while pushing high-flying Burnley all the way at Turf Moor.

Today, Mellon takes charge for his first game at Oakwell, and for a home crowd who reminisce about those days when it was “just like watching Brazil’, a more flamboyant approach on the pitch will be samba music to their ears.

“I have a way that I want to play and I have been able to show that in the two games,” said Mellon, no stranger to football management having cut his teeth at Fleetwood Town.

“We have played really well in parts during the last two games, but we have only collected one win.

“I want people to have pride in their work, work hard on the training pitch then produce it on the Saturday. I want people to say what you are producing is exciting.

“The players have responded really well to what we are doing. There’s still an awful lot of work to be done in order to get to where I want to be, that’s for sure.

“I know how to get there, the training sessions I have to get through. I have a plan in order to get this team playing in an image of what I want this football club to be playing in.

“We want to put on a show, win games of football, and somewhere along the line be entertaining because that’s what the business is.

“We are setting up to try and do that.

“It has been a two-game plan so far. I changed things when I first came in to how I want the game to be played.

“There are certain aspects of the last two games that I am not happy with, that we have worked on this week. Other things I am very pleased about, and we are trying to keep our standards high.

“We have worked on the negatives and try to keep moving things forward, which I believe I am.

“I think we definitely dominated possession in both the games for long spells. We would like to have been more positive at times, in creating opportunities.

“We lost the game at Burnley in a 10-minute spell where we didn’t feel we had to compete. You have got to do that as Championship footballers, compete for the knockdowns and loose balls.

“We have spoken about different ways we want to attack and be positive, movement in the box and be aggressive.

“Before the Brighton game I would give the manager my opinion, then whether or not he would take that, he’d implement what he wanted as the manager. That’s how it works, and I would back that 100 per cent. Now I am the one who makes the decisions, other people give me their opinion, and the buck stops with me.”

Mellon is excited about today’s game with fellow strugglers Yeovil, although his laid-back, relaxed demeanour means he will not overplay the importance of the game.

“We need to win games, collect points. You always look for that perfect game, if it exists, hoping you will get it.

“We know it’s a tough game, we need to pick up points, but we won’t be relegated on Saturday. It’s important that we keep some positivity around the place.”

Speculation has been rife on who will get the Barnsley job, but Mellon is in pole position, knowing results will almost certainly see him keep the post.

Not that the Paisley-born former footballer, who plied his trade at clubs like Blackpool, Tranmere Rovers and West Brom, is ruffled by any perceived uncertainty.

“I couldn’t care less, I really couldn’t,” he countered.

“I have been a manager before I came here, I have been in football professionally since I was 15 and have seen most things that can happen.

“I am just enjoying the job and focussing on that. I am not bothered about who gets linked with the job, or who thinks they can do it better.

“I am still here, they haven’t sacked me yet. In the two games I have been here, I am not doing too bad.

“I move to the Yeovil game, I haven’t been told that they are not happy with what I am doing. I am just trying to keep things as calm as possible.

“The important thing is people know that the football club, as far as the playing side is concerned, is in good hands, in calm hands.

“We all have to be patient and understand that the club gets the right man.

“As we know there has been a lot of chopping and changing.

“Let them get on with that and I will carry on with the football.

“A week last Saturday I was asked to take on the role of making decisions for the football team. I have never been told any differently. Some people go on about ‘you’ve got two games, three games’. Nobody has ever told me that, so it’s news to me. I am just enjoying doing what I do, it’s no great drama to me.

“I have always been clear (on my position). I was asked to take the job on, I have been the decision-maker at the football club, and do it with a calmness, while everything has been going on around us. I believe I have done that, will continue to do that, and just want the players to focus on the games.

“Up above me, they have got a decision to make, no doubt about that, but that’s what they are here for to run the football club. I will continue to do what I am doing until I am told differently. Let’s get on with the football.

“The important thing for the football club is that it wins games, that’s what we have to concentrate on at the minute. Of course, there’s a decision along the line that must be made, but the important thing is it’s the right decision for the football club.

“I am very calm about it. I am enjoying the role that I am doing. I am not dodging your question, I am just not the type of guy who flaps about things like that.

“I enjoy being on the training pitch, dealing with the players and getting them ready for the games. I am looking forward to the next challenge.”