Bradford City v Oldham Athletic: Stuart McCall's timely advice for Man Utd legend Paul Scholes

AS PAUL SCHOLES continues to ponder a possible move into management with tonight's visitors to Bradford City, Stuart McCall admits the job is only for the totally committed.

Former England and Manchester United star Paul Scholes is being heavily linked with the vacant position at Oldham Athletic. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

The Bantams host Oldham Athletic, who have been under the caretaker charge of Richie Wellens since John Sheridan was sacked late last month.

Wellens has won his first four games at the helm of the Latics and McCall believes the former Doncaster Rovers midfielder deserves his chance on a permanent basis.

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But speculation surrounding a possible move for Scholes, a lifelong fan of Oldham, refuses to go away with suggestions in the Lancashire town that he met the club hierarchy last week for talks.

Bradford City manager, Stuart McCall. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“Management isn’t for everyone,” said the 53-year-old to The Yorkshire Post ahead of tonight’s League One clash with the in-form Latics.

“You have highs and lows. But the lows last longer. If we lose on a Saturday and don’t play again for a week, I carry that until Tuesday and analyse it in my mind over and over again.

“Whereas if we win, it is gone Saturday night and the week is all about the next game. There is no better feeling than winning but, likewise, when you lose then it is horrible.

“That is why you can’t come into this as anything but fully committed. You can’t be half-hearted, thinking, ‘I will have a little go at this and see what happens’.

Bradford City manager, Stuart McCall. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“Some have dipped their toe in and never come back, such as Teddy Sheringham and Alan Shearer.

“From afar, you can be a pundit but you don’t understand it fully until you are actually the one making the decisions.

“The expectation today is huge and from all angles, as is the pressure.”

Scholes, born and brought up in the Oldham area, does possess previous coaching experience. At Manchester United, he was a reserve team coach before being coaxed out of retirement by Sir Alex Ferguson early in 2012.

Then, after retiring for good 17 months later, he again joined the coaching staff before becoming a part-owner of Salford City, where he had a brief stint as caretaker manager in 2015.

If Scholes does take the Latics job, he will buck the modern trend of recently retired top players who prefer to go into the media rather than try their hand at management.

“Money has changed it for the top players,” added McCall. “Who needs the hassle when you are already financially secure for life from what you earn in just one year at the top level?

“Think back to years gone by when the money just wasn’t there. My dad (Andy) played with (Stanley) Matthews and (Stan) Mortensen at Blackpool, at the time when they were a top side.

“But, during the summer, he worked on Blackpool Pleasure Beach because every penny counted. And once their careers were over, they left football completely with a lot of the lads going into the pub game.

“Now, ex-players go into the media side. Look at (Thierry) Henry and (Gary) Lineker, who don’t need all that hassle.

“They realise that, as much as management can be enjoyable, it can also be tough.

“If you go into it and you’re not sure, you will soon realise, ‘This is not for me’.”

Scholes, of course, scored one of the most famous goals in Valley Parade’s history when he volleyed in a David Beckham corner against a City side captained by McCall in 2000.

“Dean Windass should have been marking Scholes that day,” quipped the Bantams manager when asked about one of the great Premier League strikes. “It was the same job (Ally) McCoist had with (Gary) McAllister when he scored for Leeds (against Rangers in the Champions League).

“I told them both and neither listened. I remember saying to Deano, ‘We don’t need you back here, go mark Scholes’. Two seconds later, Beckham picks him out and the ball is in our net. Nice one, Windass.”

As for tonight, McCall is looking forward to locking horns with someone he believes deserves a crack at the Latics job full-time.

“Oldham have won all four games, and deserved to win every one,” added the Bradford chief. “They beat Peterborough at home, who were top of the league, and then went to Portsmouth, as difficult a place as any the way they are playing at the moment.

“They also beat Blackburn (last Saturday) and won at Crewe in the Checkatrade. Momentum, confidence and belief – that is what they have got. I would imagine Richie has got a strong case to get the job full-time. He couldn’t have done any more.

“A team that were struggling at the bottom are now not only winning but playing football that deserves it. They are not fluking games.”

“We accept we are up against a side that are in good form but I will also back us against anyone at home if we are on top of our game. There is no reason for us not to be.”

Page 18: Colin Doyle interview.