Southend v Bradford City: Michael Collins ready to lock horns with Powell and Clough

Bradford City chief Michael Collins: Challenges.
Bradford City chief Michael Collins: Challenges.
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AS the youngest head coach in the Football League, Michael Collins has already had a crash course in the demands of management.

Not only have Bradford City undergone such a turnover of personnel that Timothee Dieng, now in Southend United colours, will know only a couple of the away side at Roots Hall today despite leaving Valley Parade as recently as May.

Very similar to me, they did the transition across from player into management. Now, they are obviously well experienced.

Michael Collins

But off-field issues such as the suspension of Tyrell Robinson have also handed Collins a taste of the other aspects of the job.

Today brings a meeting with Chris Powell, followed by going head-to-head with another experienced manager with a promotion from League One to his name on Tuesday night when Nigel Clough brings Burton Albion to the West Riding.

“I don’t know either of those coaches personally,” said Collins when asked by The Yorkshire Post about tackling two of the third tier’s more experienced managers.

“Very similar to me, they did the transition across from player into management. Now, they are obviously well experienced.

“Both have had success and difficult times. For me, it is important whenever you are around people you can learn from that you do that. But when I come up against both those two, I will be looking to beat them.

“There will be a respect there for the careers they have had. But when it comes to match-day, you are chasing three points and any external factors go out of the window.”

Collins was the board’s choice to succeed Simon Grayson over the summer.

Asked if there had been any surprises in his first couple of months at the helm, he replied: “There’s a lot of responsibility but I was well aware of that. It is not as if I have come into it and, all of a sudden, I am sitting here thinking: ‘What have I let myself in for?’

“I have been preparing for this for a long time. Any manager or head coach will tell you that it is not an easy job. But it is something you have to thrive on, both the challenges and the fun times.”