Doncaster Rovers v Everton: Grant McCann on good friend Sean Dyche, what they have in common and a message to the doubters
Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann shares that trait with someone whom he regards as a good friend in the game in Everton counterpart Sean Dyche, with the pair pitting their wits against each other on Wednesday evening.
Both Rovers and the Blues, who meet for the first time at the Eco-Power Stadium – you must go back to 1954 for the Merseysiders' last competitive game in this corner of South Yorkshire – have started the season in disappointing fashion.
McCann's side prop up the entire English Football League, but it is fair to say that the pressure is more on the shoulders of Dyche tonight, given the Toffees' opening to the campaign which has seen them lose all three Premier League games without so much as scoring a goal.
McCann knows enough about Dyche to realise that any outside noise from fans and on social media won't bother him one iota.
The Rovers chief, who will again be without a number of players for this tie, said: "Sean is brilliant with the way he works and focuses his mind.
"Myself and Cliff (Byrne) went to visit him at Everton and he's so down to earth. His staff worked meticulously behind the scenes and every team he has got, one thing you will find with Sean Dyche's teams is that they will work, run and fight.
"I've had so many conversations with him over the years about many different things. He's always been there as a sounding block and he's been in a lot of scenarios I have been in.
"Even going back to his Watford days when he left there. I've spoken to him quite a bit over the years."
McCann has experienced his fair share of brickbats over the years, like Dyche. Akin to the Everton chief, he has made them eat their words on several occasions.
His Rovers have lost four or their opening five League Two matches, with some significant injury issues having compounded matters.
If anyone wants to knock him, so be it. Bring it on.
He continued: "To be honest, my whole career has been people writing me off, right from the moment I left school to being a professional footballer and being in management. I love that, it brings that fire out in me.
"There's no doubt that people from the outside looking in will be writing us off now. But we know we have a belief in what we do.
"Many times at clubs before - whether it be at Doncaster in my first spell where we didn't win for a few games and people were saying our chances had gone, at Peterborough where we didn't win for a few games and always responded, or Hull when we went down and people didn't fancy us to go back up again - there's always been that level of doubt aimed at me.
"I thrive on it. It's a game of opinions, I understand that.
"But I love to see these opinions thrown back in their faces some time.
"We just need to see some of the players back now and it's not an excuse. We need that competition. It's hard (when there's not) at this level and we need people back."