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|Austin and Hughes|
at 09:53 22 Mar 2020
Not quite sure how but I stumbled across this today and I can’t recall seeing it posted on here previously. I liked CA at the start of his time with us and thought he’d been an absolute steal for £4M but he turned into a bit of a tit at the end of his time here, I don’t know whether this speaks volumes for Hughes reading of the team or that he didn’t fancy doing it himself?
I went to Southampton and that’s when I first came across a lot of different mentalities, through the fact that there were lads from different cultures and countries in the squad.
At the start, under Ronald Koeman, there was no problem because of his presence. He brings a big aura with him because of who he is and where he’s been. The first thing you learn from him is never, but never, be late for team meals. It was well documented that he kept Sadio (Mane) out of a big game once and everybody was wondering why and it was simply because Sadio had been late for a meeting. That was him. But different managers come in and they didn’t have that power of personality. (Jose) Fonte ran the club at that time – that’s not in a negative way but a positive way – and I learned a lot from him. But by the time he left and the managers were changing we were **** and the only person who really got it was Mark Hughes.
He took me to one side one day and said: ‘What’s the matter with this lot?’ And I told him: ‘They’ve got no bollocks.’ ‘Scuse my French. And he wound me up to go into a team meeting and basically dig them all out. I had to pull Ryan (Bertrand), who was a mate of mine, to one side and say ‘Look, I’m going to go in there and give them all a right volley and I’m afraid I’m going to make you first or else they’ll think I’m just looking after my mates.’ Ryan went along with it. We got the results after that – not great results but enough to keep us up. The performances went up. But we got to the semi-final and of the FA Cup and lost to Chelsea but that Cup run did us a power of good too.
[Post edited 22 Mar 9:53]
at 09:50 16 Feb 2020
Appreciate no one covered themselves in glory yesterday and we were playing the biggest cloggers in the league but sometimes if the game doesn’t come to you, you have to go looking for the game. Completely anonymous yesterday, I thought he’d been putting in a few improved performances of late as his contract is up in the summer (cynical of me perhaps but a few other first team players seemed to up their performances ahead of the January transfer window....),
He’s an impact player for me, no more and no less. I don’t think he deserves another contract next season with us though.
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