EXCLUSIVE: Scott Brown on brutal introduction to management - and next steps in football

Scott Brown - axed by Fleetwood in September.Scott Brown - axed by Fleetwood in September.
Scott Brown - axed by Fleetwood in September. | SNS Group
'Coaching badges don't prepare you for the owner getting arrested!'

Scott Brown thought he was fully prepared for the transition from playing to management. Until he saw his chairman getting banged up for fraud.

“Nobody ever gives you that as a scenario when you’re doing your licences!” said the former Hibs, Celtic and Scotland star, with a laugh, as he reflected on his brief but eventful first touchline job as Fleetwood Town gaffer.

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Brown, who came roaring through the ranks at Easter Road as a young midfield dynamo, and assistant Steven Whittaker were let go by the League One side in September after 15 months at the helm.

Still proud of the work he put in after taking that giant leap into becoming a head coach, the 38-year-old obviously had his first experience of management disrupted by Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley being jailed for 13 years in June – a chain of events that threw the entire club into turmoil.

While accepting that he ultimately paid the price for a poor start to the current season, Brown insists that he and Whittaker were fully prepared for the job of leading a team.

“Steven and me, we knew what we wanted to do,” he said. “We knew we had to make sure the sessions worked - and we planned them inch perfect.

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“But nobody tells you there are going to be injuries, that you’ll have people missing – then you’ve got a chairman going to jail!

“We still managed to take the lads to the fifth round of the FA Cup in the first season, the first time that’s happened in the club’s history. We finished 13th in the league and were going from strength to strength.

“Even with injuries at the start of the season, we were still in every single game.

“It was a little bit of a shock when we had to part ways but it’s football, I’ve no problem with that.

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“Somebody else comes in, a new chairman sees a different pathway. That happens in football.”

Scott Brown was speaking to Edinburgh Evening News on behalf of luckyblock.com

Brown is currently doing a bit of training – not with a view to a playing comeback, he insists – and watching sessions at clubs, trying to figure out his next move.

“I went straight from playing into management, I didn’t give myself four or five months just to chill,” he said, adding: “I will get itchy feet eventually. When that comes, I’ll throw my name into a few things.”

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In the meantime, he’s been enjoying watching Steve Clarke’s Scotland barrel their way to the Euro 2024 Finals – where he expects them to prove a real handful for even the best opposition.

“I think the win over Spain at Hampden will have put every team at the Euros on alert, because the lads were exceptional in that game,” said the former international star, who won 55 caps for his country.

“They were compact, aggressive, got in their faces. That’s what Scotland have to do against top quality sides.

“If you give them room and respect, give them time on the ball, yeah, they will eventually find a way through you.

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“So we might have to sit in a mid to low block at times, which is fine. But, when we can get pressure on the ball, we need to do that – and, under Steve Clarke, it’s what these lads have done really, really well.

“I think, when they get to the finals, you’ve got to make sure the lads don’t get too carried away. They’ve had a fantastic campaign, especially starting with five wins out of five.

“I would really have liked to have seen Scott McTominay’s goal against Spain stand. The free-kick in the away game.

“Then we would have seen how Scotland managed to deal with that – but also seen how the Spanish lads managed to deal with that pressure.

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“If we go and win that game, we could be going in as top seeds in the competition, which would have been exceptional.

“I take nothing away from what the lads have done, they’ve been brilliant in this campaign. And that’s Steve Clarke managed to get two qualifications under his belt, which is brilliant.”

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