‘I had ten operations but Steve Clarke talked me out of retiring’
Scotland coach Steven Reid revealed how new national coach Steve Clarke regularly talked him out of retirement at West Bromwich Albion.
Ten operations left the midfielder struggling with knee injuries in his early 30s but Clarke’s man-management skills at The Hawthorns persuaded him to keep going – even when he wanted to quit.
“I just had a determination to keep going. I was still getting year-to-year contracts at that time and my aim was to stay in the Premier League as long as possible,” explained Reid, now part of Clarke’s Scotland backroom team alongside Alex Dyer.
“I’d go into Steve’s office some days and say: ‘I think I’m done. Go and announce it this afternoon, I want to retire.’ But he’d talk me around, we’d have a chat and I’d play a couple of weeks later. That was the kind of relationship we had. He would always tell me to go out at the top, on my own terms. And that’s what I did.”
Reid finished playing at 34 and, after coaching at Reading, Crystal Palace and West Brom, is excited to work with Clarke again at Hampden.
“He obviously worked with Jose Mourinho at massive clubs. He just has the ability to get the best out of players, and that is me working under him as a player and working alongside him,” said Reid.
“You know the details, in the sessions, the planning. If a cone is a couple of inches out of place he will wander out and shift it back a couple of inches. He has just got a really good way about him.”