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Leave no stone unturned - Big Joe

Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 24 January 2014

FANS’ favourite Big Joe Royle says neither Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger nor Sir Alex Ferguson could do a better current job at Athletic than Lee Johnson.

The legendary former boss said he backs Johnson’s blueprint for success in trying circumstances.

Royle, who has watched three of Athletic’s games this season, sympathises with the difficulties the 32-year-old rookie is facing — namely, the problem of unearthing prolific strikers.

Adam Rooney, Athletic’s second-top scorer with seven goals this season, completed a move to Aberdeen yesterday on a two and a half year contract, following his release from Boundary Park.

His departure gives Johnson a sizeable wage to play with - albeit without a target in mind - ahead of tomorrow’s important home game against Peterborough.

“The team is playing well with good, attractive football, but needs that vital ingredient — a striker to put the ball in the net,” said Royle. “I think back to when we had Andy Ritchie and Frank Bunn up front. That served as the catalyst for our whole success.

“My philosophy is the same as always: you are only as good or as bad as your front players.

“I know Lee Johnson is a very hard-working manager, who believes in a good brand of football. He has to keep doing what he is doing and look under every stone. We would look at local, youth and reserve-team football. We prided ourselves that we knew everything about every player around.

“You hear people say the manager has to change. But if Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex came in, I doubt they would alter fortunes dramatically. Lee is a young, promising manager.”

Johnson himself said his shopping options in and beyond the transfer window will be determined by a number of factors.

“There isn’t a panic - the loan window opens again a week later,” said Johnson. “Different things go into it. Money, people taking our players and getting replacements, and no doubt we have had some interest in our players.”


Comments

I hate to see Philliskirk being played out of position, other than that I cant not argue that lee is doing a good job and there isn't much better in league one! Oldham needs Corney to buy some players in, we are two wingers, two fullback, and a striker short of a complete team. If you are going to back your manager Corney back him with SIGNINGS QUICK!

the blueprint is leyton orient. we need to stop this trend of having a completely new team of what seem to be inconsistent, punt in the dark signings every season.i suppose having the same manager for length of time will help end this cycle of constant change.

if big joe says it ,it must be true.as a 40 yr fan,ive seen many bad times.this is not one,i like joe[the god] believe l j is the right man and will oneday maybe emulate the big man

Thank you to Joe Royle.
Many fans including myself agree that L.J. is doing a good job and the football played by the team has certainly improved since his arrival.
I have no doubt that given time, and with more sponsorship at the club, the players we require will be signed by L.J.
Also perhaps some of the sofa fans could help by attending games,instead of sitting on their backsides,and give the players a lift with their backing, instead of moaning from their seats.Mr Corney cannot be faulted.

Wilde17, easy to ask SC to put up the money to buy new players but he doesn't have any ! Where is he going to get funds from when he is battling (fantastically) to keep the club afloat. Maybe you could lend him half a mill ??

I am sick to the back teeth of people moaning about fans who don't attend games. People have many reasons why they don't attend (cost, living abroad etc) but still have a right to support and comment on the team (if it's good enough for Man U fans it's good enough for us).

 

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