Jim Goodwin has put Alloa Athletic’s turnaround in form down to one big decision – dropping himself.
The Wasps player-boss is the Ladbrokes League 1 Manager of the Month for February after leading his side to three wins and a draw – the latter coming against title rivals Livingston.
That’s an improvement on how things started for him after taking over from Jack Ross last October.
Alloa got just four wins in all competitions over November, December and January before turning things around in February.
That’s allowed them to cut the gap to league leaders Livi to seven points that run has been recognised with Goodwin picking up this award.
And the Irishman is all too aware of the improvement since he dropped himself to the bench.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes News, Goodwin said: “Since I took myself out of the team we’ve started playing well.
“I was finding it difficult at the beginning to do both. I wasn’t giving 100 per cent to either role.
“When you’re out there playing and trying to manage at the same time, you’re trying to do everyone’s job rather than concentrating on your own.
“I felt it was better for me if I was going to give the opportunity the best crack then I should take myself out of the playing side of it which has benefitted me greatly.
“I’m now able to see the bigger picture from the side of the park and able to have more of an influence on tactical decisions and substitutions.
“It was a no brainer really – I’m not making an official announcement that I’m retiring. I still keep myself fit and train with the boys twice a week and, if needs must, if we get a number of suspensions and injuries between now and the end of the season, I want to be able to play.
“At this moment in time the lads who are in my position are playing extremely well and I couldn’t justify playing myself.”
The February award is the first of Goodwin’s managerial career and he was only too happy to dedicate it to his staff and players.
He added: “It’s great to be recognised first and foremost. It’s an honour when you’re competing against such good managers in this league.
“But you can’t do it on your own. Any manager would say that without the assistants and help of the backroom staff, it wouldn’t be possible.
“All in all it’s about the players and I’m a great believer in that. You can be the best coach in the world, have the best tactics, but if the players don’t go out and carry out the instructions given to them then you’re on to a loser.
“I’m lucky I have players who do what I ask them to do. That makes my life easier.”
Next up for Alloa is a trip to East Fife, with the Wasps hoping for a repeat of the 3-0 scoreline they enjoyed against the same opposition at the end of last month.
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