Terry Butcher: ‘There was a bit more to my game than a bloody shirt’

04 September 2015 05:50
The former England captain, now the Newport manager, loves the challenge of turning underdogs into a strong gang of menI arrive ludicrously early for my appointment with Terry Butcher, so I spend a while in the players’ lounge at Newport County’s training ground. Once the blood-soaked, lion-hearted stalwart of England’s backline, Butcher wipes my table clean, offers to make me a hot drink and then helps the cook put away some plates. Around him players, filling time between the day’s two training sessions, play darts and table tennis or sit around and chat. Russell Osman, Butcher’s former team-mate with Ipswich Town and England and now his assistant, sidles over. “Don’t worry, they’re better at football than they are at darts,” he says, as the well-peppered wall around the dartboard gains another hole. “Trouble is, some of them are better at table tennis than they are at football.”With one point from their first five league games – plus instant elimination from the Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – Newport’s start to the season has been considerably more pong than ping. But there is mitigation: if the bookmakers are any guide they have played three of the six best sides in the division, two of them away; only once have they been beaten by more than one goal; in the cups they tested a strong Wolverhampton Wanderers side at Molineux before falling 2-1, and started their decisive shoot-out against Swindon on Tuesday night with six unstoppable penalties only to lose on the seventh. Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian