‘It was coming’ – Former coach reflects on turbulent time at Stoke City


Former Stoke City coach Callum Davidson has opened up on the difficulties he faced at the club following their relegation from the Premier League.

Davidson joined his former Leicester teammate Gary Rowett at Stoke last summer, tasked with getting the club back to the Premier League as soon as possible.

But the pair and fellow coaches Mark Sale and Kevin Phillips only lasted until just after Christmas, sacked after only 26 league games in the saddle.

Davidson returned to football with Scottish Championship side Dunfermline, but soon linked up with Rowett again, after joining his coaching staff at Millwall in October.

The former Potters coach has reflected on his time at the bet365 Stadium, and admits he lost some of his enthusiasm for the game following their relegation from the Premier League in 2018.

Davidson told The Daily Record: “What was the Stoke experience like? How long have you got?

“It was a really difficult time for the club. That’s been proven in the last couple of years since they were relegated from the Premier League.

“So it wasn’t just us. The relegation was coming. I must admit, when I was there, I lost a bit of my enthusiasm. You get frustrated.

“Certain players were desperate to do well and succeed. I’m not sure I want to say any more on that.

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“When a club gets relegated from the Premier League, some players want to leave and play at a higher level.

“Others have their wages cut and aren’t happy. The squad is always going to be bigger in the Premier League compared to the Championship.

“So there’s a surplus. The whole set up was difficult and hard to deal with.

“At Saints we had so many good characters. Everyone’s together, fighting for the cause.

“You feel frustrated when you don’t get that elsewhere because the club’s in a bit of turmoil.

“But in a way it was great for me because I got to know about different cultures and how different players worked.

“The Scottish lads give 100 per cent every day, they try so hard to be successful. I was able to see different ways of dealing with players.

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“Some were easy to deal with but others were virtually impossible.

“It was interesting to see Gary having to cope with that. You don’t get taught that on a coaching course.

“Stoke had a real good core. There were a few players who were brilliant to work with – (Darren) Fletch, Charlie (Adam), Joe Allen, Tom Ince, Sam Clucas, Benik Afobe.

“The nucleus was there but it was about trying to get the balance of the squad right so that they were tight. I actually enjoyed the experience, even though it didn’t work out for us.”





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