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Andy Todd On Blackburn, Derby, Perth Glory And Guidance From His Father

Andy Todd On Blackburn, Derby, Perth Glory And Guidance From His Father

An interview with Andy Todd, by Callum McFadden for WFi.

You started your career at Middlesbrough. What are your memories from your time at the club?

“I have good memories because I was a Middlesbrough fan and because it was an exciting time for the club under my father and Bruce Rioch.

“They saved the club and took them to back-to-back promotions to reach the Premier League again.

“I joined the club just after my dad had left the club and Lennie Lawrence came in.

“He was there for a while before Bryan Robson arrived as manager. Robbo revolutionised the club and the club was filled with great people and we had good times.”

You swap Middlesbrough for Bolton Wanderers and win promotion to the Premier League under your father Colin. What did it mean to you to win your first league title as a player? 

“I played a few games under Bryan Robson when we won promotion at Middlesbrough so I was a part of that but I played a bigger part at Bolton when we won the title.

“My dad assembled a strong team and I was in and around the squad every week and made a fair few appearances.

“We got used to winning as a team and it was a great achievement to win the title.

”Working under my father was tough because he was hard with me. I think he realised that I had a bit of ability and as such, he pushed me to maximise myself.

”He was pushing me for the right reasons and from there, I was able to go on and have a good career.”

Your next club is Charlton Athletic and yet another promotion to the Premier League follows under Alan Curbishley. What was he like to work with? 

“I joined Charlton as they were flying in the Championship.

“I was in and out of the team when I arrived but we won promotion to reach the Premier League then I broke into the team on a more consistent basis.

”Our first season in the Premier League was unbelievable as we finished 9th through hard work and determination because we did not have the greatest ability.

”The Valley was a top ground and my time there was good and also helped earn me a move to Blackburn Rovers in 2002.”

Blackburn was a special time in your career as you captained the club and won a player of the year trophy under Graeme Souness and then Mark Hughes. How would you sum up your time there from a personal perspective?

“I was delighted to move to Blackburn because Graeme Souness had built a strong team with the likes of Andy Cole, Henning Berg, Craig Short and Tugay in the side among other top players.

“Being in the dressing room with those players was good and I knew I had to step up as soon as I arrived there.

”I captained the club which was a massive honour, we played in Europe and reached the semi-finals of cups which sums up the time that I had there.

“Graeme built a strong team and my first season under him was strong before we struggled as a collective in my second year before Graeme left for Newcastle United.

”Mark Hughes then arrived and brought sports science to the fore of what we did at the club. We avoided relegation then Mark built the club up to be challenging in the top half of the table.

”Overall, my time at Ewood Park was filled with exciting moments and I hold the club close to my heart to this day.

“It was a dream come true looking back at the experiences I had at Blackburn.”

You played for Derby County during a tough period in the club’s recent history. What are your thoughts on that era now with hindsight?

“I joined the club under Billy Davies and it did not work out at all. My father had a great reputation at the club and maybe certain people thought that I could do what my dad had done but that was never going to be the case.

“He was a far better player than me, to be honest.

”I knew from the early days of arriving at the club that things were not going to work out.

“The horrible season in the Premier League with the lowest points tally ever of eleven points. That was horrible for everyone involved.

“Unfortunately, that is the nature of football. Sometimes you have great moments like I had at Blackburn and sometimes you have the toughest moments of your career like Derby was for me and so many players at that time.

“We never really recovered from that and I was mentally drained by my experience at Derby.

”I knew I needed a fresh start away from it all which is what attracted me to Perth Glory in Australia.”

How did football in Australia compare to English football?

“Perth Glory was the perfect escape for me at that time. I needed to reset and go again.

“I wanted to experience football abroad and it was too good to turn down. Perth is a beautiful city and I loved my eighteen months in Australia.

“The lifestyle was great and my three young kids were at an age that made me think it was the right time to try something new.

“The standard of football was good. Melbourne Victory and Sydney were the two strongest teams in the league at that time and were top sides.

“We built a good team that tried to play. The pace of the game was slower compared to English football which suited me, in all honestly, given my age when I joined the club.”

Last but not least, Andy, you have spoken in the past about your ambition to be a manager one day. Which coaches stand out from your time as a player? 

”I have experience coaching at Linfield, Newport, Blackpool and Bradford and I would love to give management a go in the future.

”In terms of coaching that inspired me, John Pickering who was my youth coach at Middlesbrough stands out. He was brilliant and he kept you on your toes.

“My father was the biggest influence on my career too. He was one of the best centre-backs that England have ever had so to play in the same position as him meant I could learn so much from him, and I did.

“My chats with my dad helped me a lot during my career. He was the biggest influence on me, for sure.”