I'm just the front man - it should be Club of Month award

Torbay Weekly

There's only one thing I'd like more than winning the (National League) April Manager of the Month award. That's the same award for May!

I said near the end of March, when the lead we had once had gone and we were off the top of the table, that I wanted to win the April award, not for myself but because it would mean that we were back in contention for the championship.

I'm proud that's happened, and I'm not trying to be clever when I say that it shouldn't be called the Manager of the Month but the Club of the Month.

I'm the front man really. There's so much work going on behind the scenes - my football staff, all the players, the board of directors and staff at the club, all of them deserve credit for the run we've been on.

The only group of people who've been missing are the supporters, and I'd like to thank them as well for the messages they keep sending us.

We may not have seen them unfortunately, but we know they're there and it will be great to see at least some of them back when we play Barnet at Plainmoor on Saturday week (May 22).

I haven't totted up the monthly awards, although it must be in double-figures now. I have kept them all, of course, and they've come in all shapes and sizes.

But I can promise you that if we do as well in May as we did in April, and I win it again, it will mean so much more, because it could be the clincher to what we're all so desperate to do this season.

On another subject, I'm well aware that our fans have been frustrated over the injuries we've had this season. No more frustrated than us, I can assure them!

I've even heard it said that we've signed players who have been injured already, or we've signed them without medicals.

I can categorically knock that on the head.

Apart from Liam Davis, who has had a major ankle reconstruction from an injury he suffered last season, the player who's been out for longest is Andrew Nelson.

'Nelse' was as fit as a fiddle when he joined us but he hyper-extended his knee during a pre-season friendly, which also chipped a bone in the joint, and it's been a long road back for him since.

No player joins us without thorough medicals, both verbally as we go back over his physical history and physically as we put his fitness to the test.

I've also picked up that some supporters would like me to give more information on injuries, especially before games.

Well, that's not as straightforward as it might seem.

First, opposing teams are always trying to find out all they can about our squad. Just as we are about them.

The last thing we want to do is give them a helping hand.

Second, and this is something that's come into the game more in recent years, there's the issue of a player's privacy.

If managers like me keep giving chapter and verse on every injury, it would be out on the internet within a few hours, and that goes against the patient confidentiality which you and I enjoy during our lives.

We're not trying to hide anything. We're just trying to be fair by people and, along the way, not give our opponents any info that might help them.

By the way, our medical department is as good as anyone's at this level, and a lot better than most.

We must have one of the biggest 'scan' bills in the National League, but even at £400-500 a time, our board has never refused a single one.

And I can also say that, for a young medical man, the record of Kai Hepworth, our head of medical, in assessing injuries and treating them is amazing.

Even before scans, his assessment has been proved right on every injury we've had, especially all the hamstring issues.

All I can say is, I knew we were getting a very talented young man when we recruited Kai, and I'm always thankful that we've got him.

Stay safe everyone, and let's hope we can pull off some more big results in May...