Posh manager Gary Johnson talks to Paul Stainton on transfer deadline day. Broadcast at 08:25 on Wednesday 1st September 2010 in the Peterborough Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
PS: Rumours were flying round all day on transfer deadline day, but once again it was a huge disappointment. Gary Johnson is Posh manager. Morning.
PS: How are you doing?
GJ: I’m fine thank you.
PS: Did you get a call at four o’clock yesterday from Real Madrid saying you’ve got an hour. Van der Vaart’s for sale for eight million.
GJ: Well they would have rung. I turned my phone off so it wouldn’t have got through to me anyway.
PS: Is it all a big letdown now? I mean do you do all your business before transfer deadline day? Because it used to be really exciting. But now it just seems a bit rubbish.
GJ: Well I think the excitement’s caused by all the speculation. There’s all sorts of things speculated on, and everybody gets all excited, and only a very few of those actual things actually happen. So I think it is disappointing. It is like a damp squib in the end, but because really all the big moves are just at the top level. Most below that are really just loans.
PS: Yes. I feel sorry for Barry, because it used to be like his birthday, transfer deadline day. He used to get really excited. What did he do yesterday? Just go and play golf or something?
GJ: I did call him earlier in the afternoon and said what are you doing with your phone on? Because it’s more .. we didn’t want to lose anyone, I’ll be honest with you. And I didn’t want his phone on or my phone on. But as it got later and later we thought, well, people are taking liberties now if they ring, so we can all go home. And that’s what happened. So Paul I was just pleased we kept our main squad together. And we started well. So people would have been looking at us. But thank God we are able to go at least all the way to January knowing that we’ve got this group together.
PS: I think all the fans are happy about that as well. Did you get any offers for players?
GJ: Not really. There’s always enquiries, is he for sale, no. And then you move on sort of thing. And you just sort of then keep your fingers crossed that they’re suddenly not going to come up with some figures that sort of make you think about it again, you know. So, no, everybody’s happy with the squad we’ve got at the moment, and that was important, to make sure that a that squad was happy anyway, which they are. We .. I’ve had no players knocking on the door saying anything for me, you know, all that sort of stuff. We’ve had a bit of a smile with some of the speculation that’s gone in the papers about one or two of our players.
PS: Did Steve Bruce ring you and offer you a million quid for Joe Lewis?
GJ: (LAUGHS) No he didn’t. That wouldn’t have been enough anyway. But no he didn’t. And I think Joe is one of those that, if he goes to a top club which he will one day, a he’s got to be totally ready, and b he’s going to want to go straight into their first team. He’s not one that’s going to be a number two or a number three somewhere, so while he’s number one here he’s got to be enjoying it.
PS: Yes. Did anything take your eye that happened yesterday, apart from the Van der Vaart thing, which may or may not go through at Spurs?
GJ: Not really. I think a lot of the, as I say, at our level the ones that are of interest like I mean obviously we played Tranmere on Saturday and they’ve brought in free loans. So they’re obviously struggling as far as their personnel numbers are concerned. It’s just because they haven’t brought in two or three of the professionals that are at Man City, excess to requirement or something, and they’re having to go to Tranmere to play their football. So really it was just the loans, and you could see that some clubs are a little bit panicky on their numbers.
PS: One that looks good to me is Alexander Hleb from Barcelona to Birmingham. that looks like great business. He’s a great player, isn’t he?
GJ: Yes he is a fantastic player. In fact Birmingham picked up two or three didn’t they at the last minute. It never ceases to amaze me why people leave it to the last minute. What is it that when somebody gives a deadline we all have to use the whole time before people make decisions? But anyway, that was a good bit of business for Birmingham. And I think in the Premiership there will be some signings, but mainly all foreign again, and that seems to be the route that everybody’s going to get the value for money that’s out there.
PS: The best thing about transfer deadline day is the mad rumours. You watch them on BBC Sport, Zinedine Zidane spotted in Chelsea, and Jethro the Milkman said, any truth in the rumour Gary that Barry Fry is joining WeightWatchers?
GJ: (LAUGHS) No. No truth in that, that’s for sure. Well certainly the results don’t look like there’s any truth in it anyway. No he’s always enjoyed life. He’s always invited isn’t he out to dinners, and after-dinner speaking. So he does well to stay round about the twenty five stone that he is.
PS: (laughs) Very quickly Gary, because I know you’ve got to go, and we’ve got to crack on, but before I went away on holiday you got a bit of a kicking down on the South coast. I come back you’re second in the League. You play in the second half a lot. Are you going to try and turn that around?
GJ: Not really. Not if we can still pick up the three points. We’ll just carry on the way we’re going. But like I tried to explain it to the lads in a little meeting the other day that, especially when you go away from home, the home side are always going to start strong. They’re going to be at their strongest and their fittest at that point. And we’ve got to battle with them. And you’ve got to make sure that in early games, especially us, because we do seem that when the tempo does slightly get lower, then we can raise our game. But obviously in any game, Premier League, whatever division, you have to be up for the fight early on, and you have to compete, and make sure you’re in that game. Now if you’re one nil up, then great. If not, don’t panic. There’s plenty of time. And as I say as the tempo gets slower towards the end of the games, we’re a very fit side, and a quality side as far as our football’s concerned, and that gradually then suddenly you get a little bit more space around.
PS: Gary. Thank you for coming on this morning. And I’m glad things are going really really well, and glad that you kept all the players as well. Gary Johnson Posh manager looking at transfer deadline day. And great news, great news, that we’ve kept all the players.