Glenn: 'a Logical Progression'

Glenn Roeder says that David James' use of a sports psychologist is part of a logical progression for footballers - which is why there is a psychologist available for those of his players who wish to use one.

David's association with Keith Long is well known, while the club now use the services of David Houlston on an ad-hoc basis.

"Most sports teams in almost every sport in America - gridiron, basketball, baseball, and so on, all have their own in-house sports psychology," says Glenn.

"We are probably years behind in our thinking in this country but we are slowly starting to catch up and starting to realise the importance of the brain on how we operate.

"I do feel the younger players are probably more relaxed about it, although I have to say, David James is very much into using the sports psychologist that he has had for a few years now. He enjoys working with his own sports psychologist which I am pleased about, and it doesn't do him any harm at all.

"He is different from how he was at Watford as a youngster and he has got great focus.

"I think the guy he uses has got a big reputation in in his own field of sports psychology and David speaks to him a fair bit.

"But this is a not a new thing for him. The same guy that he has built up an excellent relationship was with him at Aston Villa as well."

But Glenn says it is early days for the club as a whole as regards that aspect of preparation, and he adds: "The psychologist has been in all season but he suddenly got mentioned after we lost 5-1 at Chelsea, then we got the 1-1 draw in the FA Cup, and it was as if it was all down to him.

"He only visits us on a few occasions but he has been here many months. He is not there every day or even every week but we are pleased with the amount of work he puts in."

But he stresses it is an option only for those who feel comfortable with it and explains: "Some are going down that road of using their own person to get their minds around things, and at this stage we have to leave it up to the individual and how he feels.

"The facility is there, and there are probably eight players whose imagination he has caught and use him as and when he is about.

"Ipswich use one as far as I am aware, I know Sam Allardyce has got one at Bolton, Peter Reid uses one and he says 'if someone had said to me ten years ago that I'd be using a sports psychologist at the football club I'd have told them to put a white coat on'!

"So he has come round to that way of thinking, and wherever you go, meet managers and talk about different subjects, you talk about it and find out that most of these clubs are using them.

"England are very much into them at all levels from under-15s to the seniors. It is just a progression, a case of our game evolving and looking in to other areas to maximise performance."