Trevor: It Takes Time

Trevor Brooking admits that football management is all-consuming - but is well worth it when the team is winning!

Trevor remains in charge of team affairs in a caretaker capacity until next month, which means five league games and the Carling cup tie at Cardiff next week, until Alan Pardew takes over, and says:

"I will give it my all in the next few weeks so it is then a good situation to step into.

"It is totally absorbing; that is not a complaint because football is my life and always has been.

"It is enjoyable of course if you are getting results, but it is absorbing and you do really focus - especially in this flurry of games where you are going from Reading at home to Crewe to Gillingham to Cardiff.

"It is easier if you are getting results because it gives you confidence and you can say 'we didn't do badly there'.

"But then you are looking at the strengths of the next opponents because every opposition is different - while trying to make sure your own strengths are not diluted.

"It is a short term situation for me and I am only too pleased to do it in order to resolve the situation in the manner that we want it to be done."

Trevor says it has been - and still is - a learning experience and adds:

"Unquestionably it has been an opportunity and an insight I will always remember and something you will have enjoyed whatever happens in the next month.

"It has been a unique experience that I will be better for, and in my role as a TV pundit and whatever I will view it totally differently by knowing some of the issues and problems that are going on that you would never have envisaged when you are sitting there smugly in a studio making your comments without any real ideas about what caused some of the situations that might have occurred.

"It has been fascinating - and hopefully will be in the next three or four weeks."

Any surprises thus far?

"The results!" quips Trevor.

"There are lots of things which I will look back on afterwards, but the main thing is to concentrate, make sure in the five league games we get as many points as possible, and are pushing away towards the top."

Trevor is keen to acknowledge the role played by Glenn Roeder in shaping this season's squad, however, and he explains:

"Don't forget that we have six players making a vital contribution at the moment who Glenn Roeder brought in, in Neil Mellor, Matthew Kilgallon, David Connolly, Matthew Etherington, Robert Lee, and Kevin Horlock - so that shouldn't be forgotten."

And there won't be changes to the backroom line-up in the foreseeable future, with Trevor adding:

"I've read that no-one else will be going from Reading and I would anticipate Alan would be happy to work with Paul and Roger, who have been very good for me and I'm pretty sure that will help the transition as well."

Such is the good spirit in the squad, indeed, that the players could afford to turn the notion, expressed in some quarters that David Connolly and Jermain Defoe aren't passing to each other, on its head on Tuesday at Gresty Road.

"Both players want success and we will look at their goals totals at the end of the season; anyone who watched them at Crewe will be pleased with the way they interacted and one stage when there was a pass between them the whole team applauded - which just goes to show the banter in the squad."

As to transfers over the next month, Trevor says:

"I don't know if I will bring in any; I got in Wayne Quinn and Niclas Alexandersson myself because I felt we needed to do that in this interim period, and the early signs are they are doing very well.

"We can extend those loans if we want to and it is an opportunity for Alan to have a look at them; the fact is there are other opportunities and there may be money to spend in the future but unless we do get another injury at the weekend, and we think it is important to make a move quickly, I think it should be Alan who guides that at some stage when he comes in.

"The bonus is that in a month's time Alan could well have Stevie Lomas and will definitely have Michael Carrick, both players who have barely played this season and they will be two big players for Alan and like new signings.

"Michael won't be involved this weekend or at Cardiff and after that we will just see how he progresses from there.

"We hope there shouldn't be any further problems and Steve Lomas has had his operation so he could be back in another three weeks.

"It's a frustrating situation with Michael; the latest injury is a related niggle - the actual groin injury is pretty good but when you've been out for a while you pick up others.

"I don't want to rush it until it's right because he's a massive player for us and I still believe he will have a full international career ahead of him.

"I want to make sure that when he comes back he's right and able to perform at the level we all know he's capable of.

"But I'm confident he will be fine and by the end of the season he will be a name very much back in everyone's thoughts."

Trevor hopes that a line can be drawn under the affair with Reading now it has been resolved in court, and adds:

"More than anything it shouldn't fester for too long now and the issue has been put behind both clubs."

Michael Carrick, Rufus Brevett, and Steve Lomas all remain on the injured list, with Michael certain to be the first of the trio back in action.

SQUAD: James, Bywater, Lee, Repka, Dailly, Pearce, Connolly, Quinn, Alexandersson, Horlock, Defoe, Etherington, Mellor, Sofiane, Noble, Ferdinand, McMahon, Kilgallon.