Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff expresses interest in future job at Premier League side Burnley

Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff spoke following the start of the League Two season, admitting that he “wouldn’t mind going to Burnley for his next job”.

Duff took a moment to reflect on his career in football, spanning over 25 years, in which time the Northern Irishman has only been at two clubs – Cheltenham Town and Burnley.

The Robins’ manager explained that there was more pressure at the helm given his situation at the club, saying “There’s added pressure for me. I need to leave the football club in a better place than when I took over. My kids have to grow up in the town.

“It adds a different type of pressure but means that I’ve got a close affiliation that I won’t get at any other club apart from maybe one other club (Burnley).”

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After being given his first coaching role by his former club Burnley, in which he managed the Premier League side’s U23 squad – Duff was honest about his satisfaction if he ended back up in Lancashire with the Clarets, admitting “ I wouldn’t mind going to Burnley for my next move and then retiring. I’d be quite happy just having those two clubs for my career.”

Sides such as Cheltenham Town are often looking to utilize the loan market to boost their squad, especially given the financial constraints of clubs at League Two and League One. 

It was no different for the Robins’ this year, bringing in Elliot Bonds and Tom Sang from Hull City and Cardiff City, with Finn Azaz and Josh Griffiths joining from West Brom. 

When discussing the role that loans play in the club’s transfer strategy, Duff explained “When it comes to the younger players, we can often give them the experience that they need, however we usually can’t afford their wages. 

“That’s the trade-off. The bigger clubs rely on us to give their players experience and we rely on them to help with the wages. 

“Loans are something that we have to take an educated punt on. It doesn’t always work out. Many players go on to bigger and better things, and it just didn’t work out here – It’s difficult.”

Duff finally went on to discuss his feelings towards the 2019/20 season, which was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Cheltenham Town losing a play-off semi-final to Northampton Town having led the first-leg. 

Clearly, despite the disappointing end to the Robins’ season, the man at the helm was optimistic for more success. 

“If we had carried on with the season, I think we would have got promoted, but it’s all what if’s and maybes. We will just be looking to replicate the form that we showed this season. 

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“However, just because we did well last season there’s no god given right to success. Teams that have a good season in this league, quite often follow that up with a bad season.

“It’s a case of learning from the experience, learning from what we were good at and trying to add to it all the time. Last year’s gone, the tough bit is trying to replicate it now.”

Feature Image Credit: Alan Franklin

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