RTID Matchday programme caught up with Rovers’ Assistant Manager Brian Horton.
Brian played over 600 Football League games after starting as a youth player at Walsall in the 1960’s before making his name at Port Vale, Brighton and Luton Town before finishing his career at Hull City in 1986.
In the 1980’s and 90’s, he turned to managing instead of playing. Managing Hull City, Oxford United, Manchester City, Huddersfield and Port Vale, with his final managers role being with Macclesfield.
He has also been assistant manager to Phil Brown at both Hull City and Preston. Brian is one of the few managers in English football to have taken charge of teams in more than a thousand games.
Brian, what are your views on the season so far?
“It’s been a little bit mixed but it’s always the same at the beginning of the season.
“You want to get off to a good start but, without being detrimental to referees and officials, we’ve had some tough decisions.
“There was the Blackpool goal when Ross got kicked in the head; the goal at Huddersfield that was disallowed, which we’ve watched back and think it’s very harsh on Theo, and the handball in our opinion was a handball and we had one against us later on in that game in very similar circumstances.
“We followed these with the debatable penalty decision at Watford, that the officials made a mistake by giving when the lad was outside the box. These decisions all play a part but the biggest part is the players’ reaction to us since the manager, myself, Paul Gerrard and Paul Butler have come into the football club.
“The response has been great with a very positive feeling all round the club.
“We’ve tried to change some of the things that happen in training and in the games but they’ve taken it all on board and I think some of the performances have been excellent.”
You’re a very experienced manager who has been at some of the big clubs. How do you help Paul?
“Paul and I have known each other quite a long time through football circles not through being close friends. When he was close to being asked to do the job, he asked me what I was doing and although I’d had offers from other people, I was just weighing up my options and doing a bit of Sky TV and radio.
“When he was offered the job, he asked me if I’d like to come along and be his number two. I liked what he’d got to say and his views on football, which were the same as mine. We met when we were both at Man City and I produced a good attacking side, which is the way Paul likes to play as a player and as a manager at Oldham. We came together and it’s been good.
“My job is to help him with a lot of the things that go on in football that people don’t see.
“We’re a collective group who all have opinions.
“We get together to discuss things at half time, the end of the game, team selection, team tactics and the training schedule. It’s a good football club; it’s obviously been run very well. When you come to the stadium, it’s always a good atmosphere and I’ve had good games of football here in the past when I’ve been with other teams.
“It’s a good team and I’m really enjoying being part of it.”
You can read the full interview in the Burnley edition of RTID, Rovers’ matchday magazine