England head coach Eddie Jones has explained a managerial trick he learned from former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, during a meeting between the two.
Jones has long been a fan of football and an admirer of many of the games coaches, including Ferguson and Pep Guardiola, both of whom he credits as a huge influence on his current work with England.
In a piece with The Athletic, Jones was quizzed on the comments of Roy Keane from Friday night where the former United captain heavily criticised goalkeeper David De Gea.
Jones has been known for his hard-nosed style in the past, but outlined that Keane’s approach would be very difficult to implement on a dressing room nowadays.
“I think it’s very difficult, mate,” Jones said. “You might be able to do it once a season, and even then you’ll have to really pick your mark and be careful about the mark you pick. Players just aren’t equipped to handle that sort of talk now. But every now and again, you’ve got to go hard at them when you need to.”
He then referred to a game between his England side and Samoa, where he was unhappy with his players at half-time and explained how he changed his whole routine, following a meeting with Ferguson.
“I’ll give you an example. We played Samoa, who we should beat pretty easily. At half-time, we’re ahead by five points. Sloppy. Just going through the motions. Fifteen years ago, I would have gone in and I would have blasted. I went in — and I actually got this idea after having lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson — and I changed the whole routine of half-time.
“So I said, ‘Boys, come in here’ and I just said to them, ‘This isn’t good enough. Fix it. So when we get back together, you have the solution’.
“So you’re making the point you’re unhappy but you’re doing it in a way where they own the problem now, rather than you imposing your problem on them and I got a really good result out of them in the second half.”
The England head coach also spoke on his meeting with Manchester City manager Guardiola, outlining that the Spaniard’s drive and enthusiasm impressed him the most.
“Honestly, it was one of those where you saw a guy on the field just really so full of enthusiasm and drive. He knew what he wanted and he was demanding of the players.
“I met him late, he worked a full day and he gave me two or three hours at night, and the passion he had for the game, the passion he had for learning how to play in a better way all the time, was just absolutely outstanding. You can see why he’s been successful.”