Captain Courageous will lead by example
Nov 10 2004
Reaction - By James Nursey
Former West Bromwich Albion striker Cyrille Regis says Bryan Robson will
be desperate to succeed in the Premiership after his appointment as
Regis, who used to play alongside Robson at Albion, has followed his
ex-team-mate's managerial career closely.
And Regis says Robson is anxious to prove he can manage in the
top-flight after rumours of a drinking culture at Middlesbrough, and the
indignity of Terry Venables having to bail him out in a relegation
battle, blighted his five-year spell at The Riverside.
Regis said: "I still think there are question marks over Robbo regarding
two factors that have dogged him.
"There was a bit of a perception that there was a drinking culture at
Middlesbrough and secondly when they were struggling they brought in
another coach [Terry Venables].
"From the outside it looked as though Robbo couldn't sort things out
himself and that might have hindered his progress as a manager.
"But the fact is most managers go through tough times and I am sure
Robbo has learned from those lessons.
"I think he'll turn it around at Albion and be even more determined to
prove himself as a Premiership manager.
"History says he got frozen out after being a Premiership manager for
five-and-a-half years at Middlesbrough.
"But I think he'll be able to channel that pain and determination into
making sure Albion are successful - and I sincerely hope he does."
Robson inherits an Albion side languishing 17th in the Premiership, but
Regis believes Robson will inspire his charges and says his reputation
will help attract top players to the club.
Regis added: "I think Robbo have the same affect as Graeme Souness going
to Rangers or Kenny Dalglish going to Blackburn.
"Robbo's an icon in the game and a major, major figure who will help
attract big name players.
"I remember playing with Robbo and he always led by example. He always
had that kind of authority about him and he will be able to attract top
"He'll raise the profile of the club and his brief will be to keep
Albion up and take them from there."
Ron Atkinson, who managed both Robson and Regis at Albion, was even more
complimentary of his former protege.
Atkinson said: "It's the perfect move for Bryan and it's the perfect
move for the club. I'm surprised it's taken him as long as this to get
another job in the top flight.
"Don't forget the job he did at Boro. He did a lot better there than
people say he did.
"But he's the ideal person to come in and do the job that's expected of
him this season and that is to keep Albion up. This season is just a
case of securing survival for Albion and I'm sure he can do that -
especially now Robert Earnshaw's started scoring goals. After that,
let's just wait and see."
Former Albion player Brendon Batson said he hoped Robson's four-year
spell out of the top-flight does not count against him.
Batson said: "Pop [Robson] has been out of the Premiership for a few
years. It has been some time since he managed, and it has changed a bit
since then, but he has come back really eager.
"The fans remember him fondly from his time for Albion, England and even
"He was known as Captain Courageous and hopefully he will be an
inspiration for Albion. I wish him well - he is a favourite son