Paul Musselwhite Q & A – Yes He Is A Pompey Fan
Paul Musselwhite is a cult hero with Scunthorpe United, Hull City and Port Vale after a League career spanning 619 games. He then went on to make 57 appearances at Gateshead as they gained promotion from the Northern Premier and Conference North in successive seasons. A 619th League appearance as a sub against Southend would be our former player-coach’s only game for the Imps. Now 43 he is on the verge of a return to the League with York City.
OK let us cut to the chase, here are his answers to the Lincoln City Q & A
Q – Lincoln or Scunthorpe Paul?? – Answer carefully haha
– I enjoyed my time at both clubs but I did play over 250 games for scunny and had 6 years in 2 spells . Lincoln have always been a fantastic club and were unlucky in the play offs a number of times.
Q Who was the best manager you worked under at Lincoln – Jacko, Sutton or Tilson
I enjoyed working under Peter Jackson and Chris Sutton . Peter thought I was good enough after a coyple of years in non league to be the goalie coach/no2 goalie which I took as a compliment. Chris just let me get on with it.when Burchy left he told me to sign who I wanted that showed me how much confidence he had in me. I still think we would have stayed up if him and Pearcey had not resigned . Steve Tilson I felt never really fancied Joe Anyon which left me in a difficult situation.It was no surprise when he brought in Trevor Carson and Elliot Parish .I was also left in a dfficult position at the end of my contract where I actually never got offered a new one.
Who is the biggest mentor on your career and how did you get into the game?
I was lucky to have Alan Ball and Graham Paddon as manager and assistant and Peter Osgood as my youth team manager when I was an apprentice at Portsmouth. Ossie was the first football person who gave me the confidence and belief that I could have a career in football. Mick Buxton then signed me as a19 year old and made me his number 1. He had so much confidence in me and I am forever grateful that he gave me that chance.
Who were your football heroes when you grew up and who would you say you have tried to emulate?
My hero was Ray Clemence, I always wanted to be left footed so I could emulate him. I was lucky enough to play against him for Pompey reserves against Spurs near the end of his career
Who did you follow and do you still support or ever see them nowadays given the chance.
I still support Portsmouth , its not a great time to be a Pompey supporter but I try to get to watch them when I can. I went to the 2009 cup final against Cardiff , it was a great day out .
How did you feel when you were signed as a youth by Pompey and who had you been playing for before.
It felt great when I got my apprenticeship at Portsmouth, being my hometown club and the team I supported. I had played for my local teams and all the Pompey schools and rep teams from about 10 years old. I was also on schoolboy forms and played about 6 months in the youth team the season before I became an apprentice.
Do you feel the gap between the BSP and League 2 is now close enough for a 3 up and 3 down system.
I think the difference between League 2 and the Conference is very narrow now. I think this has a lot to do with a number of ex-league teams being in the Conference. The Conference chairman would probably want 3 up 3 down but I doubt the league 2 chairman would agree to this.
Would you like to have a crack at management one day?
I have never wanted to be a manager its something I have never fancied plus goalkeepers dont usually make good managers
Onto your Lincoln Coaching role
How do you coach a keeper? Was Joe a good pupil?
I think you can coach young goalkeepers in all aspects of goalkeeping, technique, handling, positioning, crosses, diving, shot-stopping, kicking but I feel u get to a certain age and you are set in your ways. Most pro goalies are set in there ways so its a case of working hard day in day out , going over DVDs of games and talking through any problems. Joe had a fantastic work ethic not just on the training ground but also in the gym. Burchy was also the same as Joe, usually the first in the morning and the last to leave.
Are you a family man or are you planning to raise a future England No 1.
I am a family man, I’ve been married 18 years and have 2 boys aged 18 and nearly 16. . My oldest lad plays for Brigg.
As a coach you have to help lift the spirits, how hard is that to do and do you feel the Imps dressing room held up well under the circumstances across a season that saw improvement before that awful run. Was the relegation a bolt out of the blue for the players given we only needed 2 points after a decent revival had come to an end?
I personally did not feel it was a good changing room towards the end of the season, there was a lot of experienced players on the bench who felt they should be playing. I felt that everyone thought we would beat Cheltenham ,who were on an horrendous run ,and everything would be alright. When we lost against them it was then hoping Barnet did not win 1 of their last 2 games. I think one of the most disappointing things about getting relegated was that we had got our selves out of trouble and looked comfortable near mid table and it still amazes me now that with the players we had at the club we should have won at least 1 of our last 11 games.
I m not a fussy eater ill eat most foods but i like a nice spaghetti bolognaise or a nice medium rare steak and chips.
My favourite curry is wimpish korma.
Have you any words for the Imps fans
A few words for Lincoln supporters……keep believing ,you have a fantastic club, I think you will get back in the league its took the club I’m at now York 8 years hopefully it wont take Lincoln as long.